TULSA - On Monday, a teenager committed suicide at a school in Coweta, bringing back tough memories for some parents across Green Country who have lost children to suicide themselves.
The news hit Becky Kruse hard.
"It broke my heart. It broke my heart again. We lost our son Adam five years ago, and it's just like it was happening again," she said.
Kruse's 22-year-old son Adam took his own life.
"I miss his laughter, and his smile and his eyes. I just miss him," Kruse said.
Since then she's tried to piece together "why." With Adam off at college, she says she missed the warning signs.
"Looking back, I thought, 'that's just college. He's changing, he's growing up, he's becoming an adult.' But I kind of can see that maybe he was withdrawing," she said.
Suicide is the third leading cause of death for those 10 to 24 years old. Experts say warning signs include withdrawing from friends and family members, a lack of interest in favorite activities, changes in mood and making statements like, 'you'll be better off when I'm gone.'
"I think the best thing for parents to do is always keep open communication lines. Try and always talk with your children if you notice anything that you're concerned about," said Carrie Little with Family & Children's Services of Tulsa.
Becky hopes she can save others from feeling her pain. She founded a group called ACTS for suicide survivors.
She even wrote a book compiled of letters she wrote to Adam over the years to help herself heal.
"I know Adam didn't want to hurt us. I know he didn't want to hurt us. But gosh, his loss has hurt us terribly," Kruse said.
Suicide prevention resources:
- ACTS holds support group meetings for suicide survivors on the second and fourth Thursday of every month at 6:30 p.m. at 102 N. Elm, Suite A in Broken Arrow.
- You can find Becky Kruse's book "A Note to Adam" online and at Steve's Books in Tulsa.
- Family & Children's Services runs a 24-hour mobile crisis hotline called "COPES." It offers free, confidential help for adults and children. They come to you during a crisis. Just call 918-744-4800.
- In Muskogee, you can call Summercrest behavioral health for help at 918-686-6876.
- You can also find suicide hotlines listed by city at www.suicide.org .