TISHOMINGO, Okla. (KXII) September 10 is World Suicide Prevention Day, and the community of Tishomingo recognized it with an awareness walk.
"We've had so many suicides in our little bitty town here it's unbelievable. Events like these raise awareness of that and it makes it not so secretive and it brings it out in the open,” says Tommie Postoak, the event speaker.
The third annual Suicide Awareness Month Walk didn't happen to raise money. The Chickasaw Nation just wants people to talk about mental health.
Coordinators say this year is their biggest turn out yet, but there's a big reason for that.
"Johnston County ranks number 1 for suicide, so we host these events to kind of create awareness. We need a lot of support and a lot of people rallying it. We need people in our community to know that there's resources out there for help,” says coordinator Laura Wood.
Just before the mile-long walk, Postoak, a survivor of suicide, told her story
"If I can come out here and share this story with someone and let them know they're not alone, then it makes a difference and I can open up and share that. It is a hard subject to talk about, but if I can make a difference in somebody else's life so they don't have to go through what we went through then it makes a difference,” she says.
Postoak hopes attending awareness events and being open to conversation can encourage positive change in communities like Tishomingo.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline toll-free number is 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Crisis counselors are available 24/7 for confidential help. More information can be found on their website