Woman affected by suicide talks local prevention resources

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The suicide of actor Robin Williams has brought back into focus issues of mental illness and depression in the US.

Gloria Vinson knows the pain a suicide can leave behind. She still wears her wedding ring as a reminder.

"Because I feel I'm still married to him," she said.

As much as it hurts to remember, she'll tell you about the pain

"It's unexplainable," She said as she choked back tears. "Suicide is a tragedy that triples the pain of any other tragedy."

Her husband, Jimmy, a family man, took his own life in September 2013.

"I knew he was suffering from depression, but I had no clue it was to that extreme," she said.

Prior to actor/comedian Robin Williams' death, she has worked with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

"To try prevent a family from going through the pain that we're going through," she said.

If you call 2-1-1, or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline from most of Northeast Florida, it goes to the United Way's 24-hour call center for immediate help with crisis intervention and suicide prevention. Every suicide call takes priority. Specially trained call center workers go through a process and procedure to try to help every person who calls about suicide.

"If they're calling in and they want help, we're going to get them help. We're going to explain there's going to be a mental health counselor coming to your door or if there's a law enforcement officer, we're going to explain that to them so they're prepared," said Robert Arnold, Director of the United Way's 211.

In the last fiscal year, they took in 1,596 calls relating to suicide, which is about the same as the year before.

"It's OK to call," he said. "There are people out there that can help you."

If for some reason you are contemplating suicide...

"Don't," Stressed Vinson "Don't even think about doing it. Call the suicide hotline. Call family, call friends. Talk about it. Don't ever be afraid to talk about it."

If you or someone your know or love is contemplating suicide, there is help. Here is a comprehensive list of resources available to you in Northeast Florida and South Georgia:

National Suicide prevention lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

This number is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Crisis Text Line: Support for teenagers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Text "CTL" to 741-741

Veterans Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255, then press 1. You can also send a text message 24 hours a day to 838255.

The Trevor Project: (LGBT crisis hotline) 1-866-488-7386

If you need emergency help, dial 911.

Northeast Florida

United Wayof Northeast Florida: Dial 2-1-1 from a phone within Northeast Florida for non-emergency service.

If you are unable to, dial 1-904-632-0600 from Duval County, Jacksonville area or all other counties.

For the hearing impaired, call 1-904-330-3989 (TTY).

Alachua County Crisis CenterCrisis line: (352) 264-6789

Rumor control: (352) 264-6557

Southeast Georgia

Behavioral Health Link: For crisis help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, call 1-800-715-4225.

You can also text "GCAL" to 66746 Monday through Friday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.


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