The "Never Alone" suicide awareness program was Thursday evening at Cumberland University.

About 60 people attended the ninth annual event, which was sponsored by the Wilson County Health Council and was designed to remember those who have been lost to suicide and to the survivors.

Musical performances were from the Immanuel Baptist Church Ignite Choir and Jeremiah Bender, a student at Cumberland University. One of guest speakers was Deb Martin, who is the founder of Jared's Keepers and mother of Jared, who died by suicide at the age of 17.

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month and local government leaders have declared it as such in all parts of Wilson County as well.

"We must continue to fight the stigma associated with seeking mental health care when a person is feeling like there is no hope," said Brenda Harper, Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network Advisory Council co-chair, in an email. "In Tennessee alone, we lost 1,163 people to death by suicide in 2017. Twenty-two of these were in Wilson County."

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