Dear editor,

September is National Suicide Prevention Awarness Month. This is a time for each of us to reach out to those around us and take steps to prevent suicide. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevetion’s Theme for the month is “Together, we can help #StopSuicide.”

One action I’m taking this month to help #StopSuicide is contacting my public officials and urging them to prioritize funding for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and our local crisis call centers. In July 2022, the new 988 number will be fully operational as the universal phone nunumber for the Natioanal Suicide Prevention Lifeline. This easy-to-rember three-digit number will increase access to the vital mental health and suicide crisis supports. Calls are also projected to increase substantially when the 988 number goes fully live. Now is the time to provide the funding to support our local crisis centers to meet the needs of more 988 callers.

Together, we can ensure that everyone in crisis has access to care should they need it.

Together, we can help #StopSuicide.

Red beans and ricely yours,

CYNTHIA ELMER

NEW IBERIA

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