Local leaders join international proclamation of Survivor of Suicide Loss Day

IREDELL COUNTY, N.C. — Leaders from towns throughout Iredell County signed a joint proclamation to make Nov. 18 the official Survivor of Suicide Loss Day.

“Suicide loss is not unique to Mooresville. It is not unique to Iredell County. But our communities can come together to raise awareness about suicide prevention, mental health, and wellness,” noted Town of Mooresville Mayor Miles Atkins.

Atkins was joined by Iredell County Board of Commissioners Chair, the Mayor of Troutman, the Mayor of Statesville, and the Field Advocate for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention on Tuesday for the signing.

The proclamation follows an international move to recognize a day of healing for those who have lost a loved one to suicide.

“Our words are powerful and talking about suicide is powerful,” said Iredell County Board of Commissioners Chair Melissa Neader.

Suicide is a leading cause of death in the United States. In 2022, 49,449 people died by suicide and nearly 50% of people know someone who died by suicide in their lifetime.

“The key is talking and not being afraid to talk about things that forever in our lives have been stigmatized,” said Susan Tolle, Field Advocate for AFSP. “We have to all know the warning signs, we have to all know the risk factors, and have to talk.”

Find resources on preventing suicide loss, support for those affected by suicide loss, and other resources at afsp.org/.

For a 24/7 suicide and crisis lifeline, call or text 988 for free and confidential support.

(WATCH: Cabarrus Co. hosts first 5K aimed at spreading awareness about suicide)