By Kellee Azar, KATU News, Monday, September 10, 2018
OREGON CITY, Ore. — Three simple words — one question — can make all the difference.
Are you okay?
“I think it would be a lifesaving measure,” suicide survivor Rebecca Uecker said.
Clackamas County, along with the Clackamas Arts Alliance, started the project “Ask the Question” in hopes of raising awareness, stopping the stigma and giving everyone hope.
For one part of the project, photographs were taken of suicide survivors and a quote representing part of their journey.
“If I can bring hope to just one person, then my job is done,” Uecker said.
Uecker is one of those survivors.
“I first has suicidal thoughts when I was a teenager,” Uecker said.
When she was a baby she was adopted, leaving her with issues of abandonment and identity.
“At my worst, I made my only actual attempt at age 17, but I have lived with those feelings on and off,” Uecker said.
She says at that time her feelings were all-consuming.
“At my worst, it looks like me crying on the closet floor. Not living day by day, but minute by minute, saying I can’t do one more minute,” Uecker said.
Luckily though, she survived.
“When it was the worst, I didn’t save myself for myself, I saved myself for my family,” Uecker said.
Now she is featured as one of a number of survivors for the Ask the Question Project.
“I want my experience to count for something,” Uecker said.
And her hope is to give others what she so desperately needed.
“If it were more acceptable in society and not seen as a weakness but as an illness, I think it would save lives,” Uecker said.