Woman speaks on 988 crisis hotline after losing husband to suicide

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Kristen Christy, the widow of an Iraq War veteran, says the new crisis hotline 988 could have saved her husband's life.

Don was second in command at the Baghdad airport in 2004. Christy says he returned home with a Bronze Star and was a changed man.

RELATED: 988: New suicide prevention hotline launched

"I was trying to pull information out from him,” Christy said. “’How can I help?’ And that was intrusive to him."

Don died by suicide. His death deeply impacted Kristen and her two sons, Ryan and Ben. Their oldest son Ryan has been missing since 2015. Ben also tried to take his own life. Kristen still has his voicemail saved.

"I need dad right now," the voicemail says. "I can't live without him. I've been in mourning eight years of my life."

It took Kristen over a decade to face the loss of her husband and the changes in her sons. Now, she speaks publicly about how she was able to accept and manage mental health issues, and encourages others to reach out for help. 

“It's not a weakness to ask for help,” Christy said. “It takes courage. It takes bravery."

If you or someone you know needs help, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 988.


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