Auburn suicide survivor speaks out for suicide prevention day

Auburn suicide survivor speaks out for suicide prevention day
AUBURN, AL (WTVM) - A suicide survivor of Auburn, Alabama speaks out in light of World Suicide Prevention Day. Jack Smith, 44, says that he has survived two suicide attempts.
The first was in 2013 when he tried to overdose on medication and alcohol.

"I had a bunch of pills and I took as many as I could, alcohol was involved that first time and I was not found for about 12 hours," said Smith

There was a combination of things that Smith says lead up to his suicide attempts; his father’s death, a high stress job and his family responsibilities.

Smith was not aware that he was suffering with a mental illness. After Smith's first suicide attempt he went to treatment and it was there he was diagnosed with depression.

“They had a really hard time trying to figure out how to treat my depression. I have what they call treatment resistant depression,” Said Smith.

Smith says his mental health conditions were mistreated the first time, which ultimately lead to a second attempt and he later found out he was in fact bipolar. 

Now that Smith is being properly treated, he says he is confident that he has overcome his suffering.

"Having the right doctor, taking the right medication and for me what was absolutely critical… was my faith."

Experts at American Works of Columbus, GA say there are a few signs that you can look out for in the people you love.

"Increased isolation, telling people 'I have nothing to live for', they may display manic mood swings, highs, lows, increased anxiety, increased depression," all indicators that someone you love may be contemplating suicide, says Amanda Stanley, Certified Psychiatric at American Works.

More than 40,000 Americans took their own lives in 2013 according to the CDC.

Stanley says suicidal thoughts tend to occur after job loss, during or after a divorce, following a break up or any death in the family.

If you are contemplating suicide or if you are concerned that someone you love is contemplating suicide, Stanley says you should call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1 (800)273-TALK (8255).

Stanley also says that if you are looking for local resources try American Works, The Bradley Center or New Horizon.

Finally, an online resource that may be helpful is the Georgia Suicide Prevention Information Network.

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