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Oklahoma woman works to prevent suicide in the Sooner State – Brospar Daily News

Oklahoma City (KFOR) – it’s an epidemic lurking in the shadows. But an Oklahoma woman and her nonprofit want to shed light and awareness on suicide.

“By the grace of God, I’m alive,” said Bee Smith of the Oklahoma Chapter of the American Association for Suicide Prevention. “I began to understand the root cause of suicide.”

Smith was found unresponsive at home more than a decade ago after attempting to take his own life.

“I woke up in the hospital,” Smith said. ” I do not know what happened. I’m still angry because I’m still alive.

It was a red flag for Smith, so she knew she had to ask for help.

She joined the Oklahoma chapter of the American Association for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). This is a non-profit organization that provides resources to Oklahoma residents in need.

The grassroots work carried out by the AFSP focuses on eliminating the loss of life by suicide by providing innovative prevention programs, educating the public about risk factors and warning signs, raising funds for suicide research and programs and reaching those who have lost loved ones to suicide.

“Unfortunately, we waited too late,” said Sheila Williams, licensed professional consultant. “We are more reactive than proactive. So taking precautions gives us more resources to prevent suicide.

Oklahoma has the sixth highest suicide death rate in the country, according to the CDC. It is also the second leading cause of death among people aged 25 to 34.

“All generations are taking a stand because without community engagement there is no real prevention,” Williams said. “There is no real suicide prevention without the support of elected officials.”

The Oklahoma Chapter of the American Society for Suicide Prevention will meet this weekend for a 3-mile tour of hope and support down Oklahoma City’s dark trail. Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark kicks off September 10 at 10 a.m. Registration begins at 8 a.m.

If you are having suicidal thoughts or emotional distress, you can call or visit National Suicide and Crisis Lifeline 24 hours a day / 7 days a week.

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