With September being Suicide Prevention Awareness month, Dawson County Family Connection decided to go with something unique this year, unveiling new banner with Suicide Prevention Awareness wings for community members to take photos with.
According to Dawson County Family Connection Coordinator Rebecca Bliss, the idea first came to Family Connection officials when they saw a similar setup, angel wings set up for photo opportunities at another business and to find a way to spin the idea for suicide prevention awareness.
“The idea of the wings came up as we were trying to find some sort of opportunity to find awareness; mental wellness is a new strategy for Dawson County Family Connection in response to the fact that Dawson County has been in the top five counties in Georgia as far as suicide is concerned,” Bliss said. “So we thought that it would be an uplifting way of bringing the idea of talking about suicide prevention, offering hope, and maybe something that would engage people of all ages.”
Bliss said because this is the first year the organization has done something like the wings, they were not sure how it would catch on, but since the official announcement, it has been welcomed by the community.
“I’m excited about how quickly others have gotten excited about it too and have been signing up to take part in the traveling wings,” Bliss said. “You throw your ideas out there and so far this one is sticking, so we’re excited.”
The colorful wings, similar to a butterfly’s wings, are symbolic of transition, perseverance, resilience and hope, Bliss said.
The wings also contain several different uplifting phrases, including “my story continues on”, “I am not alone” and “believe in me”, as well as a hashtag “#youmatter” for those who take pictures with the wings to tag their photos.
“They’re all words to say that you matter, you can get through this, and there’s hope for the future,” Bliss said. “And we’re looking forward to seeing all the hashtags where people share it on social media as well.”
The wings will make their first appearance in the community this Friday, Sept. 3, at the City of Dawsonville’s Food Truck Friday event at Main Street Park. Bliss said that, after this first event, there will be many opportunities for community members to take photos with the wings at other public places.
“We’ve gotten a lot of support so far; the first place they’re gonna be is Food Truck Fridays and then they’re gonna be at the junior high, the high school, Rock Creek Park, the senior center and the library,” Bliss said. “So we’re excited.”
If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts or needs someone to talk to, call 1-800-273-TALK or text the word “HOME” to 741741. For information about where in Dawson County the Suicide Prevention Awareness wings will be or for questions about how to reserve the wings for your event, call Dawson County Family Connection at (706)-265-1981.