ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) — Three weeks ago, there was a viral movement to find Savannah Sheats, 26, missing.
“It was 36 hours of fury,” said David Sheats, Savannah’s father.
Atlanta police have released a missing person report for Sheats, a University of Georgia graduate.
Within two days, Savannah’s body was found in her car, parked less than two miles from her home.
Officials said she committed suicide.
“She had a new job, a good boyfriend, everything was fine. Based on what we’ve seen,” David Sheats said in an interview with CBS46 on Monday. “But what was going on here [pointing to his chest]? I don’t know what more I could have done. »
David Sheats said his daughter had struggled with depression for years. She sought help from psychiatrists.
Sheats said he didn’t realize the true depression his daughter was having.
“It’s like an ebb and flow. You don’t know when he’s coming or coming back,” Sheats said.
David now wears a bracelet promoting NAMI Northside, an Atlanta organization for people with mental illness.
According to the latest data from the CDC, suicide is the third leading cause of death among Georgians between the ages of 10 and 34.
In July, HB 1013 came into effect.
Among other things, it obliges private insurers to cover mental illnesses in the same way as they cover physical ailments.
“They’ve been demoralized for a while, working in a system that’s the latest death in the country,” he said. “They see an opportunity for change and hope, and I think that will change the system itself,” said Chris Johnson, director of communications for the Georgia Mental Health Consumer Network.
The legislation opens the door to other resources in the state, including facilities, programming, monetary grants, research and data.
Law enforcement is also stepping up efforts to disseminate suicide prevention information.
On Thursday, the John’s Creek Police Department will host a suicide prevention event at John’s Creek Baptist Church from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
On Saturday, Skyland Trail – a mental health treatment center, will host a 5k run/walk, in aid of mental health treatment.
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