The 10th Annual Suicide Awareness Banquet, "Celebrating Ten Years of Hope" took place this evening at Colburn United Methodist Church.
Keynote speakers were Sandra Harstine and Russ Crabtree. Both were instrumental in developing the regions five suicide prevention coalitions.
"I’m going to be talking a little bit about the epidemic of suicide and how serious this is in our country," said Crabtree, Director of ‘Best Minds’. "It’s kind of an unrecognized problem still in many part of our society "
Ten percent of american adults suffer from depression and more than thirty-eight-thousand people complete suicide each year. Many of the people represented by these statistics were part of a church community. The focus of discussion at this year’s banquet was ways churches can address suicide.
"I’m going to be talking specifically about faith communities and what I do with faith communities, I generally spend a day with pastors and leaders and help them look at the myths for example in the Bible, kind of the ideas that people have about what’s in the bible about suicide. If you can say the word suicide in a sentence, you can save a life," said Crabtree. The title of his message was "Saving Jonah and Other People of Faith".
There were about 120 attendees. The banquet was hosted by suicide prevention coalitions represented in Coshocton, Gurnsey, Morgan, Muskingum and Perry counties.