Suicide Numbers Rise In NC, Doctors Give Ways To Cope

CHARLOTTE, NC — Psychologists say there are warning signs and suicide is preventable. This after two celebrity suicides brought focus on the subject this week.

“Suicide is preventable! Please, learn the warning signs,” Fonda Bryant told to drivers in Uptown Friday evening.

To her, going out and handing out suicide hotline cards was a move to save lives.

“You never know whose life you might save,” said Bryant. “23 years ago, Ii almost did it. So, that’s why I’m doing what im doing.”

She broke down when she told WCCB Charlotte her story.

“I didn’t ask to have a chemical imbalance,” said Bryant. “I came here with it. The thing is, I made it through.”

So, she handed out cards with the warning signs at Mint and Morehead Streets in Uptown at rush hour.

“If you learn the warning signs of suicide, we can cut down on people dying!” said Bryant.

More than 1,400 hundred people died by suicide in North Carolina last year.

That number is going up, according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

“The real answer is raising awareness and making depression, trauma, histories of abuse speakable so you don’t feel so isolated,” said Dr. Mary Frawley-O’Dea with Presbyterian Psychological Services.

Doctors there say the signs can be alcohol abuse, people isolating themselves and staying in bed.

“Feeling suicidal is a temporary condition,” said Dr. Frawley-O’Dea.

She says get moving, distance yourself from that thought while it passes.

“It sounds silly, but go for a walk. take a bath,” said Dr. Frawley-O’Dea.

And call a therapist.
Presbyterian Psychological Services offers sliding scale pay plans and free sessions. Plus, that hotline number is a free therapist. It’s 1-800-273-8255.

You can be anonymous. You can also text 741-741.

“What’s nice about the suicidal hotline is you don’t have to see anyone, you don’t have to sit and expose yourself in front of a clinician right away,” said Dr. Frawley-O’Dea.

On the streets, people were really receptive to Bryant.

“This makes me feel really good!” she said.

To those who feel alone, she says: “Today might be a bad day, but tomorrow will be a better day. Just remember you’re not by yourself.”