Parish President Proclaims Sept. 7-13 as Suicide Prevention Week in Ascension Parish

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen
Shown from left to right are: Ascension Parish President Tommy Martinez, Ascension Counseling Center Director Suzanne Hamilton and Dawnyelle Bennett.

Ascension Parish President announced the week of Sept. 7-13 is “Suicide Prevention Week in Ascension Parish.” President Martinez made the announcement while reading a parish proclamation at the Parish Council meeting in Donaldsonville on Sept. 4. Director Suzanne Hamilton and Dawnyelle Bennett with the Ascension Counseling Center received the parish proclamation from President Martinez. Director Hamilton announced the Ascension Counseling Center will be hosting a “Walk to Prevent Suicide” on Wednesday, Sept. 10 at 4:30 p.m. at the East Ascension High School Track. Hamilton said they are holding the event to raise awareness for suicide prevention. The walk is free and open to the public. According to the International Association of Suicide Prevention, more than 800,000 people worldwide die from suicide. Figures show roughly one death occurs every 40 seconds. In 2012, suicide was the fifth leading cause of death among those aged 30 to 49 years and the second leading cause of death among those aged 15 to 29 years. Overall globally, it is estimated that during 2012, for each adult who died from suicide, there were over 20 others who made a suicide attempt. “Our message with this walk is to show we are committed to preventing suicide,” Hamilton said. “All of our counselors have received advance training in suicide risk detection, so if you or someone you know is feeling suicidal, or you suspect someone is suicidal, they can come into our office and have a suicide risk assessment. And those can be on an emergency walk-in basis.” Hamilton said those services are offered free of charge.