Tennessee campaign aims to prevent overdose, suicide deaths

Tennessee campaign aims to prevent overdose, suicide deaths

The Tennessee Department of Health and the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (TDMHSAS) recently launched ResilienTN, a month-long campaign focused on preventing overdose fatalities and suicide.

The campaign will use virtual training and events, social media outreach, and media messaging to provide residents with resources to help themselves and others. The campaign will also offer events on addiction recovery efforts and suicide prevention on college campuses and will provide training statewide on overdose reversal and suicide prevention.

“Resilience is a key focus of our department’s mission and vision, and it’s an essential part of life during the pandemic,” TDMHSAS Commissioner Marie Williams said. “Resilience tells us, ‘I’ve been through tough times before, so I can handle this.’ By drawing attention to the tragic loss of life through overdose and suicide in our state, we are hoping to encourage Tennesseans to draw upon the resilience they have inside themselves, their families, workplaces, and communities to prevent another family from feeling that pain.”

In Tennessee, overdose deaths grew 15 percent between 2018 and 2019, with deaths expected to surpass that rate this year. There were 1,159 suicide deaths in 2018.

Nonfatal opioid overdoses are increasing this year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.