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As calls to suicide prevention line spike, local woman works to uplift people

Posted at 6:56 AM, Jun 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-13 10:29:01-04

If you or anyone you know is considering suicide and needs help, contact the Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1(800) 273-8255. You can also text "Hello" to 741741.

As calls to the national suicide prevention line have spiked, a local woman is taking her experience with the tragedy and turning it into something positive.

Tonya Farrens lost her father to suicide just over two years ago.

"It has been an uphill battle," Farrens said.

As she works to overcome her grief she is giving back something she believes we need more of right now; Happiness.

Farrens passes out balloons to people across the valley that read "You Matter" in hopes that something small could help at least one person who may be struggling.

"The best way for me to heal and feel better was getting out and being around other people who were trying to heal," Farrens said.

Farrens said the recent high profile deaths of celebrities have once again stirred up emotion in her, especially the death of DJ Avicii, a musician much like her father.

Nevada officials said other people are struggling as well. The state was the only to see a decrease in suicide rates in 2016 but continues to have some of the highest numbers in the country.

Suicide prevention officials said last week there were 399 calls to the suicide prevention line in Clark County and 504 across all of Nevada, that is almost 3 times the amount of calls from a week before.

Farran suggests people take their pain and openly talk about suicide as well as spread awareness.

"Let us not let these deaths be in vain let's keep the conversation going let's get out and let people know they matter," Farrens said.

The state does have a suicide prevention plan, which includes a boost in training and prevention along with reducing the stigma of mental health.