SAN ANTONIO – “I lost my father to suicide in 2010,” stated Greg Watson from San Antonio.
Watson was 21 on the time.
“I ended up turning to my own self medication and grief and it was difficult to get outside of that,” Watson stated.
He realizes now, he didn’t need to grieve alone and is ensuring others see that.
He’s a board member for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (or AFSP) South Texas chapter.
“Really feeling that sense of community and connection is important,” he stated.
Suicide is the twelfth leading cause of death in the United States, and the eleventh in Texas and Bexar County.
However, it’s the 2nd leading cause of death for people ages 10-34 in Texas and Bexar County.
Local AFSP Chair Julia Hewitt is aware of that first hand.
She tried suicide when she was in that age group.
“I grew up with a parent who struggled continuously, still does. I also suffered the loss of a close friend and that definitely leaves you with more questions than answers,” Hewitt stated.
Trying to seek out these solutions might take skilled assist, and she or he stated that’s okay.
She stated AFSP is taking statistics into consideration and creating applications aimed on the susceptible populations.
“We’ve had a lot of school districts reaching out to us, we have a lot of colleges that partner with us, we do college walks, campus walks,” Hewitt stated.
She stated their hottest program is known as Talk Saves Lives.
“That can be used by workplaces, LGBTQ+ communities, elderly communities, there’s a firearms prevention version of that,” Hewitt defined.
There are additionally annual occasions, like Survivor Day and the Out of the Darkness stroll.
If you’re not an individual who needs to get out and go to occasions or remedy periods in individual, there are tons of apps you should use in your cellphone or computer.
Watson stated the pandemic introduced a silver lining.
“All of the sudden these mental health and tele health apps started booming,” he stated.
Hewitt and Watson are additionally each thrilled in regards to the model new three digit suicide help line.
Instead of dialing a toll free 1-800 quantity, now all it’s a must to dial is 988. You may also at all times textual content 741741.
“It went live on July 16th and that was one of our biggest wins because it’s a more efficient way to connect those who are actively struggling to people that are right there in the community,” Hewitt stated.
“Giving yourself that grace and getting outside of your comfort zone,” Watson stated.
The first time he put himself on the market was when he timidly determined to go to AFSP’s Survivor Day 5 years in the past.
“It was such an incredible day. They had a bunch of other survivors there and speakers talking about grief work and some art therapy and stuff.
It was just the overall community there that felt like home,” he stated.
If you need to take part in the upcoming AFSP stroll, head to the registration page on their web site.
If you need to learn the way to assist somebody who’s struggling or in danger, in order for you assist grieving the loss of a cherished one, and even if you wish to get entangled in suicide prevention laws, head to the AFSP website.
For different questions on AFSP South Texas, e mail [email protected]
If you or somebody is struggling or in disaster, textual content 741741 or name 988.
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