Mental health resources available to Lauderdale County residents in need

WAFF's Savannah Sapp reporting
Published: Jan. 18, 2023 at 7:25 PM CST
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FLORENCE, Ala. (WAFF) - Many Florence and Muscle Shoals residents are shocked and saddened by two recent, very public acts of self-harm.

Lauderdale County Sheriff Joe Hamilton is speaking out about the increased number of people committing acts of self-harm in the area.

“Over the past couple of weeks, we have seen a slight increase in our suicide rate. Generally speaking, you will see more suicides around holidays, especially Thanksgiving and Christmas,” Hamilton said.

Such events are not exclusive to one demographic. Hamilton says everyone from teens to seniors is vulnerable to crises, but his deputies are there to help.

“We have deputies assigned and trained to help people with mental health problems. We do that in association with the probate judge’s office and they’re selected through interview, and they do receive special training within the area,” Hamilton said.

In other words, deputies are hand-selected in order to serve and protect those who are struggling with mental health.

Karen Grisham is the director of the Healing Place in Muscle Shoals. The Healing Place offers resources and support to those experiencing tragedy or grief, yet Grisham says her nonprofit organization is a safe haven for anyone.

“We have seen an increase in the need for our services. We have received calls for several people who have family members who have died by suicide.”

Grisham urges people to reach out before it’s too late.

“It’s okay to seek professional help. I feel like most people feel like if we all shared our stories that you know made it more okay. And let people know that it’s normal to struggle, that you’re not alone, and that there are people here to help,” said Grisham

Workers at the Healing Place will help anyone who needs help dealing with their struggles or grief.

“We provide support groups and individual sessions for the children, teens and their caregivers here at the Healing Place.”

Services like those offered by the sheriff’s office and The Healing Place are free.

Additionally, if you feel that you are in a crisis at any point, dial the 988 Crisis Lifeline.