Columbus, OH,
15:00 PM

Columbus Dispatch: Associate Shares Story of Overcoming Suicide

In honor of the recent Out of the Darkness walk, a local event to raise awareness about suicide prevention, Stephanie White, a nurse in OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital’s emergency room, shares her message of hope to others working on overcoming mental health issues.

Though her eager smile and willingness to share a laugh could fool almost anyone, White endured emotional, sexual and physical abuse when she was young, leading to her first suicide attempt at the age of 12. Her second attempt happened when she was 23, after which she was diagnosed with depression and PTSD. However, it wasn’t until her 30s that she began managing her symptoms through follow-up care, like counseling and antidepressants.

Megan Schabbing, MD, medical director of psychiatric emergency services at OhioHealth, explained that there are a variety of factors that can influence a suicide attempt, like trauma, chronic pain, addiction, acute stress and job loss amongst others. Attempts often begin with suicidal thoughts, which progress from thoughts of “I wish I wasn’t here on this Earth,” “I wish I didn’t exist,” to “I wish I didn’t wake up in the morning.” When someone reaches this point, it’s time to reach out for help.

White said she owes her survival to her Christian faith, counseling, and medication to treat depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

“The most important thing is that, when you feel like you’re backed into that corner and you feel like there is no other way you can go, there is a way,” White told Columbus Dispatch reporter, JoAnne Viviano. “You don’t have to end it. There actually is a way, there is a tomorrow. And there’s still hope. And there’s help.”

White and Schabbing proudly represented Team OhioHealth at the Out of the Darkness Walk at Alum Creek State Park, which raised funds for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. White hopes in sharing her story with coworkers and friends, she can inspire others seek help.

“Stephanie’s story is so important and so powerful, because she’s the perfect example of the truth in what we tell people,” said Schabbing. “No matter what the pieces to your puzzle may be, we can help you to find a way to come up with a plan to get better.”

To read more of White’s story by the Columbus Dispatch, click on their logo below.

If you or someone you know need to talk to someone, please click here for more information about OhioHealth Behavioral Health Services.