Friday’s Suicide Prevention Day shines light on motivating those battling depression

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Friday is Suicide Prevention Day. It's a day dedicated to acknowledging depression and the fight to give people suffering from it a reason to keep going.

A cry for help can remain muted until someone tries to take their life. Many people saw the flames as one man dealing with mental illness took to Facebook Live in his moment of desperation. He ended up dying.

Turning Point counselor Karen Morgan was luckier.

"As an adolescent there were a lot of times I thought about suicide. I contemplated it. I didn’t want to be here. It wasn’t that I wanted to die, I just wanted it to stop."

She said it starts as a thought.

"I attempted suicide as an adult," added Morgan. "I felt so powerless and out of control that I was willing to do whatever to get some sense of power."

Sabra Haynes said she’s currently dealing with depression and recently tried to take her own life by swallowing pills.

"There’s moment where I get low in the mind and I just want to be like forget it, but I have three kids. I have a job," said Haynes.

Suicide is now the second leading cause of death in young people aged 15 to 24. The suicide rate has tripled for girls 10 to 14 since 1999.

"Now they are seeing this on television being glorified and we’ve found that actually causes people to attempt it more," said Morgan.

Some criticize shows like “13 Reasons Why” on Netflix, which follows a teen through the moments leading up to her decision to end her life.

"I think what happens in the adolescent brain they don’t realize this is forever. This is not a decision you can change," added Morgan.

Counselor Natasha Harris said it's the vulnerability that crushes the will to live.

"It’s okay to seek help, and not to google it and try to get the information ourselves, or think that it will go away or we can treat it ourselves," she said.

"They don’t realize what comes next -- nothing. Once your gone, you’re gone. There is no taking it back," said Morgan.

Now the goal is to shift the focus towards giving those struggling every reason to live and echoing the fact that they are not alone or too far gone to be saved, if they just continue to fight and give life a chance.

The suicide hotline is available 24/7. Call 1.888.512.3321.

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