Local Veteran Opens Up About Thoughts of Suicide

Local Veteran Opens Up About Thoughts of Suicide

Lauren Day Connect

Just this week, first Kate Spade and now Anthony Bourdain. Two people who seemed to have it all, dead by suicide.

Kelly Grotsky, the Mental Health Services Manager for Riverside University Health System says, “you know it can affect anyone from any socioeconomic class, regardless, rich or poor.”

Even people here in the Coachella Valley struggle with thoughts of suicide.

“I have tried to take my life three times.”

Jeff Horton from Desert Hot Springs fought in five combat tours, appearing to be on of the strongest people one could know. But even Horton has his weakness.

“Pretty much I was at rock bottom because I was losing everything. My military career, was the one time I did it. The two times after that, I was losing my kids,” he says.

And last Friday, a man allegedly tried to jump off the Jefferson Street overpass. So it’s a problem that affects everyone, even people you think are fine.

Dr. Timothy Rupp, Assistant Medical Director at JFK Memorial Hospital says, “anxiety, depression, drug use and all of those things can lead to mental health emergencies.”

The CDC says suicide rates since 1999 have been steadily increasing. Data shows in half the states, suicides have been up 30% over the last two decades.

“You may see signs of overwhelming anxiety,” says Dr. Rupp.

And there’s help across the Coachella Valley.

Dr. Rupp says, “the emergency department is available 24/7 as an entry point for mental health.”

“Our 24/7 mental health urgent care in Palm Springs is available, it doesn’t matter what insurance you have, no money, it’s free,” says Grotsky.

If you have those thoughts, Horton says keep moving forward, “just try to tell yourself that you are worth something and that you are doing the best that you can.”

And remember, you are not alone.