Local Group Working To Reduce Suicide Rate
A 15-year-old Laredo girl is dead - the victim of an apparent suicide.
While we rarely speak of suicides, they appear on police reports more frequently than some think.
It's an issue that has captured the attention of a local organization doing everything it can to prevent other deaths.
As our Annette Garcia reports, dozens in Webb County have committed suicide over the last few years and the people over at pillar say its time to stop the trend.
“The day to day stresses. Financial issues relationships issues all can certainly lead to them to want to take their own lives and we want to intervene and help them as best we can.”
Manuel Sanchez says people in Webb County are committing suicide at an alarming rate.
He says in the last four years 75 people have taken their own lives and dozens others have thought about it.
“Just the first six months alone of this year, we've had about 75 calls of people who were struggling with emotional issues and calling us because they were wanting to take their lives.”
It’s a topic commonly discussed here at PILLAR, or People With Ideas of Love, Liberty, Acceptance and Respect.
An organization Sanchez co-founded to help people cope with bullying, sexual identity issues or struggling with suicide.
Laredo police records show 11 people in this city committed suicide last year, down from 16 in 2010.
Recently more Laredoans were added to the list, bringing the total up to five so far this year.
Laredo police reported two more cases of suicide this past weekend alone, who police say shot herself.
Police people of every age are affected.
“From people who are in their 70s to people who are teenagers.”
And so are their friends and families.
“In addition with family being devastated with their loss, they're left to cope with what they could have done to prevent this from happening.”
Heartbreak is what people like Sanchez are trying to prevent.
“It’s important to talk about your feelings. Don’t feel like you’re the only one going through something there is strength in numbers.”
Although there are some signs that a person may be on the verge of suicide, Sanchez says many victims never show any symptoms.
If you need help or know someone that needs help please call 723-7457 or go to pillarstrong.org.
Sanchez says help is available and no one should have to turn to suicide.