Awareness around the Wiregrass for World Suicide Prevention Day

(WTVY News 4)
Published: Sep. 10, 2019 at 8:49 PM CDT
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World Suicide Prevention Day is September 10th and a "Shine the Light Vigil" hosted by the Alabama Chapter of American Foundation for suicide prevention was held at Landmark Park in Dothan to remember loved ones lost to suicide.

Some are survivors and other family members who lost loved ones to suicide spoke at the park.

"At nine years old I tried taking my life for the first time,” said Dothan Out of the Darkness Walk Chair Roxane Fuentes. “My second time I was going to jump out the window when my cousin actually opened the door and walked in and she stopped me. I feel I had a purpose and I was in the moment with her. I felt like somebody was there to notice me."

Roxane Fuentes works with the Alabama Chapter of American Foundation for suicide prevention, helping others cope with suicide.

Caitlynn Ward is an 11th grader at Rehobeth High School who suffered from depression and suicidal thoughts.

She's now the President of her school's Students Against Destructive Decisions group.

"I just realized I couldn't do it on my own, ... I was struggling going through a lot with family and school and I just couldn't do it, so I broke down and asked for help."

Much like Fuentes, Ward is now working to help those who struggle with feeling alone.

So, how can you recognize when someone is suicidal?

Signs include increased alcohol and drug use, isolation, giving away their prized possessions, or even mood shifting from sad to happy.

"It doesn't matter who you are. If you feel like somethings going on with that person reach out to them," said Spectracare Health Systems Prevention Coordinator.

Fuentes says escaping suicidal thoughts involves drastically modifying your thought patterns.

"I decided to take those negative thoughts and change it to positive and I wanted to help others going through it," said Fuentes.

The Wiregrass has several agencies to help those with thoughts of suicide like Spectracare, Living Waters, and the Wiregrass Suicide Prevention Program.

Dothan's Out of the Darkness Walk has been moved to November 17th at Dothan High School.