KNOX COUNTY, Tenn. — A Maryville woman is using her son's suicide to spread awareness for mental health issues in East Tennessee.
She's doing that with a phone number and a bench.
Annette Scott's son Andrew, 29, took his own life in March.
In July, she started reaching out to local parks and recreation departments to see about dedicating a bench to her son.
But she didn't want it to just be a memorial. She wanted action.
Now, a bench at the Cove at Concork Park says in all capital letters:
NEED HELP CALL THE NATIONAL SUICIDE LIFELINE
"Really it's just about people being aware that there is a number you can call," said Scott.
She and her older son, Matthew, come to the park often to see the bench and remember Andrew.
"I miss him. I just miss him and I wish he was here," said Annette Scott. "There's not a moment of the day that doesn't go by where I'm not thinking about him."
His family's hearts still hurting 7 months later.
"I still do talk to him sometimes and tell him about my day or how the kids are doing," said Matthew Scott. "I think he hears me for sure."
The Scotts don't want anyone else to go through this heartbreak.
That's why they took to the bench.
"I'm hoping a lot will come by and see the bench and know there's help," said Annette Scott.
She raised the money for the engraving and was able to put out this message through the Knox County Park Honors program.
In a statement, the parks department said:
"The Knox County Parks and Recreation Department is honored to help families preserve memories of their children through the parks honors program. And if this program can do just a small part, like providing a platform to raise awareness about suicide, then we’re more than happy to play a role."
Under the phone number, the plaque says "In Loving Memory of Andrew Scott" with his birthday.
And then at the bottom in all capital letters:
"That's really the message we want to get across to people, let them know that they matter that there's somebody out there that can care for them," said Matthew Scott. "Unfortunately it's too late for my brother now but if we can spread that message and it helps somebody else then that's what we really want to do."
Two more benches with the National Suicide Lifeline number are going up in parks in Maryville and Alcoa.
The Maryville-Aloca-Blount County Parks and Recreation office bought one of the plaques. Their director said they feel it's an important message to share.
If you or someone you know is struggling with the idea of suicide - there is help.
Please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
It's free and confidential. Lines are open 24-7.