Holding hands in support

Two people hold hands in support.

When Patti Reynolds-Brush and her husband Nick lost their 25-year-old son to suicide two years ago, a presentation such as Talk Saves Lives might have helped them.

A 45-minute program under the umbrella of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention [AFSP], Talk Saves Lives covers what is known about suicide, the most up-to-date research on prevention, the common risk factors for suicide and how to spot the warning signs in others.

The Talk Saves Lives presentation will he held Thursday, Feb. 27, at 6:30 p.m. at Myrtle Beach Christian Church, 1226 Burcale Road.

This one-time event will be presented by LeAnne Hardy, a local advocate and newly-elected board member with the AFSP who lost a brother to suicide in 2013.

For more information about the Talk Saves Lives presentation, call Hardy at 843-813-4526.

“It’s not easy, not with the flashbacks and the constant reminders, it’s a pain that crushes the heart and shatters the soul,” Reynolds-Brush said about surviving the suicide of a loved one.

“If we can come together and learn more about suicide prevention, we can make a difference,” she said.

According to the AFSP, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in South Carolina and the second leading cause of death for South Carolinians between 15-34 years old.

In 2019, there were 838 deaths by suicide in the state.

More than twice as many people died by suicide in South Carolina in 2017 than in alcohol-related car accidents.

On average, every 10 hours, someone in South Carolina dies by suicide.

Behaviors that may indicate a person is at risk of suicide, according to the AFSP, include talking about wanting to die, searching online for ways to get a gun and talking about feelings of hopelessness.

Other indicators include talking about being a burden to others, increasing the use of alcohol or drugs and displaying extreme mood swings.

If you or someone you know is at risk of suicide, call 1-800-273-8255. Help is available.

The Talk Saves Lives presentation is free and open to everyone.

Reynolds-Brush said it’s not just for people wanting information about how to help others.

“People who suffer from anxiety or depression and may have suicidal thoughts need to know they’re not alone, and they are welcome.”

A support group for people who’ve lost a loved one to suicide, Survivors of Suicide Loss - Myrtle Beach, meets the third Tuesday of each month at the YMCA in Myrtle Beach at 6:15 p.m.

“We are working hand-in-hand with it,” Valerie White, the support group facilitator, said about the Talk Saves Lives presentation.

For more information about Survivors of Suicide Loss – Myrtle Beach, call White at 1-336-707-0022.

Hardy said this Talk Saves Lives presentation happens to be at a church, but she can make a similar presentation anywhere.

“We want to educate the community to learn the warning signs of someone at risk for suicide and how to have a real conversation with someone we think is at risk.”

“Unfortunately, people who don’t understand about suicide loss because they’ve never been exposed to it tend to make judgments,” Reynolds-Brush said.

“If we knew about something like this a while back, it definitely would have helped.”

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