By Kim Powell
ODESSA - Since the beginning of February, Lee White has had three friends commit suicide. It's a topic that many seem to shy away from, but a problem that continues to grow nationwide, especially right here in West Texas.
"Everybody thinks suicide and it's like the devil or something but it's something that's really out there and you can't just sweep it under the rug because it's going to keep happening if you don't step up and do something about it," White, said.
That's why she is teaming up with the chair of the Permian Basin's Out of the Darkness (OOTD) organization, Amanda Beaman, who lost her brother to suicide three years ago. Since then she has worked to bring awareness and raise money for suicide prevention, but admits that there seems to be a lack of resources in the Permian Basin.
"When it comes to suicide, I've learned it's a very reactive thing. When it comes to being proactive with prevention, nobody cares," Beaman said.
"I've been on both sides of suicide; I've attempted, I've been in hospitals, and you know, I've dealt with people who have attempted and succeeded and they don't really listen in the hospitals," White said.
While school districts have stepped up their efforts to prevent teen suicides, there are still high suicide rates in adults. That's why the two are hoping the community can come together to show support for one another.
"You're not alone. There are people out there that are thinking about it and feel that they're so alone and that nobody cares but there are people out there that do care and that will put time to help you," White said.