CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Organizations in the Charlotte area are taking matters into their own hands to try to help those at risk of taking their own lives by posting signs with the Suicide Prevention Lifeline on them.
The signs are popping up in parking decks and other popular places in uptown. It's a last step for officials to help those who are at risk of taking their own lives.
It's a painful reality that suicide rates are at an all-time high, jumping 33% in the last 19 years since they were first charted. There were more than 6,200 suicides among young people ages 15-24, and researchers say suicide is second-leading cause of death among young people between ages 15-34 in North Carolina.
"We've got to show empathy and compassion because you never know what someone's going through," said one local official.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has proposed a three-digit number, 988, for those who need to call the hotline. The FCC's staff made the recommendation to Congress, saying the shorter number would "likely make it easier for Americans in crisis to access potentially life-saving resources."
For now, Mecklenburg County leaders hope using the signs as a line of communication will help those people in need. Both local and federal officials are doing everything they can to try to stop those people from making a tragic decision.
You are not alone. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress. You can reach the crisis center at 1-800-273-8255.