DECATUR — September is Suicide Prevention Month.

Suicide can be an uncomfortable topic and can bring a lot of fear, Jessica Smiley, a social worker at Heritage Behavioral Health Center, said.

In order to encourage conversation about suicide and mental health, Smiley said Heritage is screening "The S Word," a documentary that shows an intimate look at suicide attempt survivors who have turned their pain into actions and changed the way people talk about suicide. The film will be shown at 6 p.m. Wednesday, September 25 at the Decatur Public Library in the Madden Room.

Smiley said the documentary represents two words: suicide and silence.

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Screening the documentary will help give people an opportunity to talk about the topic of suicide, discuss mental health first aid to learn the signs and symptoms and learn ways to support loved ones, she said.

A guided discussion will follow the screening, including community members who have had family members die from suicide, Smiley said. She said a panel of professionals will be available to answer questions viewers may have about factors, prevalence and warning signs.

“It’s important to normalize it and know your thoughts don’t have to become actions,” Smiley said.

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Contact Kennedy Nolen at (217) 421-6985. Follow her on Twitter: @KNolenWrites


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