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C.O.R.E. hopes to bring suicide issues to light

Times Observer photo by Josh Cotton Signs like this one advertising Suicide Prevention Month are up in several places around Warren County.

The impacts of COVID-19 go beyond cough, fever, and difficulty breathing.

Anxiety, depression, and suicides are up over the past several months.

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month and C.O.R.E. — Choosing Openness Regarding Experiences — is hoping to bring issues to light.

“I want to reach out to community members and let them talk to us about what’s going on with them and what they might need,” C.O.R.E. Founder Kari Swanson said. “There have been elevated numbers in mental health, anxiety and depression, and the suicide numbers have gone up.”

C.O.R.E. has taken several steps to spread the word and help people.

“There are five suicide prevention billboards around Warren County that C.O.R.E. purchased and put up,” she said. “There are suicide prevention T-shirts that are being sold through C.O.R.E.”

And, there will be a ‘Let’s Talk’ event at 6 p.m. Monday, Sept. 21, at First United Methodist Church in Warren.

“The goal of that is to allow people to express whatever it is that they’re feeling, let them know what services are available, and to let them know about coping skills,” Swanson said.

“The agencies that will be represented will be Forest Warren Human Services, LOVE Inc., Beacon Light, the Achievement Center, and Family Services of Warren County,” she said. “”The topic is going to be whatever people want to talk about. It’s to provide support to people during the pandemic.”

Added stress is not on the agenda, so there will be all the typical COVID precautions – temperature checks, distancing, and masks.

With distancing in effect, seating will be limited.

“We’ll open it to the first 20 that register,” Swanson said. “If more register, we will offer another night.”

Those who are interested may call the church office at 723-4930 to register.

The annual Suicide Prevention Walk was not held this year due to the pandemic.

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