According to the CDC, suicide is on the rise in the United States.
Along with Alzheimer’s and drug overdoses, suicide is one of the top three rising causes of death in the country.
“It was so painful to me when I lost my son, I just wondered, ‘Oh my gosh, if I’m feeling this hurt, how hurt did he feel, or how much pain was he in in order to end his life’,” said Anna Fajardo, whose son committed suicide.
Fajardo will never get to see her youngest son grow up.
“We thought everything was getting better, everything was okay,” said Fajardo.
Her son Joe, was diagnosed with depression and a mood disorder. After trying treatments, the teen embarked on a trip, which would be his last.
“And he didn’t come back home alive, he did it in El Paso,” she said.
His mother says the signs weren’t obvious until he was older.
“So we just figured maybe he was just a little lonely because he was the only child in the house,” said Fajardo.
Cynthia Cunningham, Executive Director of Nami Waco says there are several signs to look out for.
“Just a change in their moods, they either sleep too much or not enough, they just kind of, your just seeing a change in their attitude or life, sometimes they feel very hopeless and like life is not worth living,” said Cunningham.
Cunningham recommends remembering the acronym ASK.
“A is ask them point blank, are you thinking of killing yourself. S is stay with them, don’t leave them alone. And K is know who to call,” she said.
In 2016, nearly 45,000 people ages 10 or older committed suicide in America making it the 10th leading cause of death in the country. In Texas, on average one person dies by suicide every three hours.
“Just reach out and keep reaching out because you’re not alone,” said Cunningham.
Fajardo is now pushing others to be aware of the symptoms, signs she didn’t see until it was too late.
“It’s still rough but it’s getting better, I’m finally starting to live again and breath again,” she said.
According to the Department of State Health Services, every day 30 people are hospitalized for attempted suicide.
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is hosting the annual Out of the Darkness Walk in Waco.
It’s a way for locals to join the effort with hundreds of thousands of people raising awareness and funds to help the organization invest in new research, create education programs and support survivors of suicide.
You can find out more on the walk by clicking HERE.
If you or someone you know is battling with suicidal thoughts call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK.