SAN ANTONIO – Dealing with suicide is difficult for anyone, and especially so for Hispanics, according to the South Texas chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
Celia Price and Jeannie Vidal said it was difficult for them after they each lost their sons to suicide.
Vidal, one of the founders of the South Texas chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, said suicide is considered “a stigma. It’s taboo. It’s 'una verguenza,'” which means embarrassment in Spanish.
Vidal and Price said those who feel that way shouldn’t be ashamed.
Price said she’s learned that most suicides are the result of mental illness.
“It’s an illness. You have to treat it, because if you don’t treat it, it’s going to get worse,” Price said.
She said, unfortunately, her son, Danny, had been on and off his medications and was in and out of psychiatric care for several years before he finally took his own life at 22.
Vidal's son, Jurel Rios, was only 15 when he died by suicide. She said there were no warning signs.
“My son was one day was laughing, goofing around. The next day, he died,” Vidal said.
Both mothers said it’s important that families or friends be the voice for their loved ones who often suffer in silence, unwilling or unable to talk about their feelings or intentions.
“How am I supposed to help you if I don’t know what you’re going through?” Vidal said.
If anyone needs help now, call 1-800-273-8255.
The women will be part of their group’s first Spanish-language presentation about suicide prevention called Talk Saves Lives/Hablar Salva Vidas. It will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday at 2006 W. Commerce St. at the American Sunrise-Carol Burnett house on the West Side. Lunch will be provided.
Those who want to attend are urged to RSVP by calling 210-433-5105 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.