Family impacted by suicide now advocating for new mental health crisis hotline

Friends, family can also use the hotline to request for someone to check on their loved ones

A widow who lost her husband to suicide, and almost lost her son the same way, is now spreading awareness of the value of dialing 988. This is the new three-digit National Suicide Prevention Hotline. KSAT's Camelia Juarez brings us her story.

A widow and mother shared her personal experience with suicide as she advocates for the new three-digit suicide hotline number.

Kristen Christy’s husband took his own life after returning from a deployment in Baghdad.

Then years later, her son attempted to take his own life. Christy said on that night, her son left a voicemail message to her, pleading out in pain.

“I miss dad…I can’t live without him,” Christy’s son said.

With the launch of the suicide prevention hotline 988, she hopes other people will now know who to call when they need help. Those in need can also text 988.

“We needed to break down barriers. We needed to make it easier for people to ask for help when they’re in that crisis mode, when they’ve got blinders on. They aren’t enough. They don’t matter,” Christy said.

The three-digit suicide hotline number does not replace the already existing lifeline, 1-800-273-8255, but makes it easier for people during emergencies.

To be connected with someone who understands the military culture, just dial one after 988.

If you are worried about someone, you can call 988 and they can call your loved one to check on them.

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About the Authors:

Camelia Juarez is a news reporter at KSAT 12. She joined the station in 2022. Camelia comes from a station in Lubbock, Texas. Now, she is back in her hometown. She received her degree from Texas State University. In her free time, Camelia enjoys thrifting, roller-skating and spending time with family and friends.

Adam Barraza is a photojournalist at KSAT 12 and an El Paso native. He interned at KVIA, the local ABC affiliate, while still in high school. He then moved to San Antonio and, after earning a degree from San Antonio College and the University of the Incarnate Word, started working in news. He’s also a diehard Dodgers fan and an avid sneakerhead.