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Many resources available for those contemplating suicide

By Jaccii Farris, Reporter, JFarris@wfmz.com
Published On: Sep 19 2013 04:05:25 PM CDT
Updated On: Sep 19 2013 08:47:11 PM CDT

Suicide touches all walks of life and for many different reasons.

Suicide touches all walks of life and for many different reasons, but there is hope out of the darkness, whether you have lost someone you love or are considering it yourself.

Arthur Benson is thankful for his life, but three years ago he tried to throw it away.

"I just decided that I didn't want to be bothered anymore.," said Benson.

The Navy veteran was having financial problems because of a drug addiction, and after a long-term relationship ended, he deliberately overdosed on drugs.

"I just laid across the bed and just stayed in there and drank a lot of water and smoked a lot until I passed out," said Benson, who woke up in the intensive care unit four days later. His son by his side.

It wasn't the first time Benson tried to commit suicide, but when he was transferred to a mental health facility, he decided it would be his last.

"It was like, 'Hey, what is your problem? It took you all this time to get the house and your grandkids. I mean, what is wrong with you?'" said Benson. "I had my Bible and I was reading, and a light just came on."

Today, Benson is a deacon at Greater Faith Community Church and uses the pain of his past to help others salvage their future.

But for some, there is no return from the depression that blocks out the light.

"My life was my wife. She, we raised our kids," said Craig David.

David and his daughter, Nicole, know what it's like to lose someone to suicide.

Alice David was a loving wife and mother, always smiling and going out of her way to help others, but then she lost her job and was diagnosed with fibromyalgia.

"She was on nine different medications," said David.

Those medications did little to ease her constant pain. She couldn't sleep. Her hair started to fall out, and she started binge eating.

Her symptoms made listening to the laughter of her grandchildren painful, and depression set in.

"She just got to the point where she just gave in," said David.

After two suicide attempts at home were thwarted, Alice disappeared. Days later she was found in a hotel room after overdosing.

"The only thing that I am thankful for is that I was able to say goodbye because I called her name, she would respond, and I was thankful, because a lot of people don't have that," said David.

Resources are available to those who are struggling. Whether you are in crisis yourself or you know someone who needs help, getting connected to resources is just a phone call away.

Every county in Pennsylvania has a 24-hour crisis hotline.

The number in Lehigh County is 610-782-3127. 

In Berks County, call 610-236-0530.

In Northampton County, dial 610-252-9060.

The national hotline is 1-800-273-8255. 

All calls are confidential.