NAMI meeting to focus on suicide


NAMI Four County’s meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 7 will focus on the 10th leading cause of death in the United States — suicide.

Nicky Ferguson, a survivor of suicide and a member of the Four County Local Outreach to Survivors of Suicide (LOSS) team, will be the speaker. Using her own experience, she will discuss signs that may be overlooked when a loved one is considering suicide and explain the ripple effects that a suicide can have on family and friends.

In addition to her volunteer work on the LOSS team, Ferguson is a Fayette police officer.

When area law enforcement or coroners are called to what appears to be a suicide investigation, they typically contact the Four County LOSS team. Three LOSS team members will respond immediately to assist family members or friends who have lost a loved one to suicide by providing resources and support.

The September NAMI meeting, which is open to the public, will be held as both an in-person and virtual meeting starting at 7 p.m. at the Four County ADAMhs Board office, T-761 State Route 66 south of Archbold.

To register for the in-person meeting, please contact Wendy Jennings, NAMI executive director, at wendy@namifourcounty.org or by calling her at 419-405-3651.

Those attending the in-person meeting are strongly encouraged to wear a mask regardless of COVID vaccination status.

Persons who would rather participate virtually must also call or email Wendy Jennings to get the meeting link to NAMI’s Zoom account.

September is suicide awareness month. According to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2019 some 47,511 Americans died by suicide and an estimated 1.38 million attempts were made. Middle-aged white men had the highest suicide rate. And, white males accounted for nearly 70 percent of all suicide deaths in the United States in 2019.

NAMI Four County is an affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness. In addition to meetings held the first Tuesday every month, it provides free community education programs and offers free peer led support groups for family and friends of loved ones who have a mental illness as well as support groups for persons with a mental illness. All programming is free and open to the public.

For more information about NAMI’s fall programming and support group schedule, visit www.namifourcounty.org.