Cumberland County group raises awareness of suicide to prevent premature deaths

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Amy Hartman, of Carlisle, remembers her husband everyday.

She says, "Blake was the most positive happy person. Anybody would know, family friends he taught Sunday school."

But 10 years ago, the 20 year-long marriage ended tragically.

Hartman says, "There was a note as I opened the front door explaining he had taken his life and not to go into the garage, so of course I did go into the garage and discovered him."

In the midst of trauma, Hartman prayed.

She says, "The night it happened I had such an incredible feeling that I was going to be able to use this tragedy someday. I hope to help somebody else going through this."

Now her prayers are being answered. Pastor Chuck Kish founded the Alpha/Omega group to help people prevent or cope with suicide from the moment it happens. Hartman, Kish and other counselors are ready to help.

Pastor Kish says, "Make no mistake about it, if someone is going to prematurely take their life, it's like a diamond with many facets to it and it can be complex, but we have seen people given the right information and bringing hope to them and that has helped."

Hartman says, "If it's just holding their hand or talking or just listening to them because I found with myself, having somebody listen to me repeat myself was so comforting."

Alpha Omega group leaders plan on raising awareness with students in classrooms. They'll also be on hand in the aftermath of suicides in Cumberland County.

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