Local News

Crisis line wants to raise awareness about suicide

Posted November 26, 2008 7:41 p.m. EST
Updated November 26, 2008 8:21 p.m. EST

— A local crisis and prevention hotline says it hopes the suicide of a Rocky Mount woman will help raise awareness and help prevent others from taking their own lives.

A note on 40-year-old Donna Sherrod's Myspace page over the weekend stated she was taking her own life.

Sherrod's parents said their daughter – once outgoing and full of life – had gone through some personal difficulties recently.

Courtney Atwood, executive director of HopeLine of North Carolina, a 24-hour crisis line, says she is concerned to hear of stories of people reaching out in such a public way.

Earlier this month, a Florida teenager committed suicide on a Web cam.

"A lot of times, people are just looking for a reminder of something to hold onto, some piece of hope," she said.

Sherrod's parents did not want to be interviewed but did want to send a message to others that suicide leaves loved ones with an unbearable amount of grief.

They had been trying to help her through her difficulties, they said. And HopeLine says loved ones cannot blame themselves.

"Our message needs to be: We're here to listen and we can help people before they get to that point," said Nicholle Karim, a crisis line coordinator for HopeLine.

HopeLine (800-844-7410) is a confidential, nonjudgmental hotline staffed by trained volunteers 24 hours a day, seven days a week. More information about the program, its services and how to volunteer is available on its Web site, www.hopeline-nc.org.