AG Steve Marshall discusses importance of suicide prevention one year after wife’s death

1 person dies every 10 hours from suicide

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Suicide is not an easy topic, but it’s the second leading cause of death for teenagers and adults 15 to 34 years old. That’s just in Alabama.

We sat down with Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall for an exclusive interview so he could share his personal story.

It’s been a year and half since Steve Marshall’s wife, Bridgette, passed after taking her life. He and their daughter are adjusting to a new normal, but it’s their story as a family which they want to use to help others.

In June 2018, we watched as Marshall talked about Bridgette’s suicide in a very public manner. This would become what Marshall says is transparency - as a survivor of someone who has taken their own life to help others.

Breaking the stigma of suicide shame

So, we talked about the word suicide and how people either don’t talk about it or don’t finish the sentence.

“Yeah, it’s funny. The semicolon is that kind of symbol people talk about in relationship to suicide. It is this idea of what’s next. I think, for me, I think being transparent is important," Marshall said.

Suicide is the 11th leading cause of death in Alabama.
Suicide is the 11th leading cause of death in Alabama. (Source: WBRC)

Transparency is important because on average one person dies by suicide every 10 hours in Alabama, according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

Marissa Grayson, the state chair, completes the sentence after the word suicide by saying the pain and stigma need to end. Grayson lost her father to suicide in 2005.

“Just remind him and anyone else who’s struggling, how much they matter and how much they’re loved,” she said.

Marshall also says when we all come together this season just talk and let’s offer hope.

If you know someone at risk, you can find resources here.

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