Suicide is an equal opportunity killer.
It respects nothing — not age, not gender, not race, status, fame or power.
But we can all help prevent it.
Just listening can save a life said many of the speakers on the Saline County Courthouse steps Tuesday evening.
Two of the speakers were suicide survivors who braved identification and spoke of their personal struggles.
Both were young. Tom Grider is 23 and Aubrey Suber is 21. Both had made attempts when hope seemed lost. But both survived. People made the difference.
They reached out to those who were offering their help and the former victims survived and are moving on with their lives.
Suber said, "I had a classmate in high school who seemed sad. I din't know him, but I knew he probably needed help. I was too shy to approach him one night at a basketball game. The next day I heard he had killed himself. I wish I had reached out to him."
Grider is now a 4.0 student and Suber is employed and looking forward to being reunited with her daughter.
The event honored Suicide Prevention Day and was sponsored locally by Southeast Illinois Community Health Coalition.
That group is made up of Egyptian Health Department, local hospitals and schools. Churches are invited to join in this important effort to solve a major public health problem said members of Egyptian Health Department.
Phone numbers for agencies were given out. It is acceptable to call 911 in the event that you or someone else is considering suicide. The 911 operator can connect you to appropriate people. The National Suicide Prevention hotline is 800-273-TALK or, in digits, 800-273-8255. Egyptian Public and Mental Health Department's phone is
618-273-3326 in Harrisburg.