Apr 29, 2024 - News

CDC director promotes mental health support in Nashville visit

CDC director Mandy Cohen

CDC director Mandy Cohen. Photo: Valerie Plesch/Bloomberg via Getty Images

CDC director Mandy Cohen visited Nashville Monday to see how Tennessee organizations work to bolster mental health and prevent suicides.

Why it matters: More than 1,200 people died by suicide in Tennessee in 2021, according to CDC data.

State of play: Cohen's visit comes days after the debut of the federal government's new suicide prevention strategy, which calls on communities to find ways to connect people in crisis with mental health care.

  • She met with Tennessee health officials and toured a Centerstone mental health clinic during her stop.

Zoom in: The CDC has put $3.2 million toward suicide prevention in Tennessee over the last four years. Those funds support training that seeks to expand awareness of suicide prevention resources and tips.

  • Training is aimed at everyone from co-workers and ER nurses to teachers and religious leaders.

What she's saying: Cohen tells Axios that the goal of investing in community-based prevention efforts is to meet people where they are.

  • "They may not walk in the door of a doctor's office, but they may be interacting at school or on a sports team or at church," Cohen says. "We want folks to know that there are resources out there."

If you or someone you know may be considering suicide, contact the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988 or the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741.

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