This week marks National Suicide Prevention Week. One local suicide survivor is working to bring awareness to the issue with open dialogue and conversation. Here are some ways you can help:
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Ellen Eggert who once attempted suicide is working to combat the issue here locally.
"There is hope and the days get better. I am an attempt survivor and I run the crisis hotline now," said Eggert.
That hope driving her in her work at Kern Behavioral Health and Recovery Services.
Eggert says the first step in breaking down the stigma surrounding suicide is to openly talk about it.
"We know most people won't tell us that they are thinking about suicide because of the stigma and taboo, but we also know all the research shows people want to ask them about suicide," Eggert said.
Eggert encourages people to look out for major behavioral changes like mood swings, sleeping too much or too little, acting anxious or reckless and substance abuse.
She says, "Ask the question: are you thinking about suicide?"
Eggert also encourages people to talk to their children about suicide early to help combat higher suicide rates among teens.
"Our 10 to 14-year-old females in the last 20 years, their suicide rates have risen 50%. For our young men, it has risen 30% percent. Our kids are hurting," Eggert said.
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