Suicide Prevention Expo brings heavy topic to Marion Square - WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

Suicide Prevention Expo brings heavy topic to Marion Square

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It was a bright day at Marion Square Saturday.

There were many smiling, cheerful faces at the fifth annual Suicide Prevention Expo, once again working to bring a dark subject to light.

"Too often things related to depression and anxiety, and ultimately suicide are swept under the rug and people suffer in silence so we come out and connect with people and what we find it oftentimes there's people really looking for help and they just needed that nudge," the outreach coordinator from Charleston Dorchester Mental Health Center, David Diana said

Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in this country.

"When you consider all the diseases that people can pass away from it's a very high number," Dr. Mark De Santis, suicide prevention coordinator for the Ralph Johnson VA Medical Center in Charleston. "There's a number of things to look for with suicide, for example hopelessness and purpose seem to be two big factors."

Suicide doesn't discriminate on age, gender, ethnicity or background, but it is on the rise among those returning from war.

"So if you can instill hopefulness with an individual and restore purposefulness you'll actually be able to help them," De Santis said.

Therefore by bringing suicide prevention specialists to the forefront on a busy Saturday at Marion Square, these groups are hoping to reach people who might be too embarrassed to say something.

"So if you're a family member and you're concerned about somebody or a friend then don't stay silent," Diana said.

Instead contact any crisis hotline.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Veterans Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255 (press 1)

October 27th is the Out of the Darkness Charleston walk at Hampton Park. Click here to register.

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