Columbia woman pushing for suicide prevention through car tagging
COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Following the news of Kate Spade's and Anthony Bourdain's deaths, one Rosewood woman decided to take a stand.
If you're driving around the Midlands, you may soon see cars tagged with the suicide lifeline number.
Amanda Hazen says the main purpose of her grassroots movement is to get people to start talking.
It started out as a challenge — to keep the message on your car for a week in hopes to get people around you on the road to nudge each other and bring attention to the issue.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States and is one of only three causes that are on the rise. 44,000 Americans die by suicide each year, and there is one death by suicide for every 25 attempts.
With two big names making headlines recently from suicide, Hazen says she wanted to do something to make a statement and help even just one person get through this.
"Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain are people we all want to be," Hazen said. "All the women in the world want to be like her, all the men in the world want that job, and if they're checking out and we're talking about them and we're not talking about all of the real people that we meet every day, day-to-day, we're not talking to each other and so I felt like maybe if we put this in our face, locally we could get conversations started here."
Hazen has tagged about 10 cars already and many people are in support.
"It was something that was super important me because I've been there," Taylor Pressley, who came out to get her car tagged, said. "I've used this line. I have, you know, been that person on the other end that needed that help."
For someone like Pressley, the ten digits saved her life.
"It's just the best support. They know the right words to say and the right things to do and where to get you in contact with to help you move forward," Pressley said.
Hazen says even if it's just one person who sees the message, it's another life saved.
If you or someone you know needs help, you can always call the suicide lifeline number 800-273-8255.
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