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From Teen Suicide Attempts To Uplifting Others

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Adult Portrait of Traci Neal

34-Year-Old Portrait of Traci Neal

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Taking Steps To Uplift Others Through Suicide Prevention Training

There is a light on the other side of the darkness life can bring.”
— Traci Neal
COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA, UNITED STATES, June 25, 2023/ -- As a 13-year-old teenager, Traci Neal thinks she is ugly. These thoughts elevate by those around her. She has peers at school make fun of her appearance in various capacities, a few family members comment about her physical size, and strangers voice their opinions about her also. It feels like a whirlwind of people who seem not to like her. Negativity starts shaping Neal’s mind to believe the world is against her.

She still recalls pine cones and other objects thrown at her head by her peer group. She remembers some schoolmates threatening to throw her in trash cans. The bullying at school gets so bad Neal tries to end her life. There is one thing that motivates her and becomes her outlet for low self-esteem. It is poetry. Poetry allows her to be seen, be known, and be heard.

At 34, Neal now uses her poetry to uplift people who need hope. She desires for many to know they are not alone. She realizes her experiences are influential and a confirmation for individuals to never give up. There is a light on the other side of the darkness life can bring. Neal understands by sharing her story with the world, she is showing that the time for silence on the issue of suicide has to end.

Suicide affects various age groups, especially teens. When Neal experiences bullying during her teenage years, the usage of technology as a social means is not as prevalent then. Youth today have to deal with social media, cyberbullying, and critics within the technology world. Mental health is vital for all, but communities will never grow until the world discusses what is affecting people mentally.

Neal wants to advocate suicide prevention. She is taking the necessary steps to do her part by participating in suicide prevention training to help better serve her South Carolina community. Neal hopes to compel others in leadership or any job position to consider receiving training in suicide prevention. All online training courses are free of charge. Neal knows if we each grow in our knowledge of suicide, we may save a life.

For more information on suicide prevention training, visit the website of the Suicide Prevention Resource Center.

If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts or a mental health matter, visit the website of the International Association of Suicide Prevention.

Watch the Teen Suicide interview on WACH Fox 57 (South Carolina) website

Traci Neal
Traci Neal Speaker Poet