LYNN HAVEN, Fla. (WMBB)– Thursday, is World Suicide Prevention Day and according to save.org, one American becomes a victim nearly every 12 minutes.
It’s a statistic that hits home for Lynn Haven local Karen Abrahams — this coming Sunday will mark 13 years since her son, Alex, took his life when he was only 17-years-old.
“He had a girlfriend, a job, he was a senior in high school, and what I thought everything going for him,” Abrahams said.
Abrahams said her son was a typical teenage boy with a wicked sense of humor.
“He was full of life,” she said.
Like so many others who have lost someone to suicide, Abrahams said she missed out on what could’ve been signs. If she’d been more aware of the possible signs, she hopes she would’ve been able to give her son the help he needed.
“A lot of the ‘signs’ can also be typical teenage behavior, like pulling away from family, many teens do this- experimenting with drugs and alcohol, sleeping for longer periods of time,” were just a few signs Abrahams mentioned to be on the look out for.
After Alex’s death, Abrahams founded “SPARE” which stands for Suicide Prevention Awareness Response and Education. The hope is to spread the word and prevent suicide.
“It’s one of the top causes of death, but we don’t talk about it, it’s something we don’t talk about since most people are uncomfortable with it,” Trisha Pearce, Chair of SPARE said.
Pearce said to be on the lookout for other signs like pulling away from family or giving away possessions. But most importantly, not to be afraid to start a conversation with someone who you suspect might be suicidal.
“Don’t be afraid to ask them if they are thinking about suicide. A lot of people are afraid to ask that because they feel it will put that idea in their head, but what they found is it let’s people know that you care,” Pearce said.
SPARE has had to cancel many of their in person events due to COVID-19, but they are still meeting virtually on there Facebook page, here.
The National Suicide Prevention Hotline can be reached at 1-800-273-8255.