Terry Bentley Hill has been in a battle to save lives for decades.
"I hate suicide. I’m in an all-out battle with suicide," said Bentley Hill. “In 1995, I lost my first husband to suicide. He also had a substance abuse problem, the solution to a lot of crisis in his life. Then, his solution was to take his life.”
Nine years later, she had to deal with the pain of suicide all over again. This time, it was her daughter Hallie.
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“My daughter followed in his footsteps and she took her own life as well,” said Bentley Hill.
The Dallas attorney has been using her pain for purpose ever since.
“I do believe that God redeems everything that he allows and that there must be purpose for the suffering. We’re either wounded or we are wounded healers,” she said. “I have an obligation to reach out to others who are hurting, just like I am. I decided that I will never ever pass someone who is distressed, crying, agitated or whatever. I will never not ask them if they are ok, because it may save their life."
Years ago, she joined forces with the Suicide and Crisis Center of North Texas, even serving now as a board member.
The center is the first responder in any suicide situation. It’s the only local agency with a 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week and 365-days-a-year crisis line. The center also offers an eight-week group called the Survivors of Suicide. It’s for the family members, the friends and others who are directly impacted when a loved one takes their own life.
Events like the North Texas Giving Day provides funding for these programs. Bentley Hill says they are services that are not only necessary, but urgent.
"There were over 500 people who took their lives in the last 365 days in North Texas. In Texas, there have been 2,500. In the nation, 46,000 people take their lives in a year,” she said.
Numbers she is fighting every minute.
"We have to stop telling people to mind their own business. We have to tell people to look for the signs. To listen for the language that a person who is depressed speaks,” said Bentley Hill.
24/7 crisis line: 214-828-1000 or 800-273-8255
For more information, visit SUICIDE AND CRISIS CENTER OF NORTH TEXAS