COLORADO SPRINGS — September is suicide prevention awareness month. For many the topic of suicide is off-limits, but one local therapist says the more we talk about it the more people won't feel alone.
According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide is the tenth leading cause of death for adults and the second leading cause for young people in the United States. A Licensed Professional Counseling Candidate at a local counseling center in Colorado Spring, Marie-Kriz Beltran, says people feeling suicidal are overwhelmed by painful emotions and see death as the only way out. Also, a major cause of suicide is depression. Beltran revealed that she was diagnosed with major depression in 2013 and tried to take her own life a year later. She recalls feeling alone and helpless, but her son motivated her to get better.
"I realized what was done to me as a child, I was doing to my son, and I didn't want that for him," Beltran said. "My son inspired me to really work on myself and get better."
She then turned her pain into purpose and decided to get into the mental health field to help others. This is what she tells people who walk through her office doors.
"You didn't decide to be this way or think this way," she explained. "This is pretty much what you've learned and internalized because of what you were exposed to throughout your lifespan, and based on what you were taught and how people treated you." Beltran says it's now her job to help challenge the perspective of those who feel hopeless, and how to manage their emotions.
If you know someone who's facing a mental health crisis, it's okay to check in on them. Ask them about their thoughts, and whether or not they are considering suicide. Then, the most important step is to listen and not pass judgment. After that, convince them to get help.
For more information on how to spot the signs of someone at-risk, click here.
For more mental health resources in Southern Colorado, click here.