In Focus: Suicide Prevention Awareness Month and upcoming Alzheimer’s walk

According to the CDC, in 2020, every 11 minutes, someone committed suicide.
According to the CDC, in 2020, every 11 minutes, someone committed suicide.
Published: Sep. 27, 2022 at 7:55 PM EDT
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BLUEFIELD, W.Va. (WVVA) - On the Sun. Sept. 25 edition of In Focus, WVVA put the spotlight on two things. First, September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. According to the CDC, in 2020, nearly 46,000 people committed suicide, which amounts to one death every 11 minutes.

Two women spoke to WVVA about how they lost family members and friends to suicide. Sara Yoke, with Beckley VA Medical Center and Michelle Toman, a trainer, facilitator and motivational speaker, shared their stories and also gave advice on how to help someone who may be in distress, including veterans.

“With a veteran, they might feel isolated or threatened or defensive so having validating statements is really important, making sure they don’t feel alone,” said Yoke.

Both women also spoke about the 988 crisis line, which is available right now for anyone who needs it. They can call or text 988.

NOTE: The Walk to End Alzheimer’s event scheduled for Sat. Oct. 1 at the Pavilion in downtown Bluefield, WV has been rescheduled. It will now be held Friday Oct. 21 at noon at the Chuck Mathena Center in Princeton, WV.

For more information, go here.

In Focus is a community affairs show about people and events in West Virginia and Virginia. It airs every Sunday at 9 a.m. If you would like to be interviewed for the show or if you have an idea for a segment, email evening anchor/content manager Melinda Zosh at