‘Silent Watch’ Planned for Suicide Prevention in September

Linda Masters, left, discusses the Monroe County Suicide Prevention Coalition’s “A Silent Watch” with commissioners Mark Schumacher, Carl Davis and Tim Price.

As a part of a suicide prevention campaign, the Monroe County Suicide Prevention Coalition is planning “Silent Watch” to take place in September.

Linda Masters, MCSPC, came before the Monroe County Board of Commissioners Monday in hopes of holding the “Silent Watch” event outside of the courthouse.

“We’re hoping to have it here in front of the courthouse, with your permission,” she directed at the commissioners.

The idea was given to her by Anthony McSwords, who works at the Veterans Office, she said. A flag-draped casket will be placed outside of the courthouse with a person standing on either end of the casket in order to promote suicide awareness, Masters explained.

“We’re asking people to volunteer to stand for 20 minutes. Anthony (McSwords) is working on getting veterans to participate. Jayn Devaney, from the Mental Health and Recovery Board is working on getting agencies to come and stand to represent the agencies. I’m going to work on citizen volunteers,” Masters said.

Around 60 volunteers will be needed for the event. Each volunteer will stand for around 20 minutes.

An awning will also be present that will hold preventive information for veterans and residents.

“I believe Anthony told me that the veteran statistics are 22 veterans commit suicide every day,” Masters said.

Since 2010, 21 Monroe County residents have died by suicide, she said.

“We would like to have a banner stating those numbers, just for awareness,” she said.

A week prior to the event, Masters said she would like to have a proclamation read and signed by commissioners stating the day be proclaimed Suicide Awareness Day.

The event will take place from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 10, coinciding with World Suicide Prevention Day.

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