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Forsyth County leaders hold community discussion about suicide

Tuesday, leaders with Forsyth County are welcoming you to a free community discussion centered around preventing suicide.

It is the second leading cause of death for North Carolinians for ages 10 to 34.

Andy Hagler is the executive director of the mental health association in Forsyth County. He says discussing mental health awareness is important now more than ever.

"It's to really create that awareness and bring it to the forefront and to really have some discussion about suicide," Hagler said. "Because we know that about 90% of individuals who sadly die from suicide had some type of mental health issue going on, whether they were in treatment or whether they were not in treatment."

Another important component of the discussion is knowing the resources available around Forsyth County if needed.

"Whether it's through the 'B.E.A.R team, which is new through the city of Winston-Salem, or whether it's through the mobile integrated health, which is through Forsyth EMS," Hagler said. "We also have a walk-in urgent care center and 24/7 hour mobile crisis service."

Overall, Hagler says he hopes Tuesday's event allows for more open conversations, but also, helps to remove the stigma around mental health and suicide.

"Because the more that we can break down the stigma, then the greater the likelihood that somebody is going to want to get services, get help, talk about it go to a trusted friend or pastor a mental health professional, somebody just to talk and get connected to services," Hagler said.

For those that want to attend the event, it will take place at the Central library auditorium beginning at 5:45 p.m.. Mental health professionals will be on site.

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