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Mother Shares Son's Suicide Story And Now Works To Help Save Others

One mother is sharing her son's story and lives her life to prevent another life from being lost to suicide. If you know anyone suffering or you need someone to talk to call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. That line is available 24/7. You can also text 741-741 for free.

Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. Every 12 minutes, one person in this country dies as a result of self-harm. Symptoms can range from hopelessness to euphoria.

One mother is sharing her son's story and lives her life to prevent another life from being lost to suicide.

"I believe that suicide is preventable and that there is help, there is help for all of us," Helen Pridgen said.

In 2000, Helen Pridgen lost her son, Clay to suicide.

"Clay was outgoing through his youth up until early adulthood. He was 25 when he died, so we had a number of years to experience the person he was," Pridgen said.

His mother said Clay had a passion for sports and was a loyal friend.

"He was an outstanding soccer player, all conference. He loved snow skiing and would go on those expert slopes, he loved to ski, and he loved being with his friends," Pridgen said.

But she also said her son, Clay had his struggles.

"My son was diagnosed with major depressive disorder," Pridgen said.

Doctor Daniel Avosso is the Medical Director for the Emergency Department at Lexington Medical Center. He sees the result of suicide first hand..

"It's a national crisis," Avosso said. "It's tragic, you know, whenever you see somebody at that point where they're considering ending their life."

Avosso said there are signs that could be indicators that a person is thinking about harming him or herself.

"Probably the most common sign in somebody who is considering suicide is hopelessness," Avosso said. "f they have an increase use in alcohol, a change in their sleep habits or any unusual behavior change."

Prigden said she had concerns and tried to talk to her son Clay, but help didn't come in time for him. Since his death she has focused on helping others, and preventing another life lost to suicide. She works with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention in Columbia now.

"It's really enhanced my life, it has given me another place to put my love for my son while yet caring about other people and working to help prevent this from happening to other families," Pridgen said. "Trust yourself, trust your instinct. If you feel that something isn't right in yourself or someone else, that they are at risk or you feel like you're at risk understand that your life matters and to ask for the help you need."

If you know anyone suffering or you need someone to talk to call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. That line is available 24/7. You can also text 741-741 for free.

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