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September marks Suicide Prevention Month and efforts to help those with mental struggles

September marks Suicide Prevention Month
September marks Suicide Prevention Month 02:43

MIAMI -- September is Suicide Prevention Month and for some like Sarah Peshka, the month is an attempt to reflect on her own journey.

"It's probably been three years since I was actively suicidal, which has been rad not to feel that way anymore," said Peshka, who is training to become a crisis counselor and drawing on her own experience to help others. "Around the ages of 14 to 16, I had two distinct attempts. Since then I've struggled a lot with suicidal thoughts and ideation. It's only been the past two or three years when I felt I probably turned the corner with that."

She said her life changed when she asked for help.

"I just didn't see a way out of it other than to commit suicide," she said. "Eventually through a lot of really good therapy and hard work, through them and my part, I finally got to the point where I don't feel like that's how my life is going to end anymore."

James Phillips, a licensed therapist and CEO of Above Therapeutic Services, said loneliness can be detrimental.

"People in isolation don't do well with their mental health," he said, adding that a key to good mental health is connection. "When we have a genuine connection with somebody, like me and you sit here and talk. It's us talking about a shared interest and producing dopamine and serotonin and these are the neurotransmitters that makes us feel good."

Peshka said she now makes time to care for herself.

"I have a little bit of anxiety so I do a lot of breathing exercises," she said. "I'm big on being outdoors. That's one thing that really helped me exercising and getting outside," she said.

If you or someone you know is struggling mentally, help is just a phone call away.

Dial 988 to reach the Suicide & Crisis lifeline.

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