"We can't stay broken" Midlands woman using car paint to open up suicide conversations
COLUMBIA, S.C. (WACH) -- The recent deaths of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain have opened up the conversation about suicide. The United Health Foundation says South Carolina's suicide rate is among the highest in the country and according to the C.D.C., nearly 45,000 lives were lost to suicide last year. One woman wants to change that by taking her mission to the road.
Amanda Hazen says she believes society tends to forget about the local problem we have with suicide. Now she wants to open up more conversations about the issue using paint on a car. She wants to rev up awareness and steer people toward better understanding. She's challenging others to display the suicide prevention lifeline on their cars for at least a week. That's 1-800-273-TALK.
"It is a crisis. We can talk about it and verbalize our hurt as a society before the next person dies," said Hazen. "When I'm driving, I notice people are nudging each other and pointing at my car. I have no idea what they're saying but I know they're talking about this in some way."
That simple conversation is the least she hopes for. It's an issue very close to her heart, as her own son struggled with suicide thoughts at 10 years old.
"[Kane] won't become a statistic if I can help it," said Hazen.
"I know I'm not making someone want to call the number or make them not want to kill themselves. Maybe, just maybe somebody saw this and thought about their family, their friends, their thought process. Call your friends, your mom, somebody and say 'I love you,'" said Hazen.
With permission, Hazen says she's tagged 11 cars and she's willing to leave the suicide hotline number on her own car for up to a year or longer.