SWGA organization plans candlelight vigils for World Suicide Prevention Day

SWGA organization plans candlelight vigils for World Suicide Prevention Day

ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Tuesday, September 10 marks World Suicide Prevention Day, and dozens of people in southwest Georgia plan to gather to shine a light on what is the tenth leading cause of death in the U.S., according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

Michelle Cope, a Moultrie resident, found “The Yellow Elephant” in 2015 after her friend committed suicide.

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“...the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness will not overcome it...” John 1:5 | That’s the verse organizers at @theyellowelephantmovement lean on to tackle a cause that’s close to the hearts of many (including myself) but is often difficult to discuss: suicide prevention. Tuesday night, from 6 to 8 pm, dozens will gather in #SWGA and in #England to raise their voices against suicide. It’s part of #WorldSuicideAwarenessDay, #SuicidePreventionWeek & #SuicidePreventionAwarenessMonth. Michelle Cope (pictured on the left in the second photo) founded the Yellow Elephant after her friend committed suicide several years back. The elephant stands for “the elephant in the room.” She hopes that it will be a beacon for anyone who may be struggling and sees an elephant decal somewhere around SWGA - that they are not alone. Cope hopes this organization and the events Tuesday night will help save lives - by reaching those who may be struggling and empowering their loved ones to reach out and ask the important questions. Flyers for the events in #Valdosta & #Cordele are attached. All events happen from 6-8 pm Tuesday, Sept. 10. In #Moultrie, the event is happening on the square. If you or someone you know is struggling, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. . . . . . . #bethelight #theyellowelephant #endthestigma #mentalhealth #swga #sowega #ga #georgia #suicideprevention #suicidepreventionawareness #mentalhealthawareness #cordelega #valdostaga #moultriega

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On Tuesday night, the organization will host three events in southwest Georgia.

Cope said she hopes to encourage people to talk about suicide with their loved ones who may be struggling.

“There’s such a stigma by talking about it,” Cope said. “People are fearful that if you talk about it, it will cause ideas, but it’s the exact opposite. It actually starts that conversation and shows that, okay, (it’s) a safe space.”

The Yellow Elephant’s “Be the Light Night” events are scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at the following locations:

  • Cordele, Crisp County Football Field at 1116 E. 24th St.
  • Moultrie, Courthouse Square at 1 N. Main St.
  • Valdosta, Courthouse Square (Old Lowndes County Courthouse) at 108 E. Central Ave.

The events are free and open for anyone to attend.

Organizers plan to hold candlelight vigils around 7:50 p.m. at each location.

A fourth event in connection with The Yellow Elephant is happening in England as well.

If you or someone you know is suffering or considering suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1 (800) 273-8255.

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