CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Editor's Note: This story discusses suicide. Reader discretion is advised.
May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and one Charlotte woman is using her story to help prevent suicide across North Carolina.
The ‘Fonda Bryant Suicide Prevention Signage Act’ is working its way through the general assembly. It’s been 28 years since Bryant, a Charlotte mother, was at her lowest.
"I was in a lot of pain, I was struggling," Bryant said. "My brain was telling me, 'You’re worthless. kill yourself. no one’s going to care.'"
She was considering suicide and had a plan until she says an angel intervened.
"My aunt Kellie went into superhero mode," Bryant said. "She had me voluntarily committed and as bad as that day was, she saved my life."
Now, she uses her story to help others, speaking around the country and creating the nonprofit Wellness Action Recovery to offer resources and support.
"Being an advocate is all about educating people to let them know it’s okay to get help," Bryant said. "We can recover and we can live a good life."
Bryant said it’s important for those facing emotional challenges, to know they’re not alone and suggests reaching out to support services like the 9-8-8 National Helpline in a crisis.
She hopes to see the ‘Fonda Bryant Suicide Prevention Signage Act’ pass the North Carolina General Assembly, granting funds to put signs in parking garages that let those considering suicide.. know help is available.
"When you’re struggling, you truly feel like you’re by yourself, so those three words, 'you’re not alone,' let somebody know you’re not the only one struggling," Bryant said.
If you or a loved one are facing thoughts of suicide or self-harm, there is help readily available. You can call Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988 or chat with them online. There are also resources in North Carolina available here and in South Carolina available here.
Contact Kayland Hagwood at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.