BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Sue Martin is on a mission to prevent suicides. Her book “Out of the Whirlpool” details her own story of surviving a suicide attempt.
Martin says telling her story to audiences, especially to veterans, has shown her the increased need for more discussion about suicidal depression.
She lost her sight when she shot herself. But Martin calls that a beginning of life without sight: not an end.
According to the Centers for Disease and Control Prevention, 487,700 people received medical care for self-inflicted injuries at emergency rooms across the country in 2011.
“When I tell my story I include details,” Martin says, “that’s how the book is too when I talk about the day I shot myself I say I looked at the clock it’s 11:30 in the morning. I looked across the lake there was a beautiful weeping willow. And anybody can say what happened, this happened, this happened, this happened, but what needs to come into the conversation and the experience is the lived experience that you don’t want to live.”
She was suffering from suicidal depression. She says, “since I started speaking publicly about my experiences and telling the story of the time In my life when I was ‘suicidally’ depressed and all of the events around that time is opening up to me the opportunity to talk to groups who are interested and working at suicide prevention.”
She currently works for the Veterans Administration Medical Center these days. Her job is to make sure that the V.A.’s information technology is accessible to people with disabilities.
But her life story allows her to reach many of today’s veterans on another level: Suicide prevention.
In 2012, the Veterans Administration released the statistic that there are 950 suicide attempts per month among veterans receiving care from Veterans Hospital Administration.
Martin says saving those lives is her passion, “suicide prevention and talking about putting life back in together after a traumatic event that completely upends your world of expectations is becoming my passion.”
Her own traumatic event took her eyesight, but not her vision. Her vision is to share her story as a way of encouraging others to seek help. Because there is help available that could save lives.
We’ve gathered some resources for you or anyone you know who is struggling with suicidal thoughts:
This is a 24-hour hotline: 1-800-273-TALK that’s 800-273-8255
You can also send a text message to 8388255
Here is a link to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org
Sue Martin: http://outofthewhirlpool.com/
Copyright 2014 WIAT 42 News