Bay Co. Sheriff Speaks Out on Suicide Prevention Awareness

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Suicide is a topic that’s sometimes hard to talk about, but Bay County Sheriff Tommy Ford found himself Friday reaching out to the community.

“At one time, we were responding to four different suicide related calls here in Bay County, just in the unincorporated areas of the county, and it just really struck me,” Ford said.

Ford posted on Facebook, writing “this is tragic. For each suicide, there are so many left behind, trying to make sense of this tragedy.”

Last year, he said sheriff’s deputies responded to more than 250 suicide related calls.

“All walks of life, it’s across the board,” Ford said about the people and families affected by suicide.

Ford said he’s committed to ensuring all deputies receive Crisis Intervention Training to recognize the signs and symptoms of a mental health crisis but also urges family and friends to watch out for their loved ones.

He wants everyone to know they are not alone.

“If someone is talking about suicide, don’t ignore that. Take them seriously and work to get them the help that they need,” Ford said.

If you or someone you know is in need of help, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline number at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

The Life Management Center of Northwest Florida also has a 24-Hour Crisis Line: (850) 522-4485.

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