POTEAU, Okla. (KFSM) — A local 13-year-old is speaking out about suicide prevention and mental health after surviving a jump off of a bridge into oncoming traffic.
On Dec. 27, 2019 teenager Lilliana Jimenez walked four miles to a bridge on Highway 112 in Poteau, Oklahoma with intentions of ending her own life.
“Something was going through my mind and it was taking over me and I couldn’t do anything about it,” Lilliana said. “I walked to the bridge by myself and sat on the bridge for a while and just looked down.”
As she sat on the bridge, two men working construction nearby saw her and tried to talk her away from the edge. At that very moment, her mother Gina Collins had just walked into the police station worried about her daughter.
“I was actually reporting her as a runaway on the other side of town and we were standing there as it went over the police radio that somebody had jumped off a bridge, and all I could think was 'no it's not her',” Gina said.
After Lilliana jumped into oncoming traffic, she was immediately life-flighted to a hospital in Oklahoma. The entire bottom half of her body was broken including her back, pelvis and both legs.
Today, just over a month later, she stood up and put on her own socks. The doctors say she will make a full recovery and walk again.
As her body heals, so is her mind. Lilliana wants to share her story in hopes of saving someone else who may be feeling the way she felt on the day she tried to take her own life.
Lilliana says she lives with bipolar disorder and depression. On that day she says she felt alone, but today she knows she’s not.
“To help others and let them know that they are not alone and that other people are going through the same thing,” Lilliana said.
Gina wants other parents to know it's ok to ask for help and she says to always remember tomorrow is a new day.
“If you are feeling like you have something wrong with you mentally don’t be embarrassed get help you know, it's okay, it will be okay,” Gina said.
According to teenmentalhealth.org, suicide is among the top three causes of death among young people. One in five young people suffers from mental illness.
If you or someone you know needs help, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or visit it's website.