There are more suicides than homicides in Alabama every year

Updated: Sep. 10, 2019 at 6:58 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - It’s a story that is not uncommon.

"John suffered from depression and didn’t seek treatment. And hindsight I can see where he was trying to have a conversation with me. And at the time I didn’t have the information or skills and I did not have that conversation,” said Cheryl Dodson.

She is talking about her friend, John B. McLemore, who took his own life in 2015.

If McLemore’s name sounds familiar, it’s because he was the main focus of the podcast, "S-town.”

Dodson was interviewed for it, which changed her life.

"Was talking to someone after the podcast and made a connection and they referred me to Alabama suicide prevention and resource coalition,” said Dodson.

On World Suicide Prevention Day, Dodson was speaking on behalf of that organization to a group at Brookwood Baptist Medical Center.

"CPR for physical health, I’m going to teach the QPR technique for mental health,” she said.

That stands for question, persuade, and refer. It’s three steps anyone can learn.

“So prior to someone being in crisis. We want to know how to have a conversation with someone that makes a difference,” said Dodson.

Since her friend’s death Dodson has become advocate for suicide prevention. Honoring him, by speaking out.

“Sometimes sharing your own story can save someone,” said Dodson.

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