Dozens turn out to fight suicide rates in Macon

Doctors host suicide awareness symposium

Psychiatrists say depression can happen to anyone. Dr. Cesar Figueroa with Coliseum Medical Center says, unfortunately, some who suffer end their own lives. In 2013, the CDC reports there were more than 41,000 suicides in the US. That's about one person every thirteen minutes. 

Doctors say it can happen to anyone. Psychiatrist Cesar Figueroa says it's the pressures of life that could make some feel hopeless.

“Not only do I see patients on a day-to-day basis, but I have some relatives and good friends who have been through this crisis,” said Figueroa. “There's so many things that can trigger someone to think about committing suicide, and it’s much more intense when people actually attempt to do it.”

But Phil Vesper says one day the weight of the world just felt so heavy. “I was diagnosed with deep depression about 10 years ago. In reality, I probably had it all my life,” said Vesper. “Things got so bad that I decided that I needed to end my life.”

In August 2007, he left behind his wife and children. “I went and found a hotel. I took lots of sleeping pills, and I thought it was over,” said Vesper.

But Phil woke up the next day.

Now ten years later, he wants to encourage other people who suffer like he did. “I'm here today to let people know that there is light at the end of the tunnel and that light doesn't have to be an oncoming freight train,” said Vesper.

Figueroa says Central Georgia doctors come together every year to help shine a light on the problem. “Be candid about it, ask questions, and others should be there to offer some support,” said Figueroa. “Offer some hope. That's the main thing that patients need to hear. It's going to be better and things are going to be different.”

With a lot of help, Phil says he found his strength, and he believes you can, too.

If you or anyone you know is suffering from depression or having suicidal thoughts, you can call a 24-hour life-line with Coliseum Medical Centers to speak with a behavioral health specialist.

That number is 478-751-0555. 

© 2017 WMAZ-TV


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