Suicide awareness, prevention vigil goes virtual in Clermont County

Online vigil held for those impacted by suicide in Clermont County

CLERMONT COUNTY, Ohio (FOX19) - A vigil was held in Batavia Thursday night on National Suicide Awareness Day to raise awareness and remember those affected by suicide.

It came during Clermont County’s Suicide Prevention Week.

The Clermont County Mental Health and Recovery Board has hosted the event, usually a candlelight vigil, for 19 years. This is the first time the event has gone virtual.

“It’s tough when you lose someone to suicide, as you know, it’s happened to me. I lost my grandmother to suicide, so I understand how that can impact a family,” Lee Ann Watson, Ph.D., said.

Over the Zoom call, Marriage and Family Therapist Melanie Palmer read off a list of Clermont County’s suicide victims over the last year, each poignantly marked with a first name, a date and a moment of silence: “Marcus, June 4, 2020 ... Christopher, June 14, 2020...”

Only the first names were read out of privacy concerns.

County officials say they hold the vigil every year in the hopes that one day they won’t have any names to read off at all.

“Prevention is possible,” Clermont County Commissioner Edwin Humphrey said. “Treatment is effective, and people do recover, and in these challenging times, messages of healing and hope are more needed than ever.”

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health or having suicidal thoughts, there is help available.

Mental health professionals are available 24/7 at the Clermont County Crisis Hotline: 513.528.SAVE.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 800.273.8255.

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