NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A Nashville woman works to connect the community with suicide prevention resources with the inaugural “Together We Are Stronger” event, held in Hadley Park on Saturday.
Elizabeth Averill lost her brother, Patrick Otto, to suicide nine years ago. He believed it was something that could have been prevented.
“I was the one who discovered it so I had great PTSD, and after that I had such strong emotions of sadness and what should I do with this? So, I decided to take this pain and turn it into something beautiful,” she said. Averil.
Otto is a 17-year-old soccer player and manages his mental health with therapy and medication. Averill believes the pressure from his teammates, when it comes from a good place, is taking things in the wrong direction.
“They told him, ‘Hey, let’s do it on the football field. You don’t have to go to therapy.’ So he did; he trusted them,” Averill said. “And the same with the girls. They said, ‘We can’t go home with someone who’s on medication. We’re scared. We don’t know, we can just not date you.’
Otto died two weeks after stopping treatment and therapy. Averill hopes Saturday’s event will provide resources and help break the stigma of saving the lives of others.
“I think suicide is preventable; it is not an incurable disease. Suicide is 100% preventable,” Averill said.
Averill hopes her brother’s legacy will live on through the Together We Are Stronger event, which she hopes to host every year.
“My brother is an amazing person and it’s amazing to see all these people surrounding me in his memory, and now changing the future of other people and the next generation and the next generation. We will destroy this stigma and we’ll stop suicide, and we can do it and it starts today,” said Averill.
Averill wants anyone struggling to know that there are a variety of resources available, including resources tailored for different groups.
Source : www.wkrn.com