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A life less spoken: how a Las Cruces mother is remembering her son

EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) -- Isaiah Nordgren was 21 years old when he lost his life to suicide. Now, his mother is remembering him by publishing her grieving journey.

'A Life Less Spoken' by author Crystal Ellison, is a heart-wrenching collection of poems from different points throughout Ellison's life. The book was inspired by her son, Isaiah, after she lost him.

"I just feel like he wanted me to share my story, and then from there, he woke up a side of me that I thought had died. A side of me that I've never felt before. And I believe that this is what I'm meant to do," Ellison told ABC-7 in an exclusive interview.

What Ellison is meant to do, in her own words, is help others who struggle with their mental health. But to do so, she first had to face struggles with her own mental health.

"I had tried to do an overdose when I was 17. And the (thought) crossed my mind after my son passed," said Ellison. "And I can relate to where parents don't want to live anymore after losing a child. But that's not the answer."

Ellison said she believes the answer, at least for her, is helping other people find hope -- something Dr. Jagdish Kubchandani says is desperately needed.

"This year would be the record high compared to the last three years of suicides nationwide. Approximately 45 thousand people will die of suicide," said Kubchandani. "Compared to neighboring states, New Mexico still is the worst. And the reasons are multi-factorial. Poverty, lack of mental health care resources, drug use, and general prevalence of mental illnesses in this community."

Isaiah is one of more than 2,100 New Mexico residents who died by suicide in the last five years, according to the CDC. He was the seventh member of Crystal's family to die by suicide.

"It's okay not to be okay. But if it's that bad to where you feel like you don't want to breathe anymore, live anymore, then that's when you need to reach out to somebody," said Ellsion.

You can buy 'A Life Less Spoken' on Amazon, at Barnes and Noble and other retailers.

If you or someone you know is in need of help, you can call the 24-hour suicide hotline at 988.

Article Topic Follows: New Mexico

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Kerry Mannix


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