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Bikers raising awareness for Suicide Prevention Month on Saturday in Zachary

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ZACHARY - Residents of Zachary are revving up their engines to ride and raise awareness of suicide prevention. 

"We want to make sure that the community as well as bikers are informed about the affects of suicide in the community and worldwide," Dr. Christy Mamou, event coordinator for the Suicide Awareness Bike Ride, said.

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness month, and the Women Riding With Authority group and City of Zachary are holding a bike ride Saturday, Sept. 24 for the cause.

"This event is also to bring light and joy and happiness back to other that are going through situations where they have thought about suicide, where there are family members who have actually lost someone to suicide so they're dealing with those various issues," Dr. Mamou said.

For some, it hits close to home.

"Twenty-two vets a day commit suicide from PTSD and disorders like that so, it kind of hits home all the time being a retired Navy chief," president of the Louisiana Chapter Seven Red Knights, Lyle Filey, said.

"I had an aunt that was very close to me years ago, it was a rude awakening as to the fact that you don't think about it until it happens to you and I encourage people, become aware, don't wait until you become the family member that has to deal with the grief of losing a family member and wishing you had gotten involved," Mary Landry, who works for the City of Zachary, said.

According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, nearly 46,000 suicides were reported in 2020. The alarming rates are the reason why Dr. Mamou wants the Zachary community to be aware of the trend.

"You have those that are dealing with financial issues, those that are dealing with mental health issues, are unaware of how to get treated or are ashamed to get treated," Dr. Mamou said.

And come Saturday, it'll be a good place to gather and also find a helping hand.

"If you need help, you are not alone, it's nothing to be ashamed of. Please, please reach out and get help."

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