Savannah, Ga. (WTGS) — September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month and experts are saying the pandemic has really taken a toll on people’s mental health.
Since the start of the pandemic, Prevent Suicide Today Program Director Vira Salzburn says the pandemic has been negatively impacting communities, individuals, and families. She has gotten more calls asking for help.
"Personally, I've been receiving a lot of calls on my work phone from individuals just seeking help and looking up our information or just looking up suicide prevention information locally," she said.
These phone calls are more than all of 2019.
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention recently did a survey about mental health and specifically suicide during the pandemic. 80% of people out of that survey agreed that suicide prevention needs to be a priority nationally.
Salzburn believes the pandemic has led to more people learning about the importance of mental health
"Suicide is the second leading cause of death for ages 10 to 34 in Georgia," she said.
In Chatham County, specifically, Salzburn says her office has seen an increase in suicide over the past three years. During the month of September, they help spread awareness of the resources within the community. For more information on those resources click here.
She says especially now more than ever it is important to equip people with the knowledge they need to help save lives.