(upbeat music) - [Narrator] Suicide deaths can leave families and communities reeling.
Each year, around 15 million Americans think about taking their lives, but the vast majority never make an attempt to die by suicide.
- How are you doing?
- Enjoying the fair?
- [Narrator] For those who do face a suicidal crisis, friends and family can step in to make sure they get the help they need.
- My two friends were right there, you know?
And it's crazy to think about, because I know I wouldn't be here, if they didn't come through, and if they didn't knock on my door.
- My first words of hope were, I can't remember if it was the nurse or the doctor, or both of 'em, said, "We can help you with this."
That was my first ray of hope.
- I could not, in good conscience, allow her to stay there, and not get the help that I knew she needed.
- I realize it now, and I realize later, the way she had done was like a hero.
All heroes don't wear capes.
- The way that you start a contagion of hope is to start spreading stories of recovery, of resilience, of hope, because people don't think that you can recover from many different types of mental illnesses, and you can.
There are people who've been seriously suicidal, who then go on to have remarkably wonderful lives.
- [Narrator] Lives that are sometimes devoted to bringing hope to others.
Greg Whitesell was a high school basketball star on the Flathead Indian Reservation in Montana, when he considered taking his own life.
Today, Greg and his former teammates spread their messages of hope and healing in their community and beyond, using the power of social media.
- Our message is one of courage, togetherness, and hope.
- I've been faced with depression, and without the help from my two best friends, I wouldn't be standing in front of you here today.
- [Narrator] Fonda Bryant considered suicide multiple times.
Today, she spreads her messages of hope and healing by sharing her story, and educating community members about suicide prevention.
- If you have a friend, a family member, a co-worker, check on 'em, check on 'em.
It's the best deterrent.
"How are you doing today?"
"How are you feeling?"
And mean it.
- [Narrator] When people step in to help others in trouble, lives can be saved, but experts believe much more can be done, if we work to prevent suicide in entire communities.
They're hopeful about large-scale changes that could make a difference, changes that would require coordination between doctors, therapists, emergency services, schools, and policy makers.
- There are investments that we can make as a nation.
Investments in research, in clinical treatments, in programs, prevention education, both in the clinical setting, but it can also be for families, students, teachers, law enforcement, policy makers, as it turns out everyone has a role to play in preventing suicide.
We can become a safety net, as a community, and not just rely on the clinical system to provide care.
- If you're thinking about killing yourself, know that you're loved, know that you're cared for.
Today might be hard, but tomorrow's a new day.
- [Narrator] If you are considering suicide, or if you or someone you know, is in emotional crisis, please call 988.
Call or text 988 for confidential, free crisis support.