September is National Suicide Prevention Month. Suicide can be a tough subject to address but one that needs attention.
Thanks to local nonprofit organization S.O.A.R. Inc., there is an open line of communication available, and no topic is too big, too small or too uncomfortable to talk about.
S.O.A.R. Inc. founder Andrus Love created a local helpline that is available to anyone who is struggling or may have thoughts of suicide.
According to Love, there are a few things to look for if you think someone may be struggling with suicidal thoughts.
"There are warning signs," Love said. "All suicide attempts are a cry for help."
If someone suddenly begins giving his or her belongings away, this could be a warning sign. The color clothing a person wears can often mirror the emotions they feel.
"There are certain things that you can pick up and dial in on a little deeper," he said.
Not only is Love skilled in counseling, but he understands the area and issues community members can face.
Love graduated from Reeltown High School in 1995. After high school, he attended the University of Alabama at Birmingham where he earned his undergraduate degree in criminal justice and sociology. He earned his master's degree in clinical phycology and counseling at Troy
University. With working in juvenile probation with the Alabama Department of Corrections and the Department of Human Resources in neighboring Macon County, Love has over 12 years in youth services.
"I'm utilizing my education and experience and trying to give back to where I am from," Love said. "This is where I am from and this is the motivation."
While he has a lot of experience in youth services, Love said this crisis line is open and available to everyone.
So often suicide is a topic no one wants to discuss — something Love said has to change.
"In our society, we don't talk about suicide,” Love said. “It's hidden but I am trying to change that. One of my objectives is to get things out in the open because we are faced with so much in the homes, in the community, and in the schools. Let's address these issues."
If you or someone you know may be struggling with thoughts of suicide, you are urged to call the crisis line. To reach the S.O.A.R. Inc. helpline call, 334-354-9745.
"My line is always open," Love said.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be reached at 800-273-8255. Those seeking help can also talk to a counselor online via suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chat.