I was talking to a group of employees…

Story of Hope

I was talking to a group of employees at a local business, and ended my talk the way I often do, encouraging everyone to take a Crisis Center brochure or wallet cards with our 24-hour toll-free numbers on them. “You never know when you or someone you love might need our services,” I said.

I looked at the audience, which consisted of highly skilled technical people, and thought that most of them were probably saying to themselves, “That’s fine for somebody else. But I can take care of myself.”

Then a woman stood and asked if she could say a few words. Everyone seemed surprised, as if this woman wasn’t used to speaking publicly.

“Some of you know that my child died by suicide three years ago,” she began. The room became still. “What you don’t know,” she said, “is that for the next 12 months I saw several counselors, none of whom helped me. I was more depressed and grief-stricken than ever. I blamed myself. I didn’t care about anything. I didn’t want to live.

“Then someone told me about a special support group the Crisis Center has for parents whose children died by suicide. I made myself go, initially just to listen. Soon, though, I started talking. The more I talked—with people who really understood me—the better I felt.

“I stayed with the group for a year. It made all the difference. I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for the Crisis Center.”

After that, nearly everyone in the room took a wallet card. They may never need to call us, but they have our numbers in case they do.

—John Bateson, Executive Director