Part two of Suicide Prevention: One Woman's Story

PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - In part one of Suicide Prevention: One Woman's Story, we told you about Becky Frederick and her struggles with depression and addiction.

She died by suicide in May 2019.

Since her death, her son Zach and her twin sister Cathy have been advocating to end the stigma surrounding suicide.

"Everybody's story needs told because if it gets to one person and it saves one person's life, they have to hear us," Cathy McGee said.

To keep her twin sister's story alive, Cathy McGee and her nephew Zach Hall formed a team to walk in Parkersburg's annual "Out of the Darkness Walk" in September.

The walk raised $49,000. Cathy and Zach's team provided nearly $6,000 of that.

"It's a good resource to like get out and be with people that know what you're going through and you can see that their lives still go on, like there's no reason for a life to end. There's always something else to live for," said Zach Hall.

Dr. Marilyn Pasquarelli was also at the Out of the Darkness Walk. She is a licensed professional counselor at Westbrook Health Services.

"Until we get rid of the stigma and tell people it's ok for them to seek help, we're never going to get rid of this epidemic of suicide," said Dr. Pasquarelli.

She says that's why it's so important we talk about suicide and mental health.

"It's important to say someone died by suicide, not someone died unexpectedly. It's important to get it out there. We talk about people dying of cancer, dying of heart disease. Suicide is part of a diagnosable mental health condition as well," she said.

Zach says losing his mom to suicide has opened his eyes to the importance of having this conversation.

"I've grown into understanding, like, since this, that like, emotions are important, and it doesn't matter how weak you sound or how other people look at you. When you feel something, you need to own up to it, and get to the cause of why you're feeling the way that you're feeling," he said.

If you or someone you know needs help, call the National Suicide Prevention hotline. It's 1-800-273-TALK.

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