WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - Thursday is World Suicide Prevention Day. 7 News weather forecaster Kris Hudson lost someone very close to him to suicide. We share his story.
“There are days that I wish I could wake up from this nightmare,” said Kris.
You’ve probably seen Kris deliver the weather forecast every weekend here on 7 News. Years ago, something happened that changed his life.
“I was 14 years old. Two weeks away from my 15th birthday,” he said.
On the evening of August 17, 2011 in a little town in Arkansas, Kris’s mother, Christina Hudson, took her own life. He found out from a phone call.
“I knew that I was upset and I was sad, but at the same time you’re 14 years old. You don’t know how to process something like that,” he said.
As he grew older, the absence of his mom became more pronounced, especially during those big life moments: graduating high school; going to college, getting his first job.
Kris just wished his mom was there and sometimes he blamed himself for her passing.
“I struggled for several months trying to figure out - was there something wrong with me? Is there something I could have done? What did I miss? Those are still questions that I ask myself to this day,” he said.
Kris, like others who’ve lost loved ones, cherishes his memories of his mom. He says she was a beautiful, gentle, caring soul who made it her life’s work to help others as a registered nurse.
“She cared about other people’s lives and wanted to make sure everyone saw the good in everyone else,” he said.
Kris’s story is not unique. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S.
Jefferson County Mental Health Services Coordinator Alicia Ruperd is a professional working to spread a message about suicide.
“We need to de-stigmatize the conversations. We need to de-stigmatize the language that we use so that people feel comfortable talking about their feelings,” she said.
Ruperd says there are signs to look out for if someone is having suicidal thoughts.
“Withdrawing from family, withdrawing from friends, really withdrawing from things that they enjoyed in the past, giving away prize possessions. That’s a big one. Really anything that outside of their normal behavior could be seen as a sign,” she said.
She says suicide doesn’t discriminate.
Kris’s story is an example of that. He says he wants to share his story to help others.
“I want to show people that even though you go through something like this, the storm doesn’t last forever. There’s always better weather ahead,” he said.
There are people who are willing to listen, and help.
If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts or exhibiting warning signs, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
Here’s a list of additional crisis resources:
- National Suicide Prevention Crisis Text Line: Text “HOME” to 741-741
- New York State Mental Health Hotline: Call 1-844-863-9314
- Veterans Crisis Line : 800-273-8255 (1), text 838255
- Jefferson County Crisis Hotline: 315-782-2327
- Reach Out of St. Lawrence County: 315-265-2422
- Lewis County Suicide Hotline: 315-376-5450 M-F 8-4:30 pm (315)405-0696 for evening hours and weekends
- Trevor Project Hotline for LGBTQ Teens: 1-866-488-7386
- Transgender Lifeline: 877-565-8860
- St. Lawrence University crisis line: 315-265-2422
- Clarkson University crisis line: 315-268-6633
- SUNY Potsdam University Police: 315-267-2222
- SUNY Canton crisis lines: 315-386-7314 M-F 8 to 4, weekends/after hours by contacting University Police at 315-386-7777