18-year-old suicide survivor encourages others to reach out for - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

18-year-old suicide survivor encourages others to reach out for help

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WARREN, Ohio -

The two high-profile suicide deaths of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain have had a ripple effect across the nation and the Valley. 

The deaths have prompted calls for help from those contemplating taking their life, from both victims and family members.

In Mahoning County alone, calls to the suicide hotline went up 26% in the last 2 weeks.

In 2017, Columbiana County recorded 14 suicides and Trumbull County recorded 40 suicides.

An 18-year-old girl from Warren spoke with 21 News about her experience with suicidal thoughts. 

When Natalie Preusser talks, she almost always has a smile. When she thinks about middle school, she says all she remembers is a dark time. 

Natalie says she grew up in a financially strained house, was being bullied in school, and having a rough time at home. 

"With everything going on in my own life, plus me being the plus-sized girl at a school where people weren't used to that or didn't want to accept that, or someone who may have been more of an oddball," Natalie says. 

After Natalie's mother was released from her own near-overdose and an absent father, she felt she had no one to go to, so she took a handful of her mom's medication.

Thankfully, she made it to the hospital and a mental health facility, but many do not.

Duane Piccirilli who runs Mahoning County's Mental Health & Recovery Board, says crisis hotline calls spike after celebrity suicides.

Piccirilli added, "We always see this. After Robin Williams, the calls went up and there was a concern that there were copycat suicides."

Natalie says she has advice for those considering suicide.

"Realize that this time will pass and reach out for help. Reaching out to yourself isn't always the best option, your self can be your worst enemy and sometimes you need someone to tell you-you're a beautiful person and that you can get there," Natalie said. 

If you're having suicidal thoughts, text 4 Hope to 741 741.  

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