Suicide prevention advocates rally in Eugene

As people drove by, they honked their horns and waved to people with signs showing their own support.

Posted: Sep 9, 2021 8:04 PM
Updated: Sep 9, 2021 8:12 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- The Suicide Prevention Coalition of Lane County participated in a statewide Signs of Hope campaign for Suicide Prevention Month on Thursday.

RELATED: Local advocacy groups raising awareness for suicide prevention week

Several community members gathered on the Ferry Street Bridge to show support for those who may be struggling with mental health issues. 

As people drove by, they honked their horns and waved to people with signs.

Their signs said: "Don't Give Up" and "You Matter." They also had signs in Spanish with similar messages. 

Daniel Isaacson, the co-chair of the Suicide Prevention Coalition of Lane County, said he was there to let the community know that advocacy remains a very important part when talking about suicide. 

"We try to bring advocacy and dismantle stigma related to suicide in Lane County, which is a prevalent problem that we've been having. But there are rays of optimism. We've been seeing a double-digit decrease over the past few years, and we're really looking forward to seeing what the numbers are looking like this year," said Isaacson. 

Isaacson said he is proud of his community and even prouder of the people who came to show their support for those who might be suffering. 

"We're a strong community and I feel that sometimes we have a tendency to think we always have to be strong and it's OK not to be. So we wanted to remind people that it's OK not to be. So by showing people messages of hope and resilience, we're hoping that resonates with people and allows people to reach out to their loved ones and to let them know that their life is valued and not their death," said Isaacson. 

He also had a parting message is for individuals who might be struggling to reach out to family, and anyone they may feel comfortable speaking with. 

"To reach out to your loved one and that communication really works. There's a real connection between reaching out to your loved ones and making a difference in areas of suicide prevention," said Isaacson. 

Isaacson said you can also find multiple resources for help on the coalition's website.

The National Suicide Prevention Hotline is open 24/7 for anyone experiencing a mental health crisis. That number is 1-800-273-8255.

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