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Movement brings awareness to suicide, mental health

Enid News & Eagle - 6/19/2018

June 19--The I'm Enough Movement is hosting a meeting for women to bring awareness to suicide, mental illness, abuse and body shaming.

"I want to bring awareness to people like myself," said Crystal Barwick, founder of the movement. The plus-sized woman suffers from bipolar disorder, anxiety and depression.

"I'm tired of having to hide," Barwick said. "For the longest time I had to hide who I was. For the longest time, if I got overly happy I had to make up an excuse for it. If I got overly depressed, I had to make an excuse for it. I'm tired of making excuses. I am who I am."

Oklahoma has the 10th highest suicide rate in the nation. Region 10, which includes Garfield County, is right around the state average of 21 suicides per 100,000 people. Region 10 had 126 suicides between 2012 and 2016. The age group most at risk were young people between the ages of 18 and 24, according to the Oklahoma Department of Health.

Oklahoma is also ranked third in the nation for mental health because 22 percent of the population has any type of mental illness, according to the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.

Barwick said the next step for the I'm Enough Movement will be creating a dialogue in schools. Suicide is the second leading cause of death for young people between the ages of 10 to 34, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

"Young children are being bullied," Barwick said. "We have to stop this now because there is a chance they will move forward and we can make a change." Barwick said she thinks these children are being bullied because they look different.

The three most common reasons for suicide between ages 14 and 24 in Oklahoma were depressed mood, a problem with partner or a crisis in the past two weeks, according to the Oklahoma Suicide Prevention Council.

"We are not a support group, we are a mentor group," Barwick said. "We mentor to people. We encourage them to be all they can be, we talk when they want to talk but we do not have the resources to council them at all."

Hispanic, black and LGBTQ youth are more likely than their straight white peers to commit suicide at a young age, according to the CDC. The CDC study also said 15 percent of latina children attempted suicide in 2015, making latina adolescents the most at risk group among adolescents.

The Christian-based I'm Enough Movement supports people of all races, sexual orientations, and religions. The I'm Enough Movement will have free sandwiches, salads and chocolate fountains at a Women's Empowerment Day meeting on June 23. The meeting will be at the SpringHill Suites by Marriott (next to the Walmart Supercenter) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

"If you have to bring your husband, bring your husband," Barwick said. "This is a place where I promise you, you won't be judged."

"We know that men suffer from this also," Barwick said. Men die from suicide about 3.5 times more than women, according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

After Enid News & Eagle's interview with Barwick, a young woman stuck a note in Barwick's hands and told her not to read it until after she left. The woman quickly scurried out of the coffee shop. Barwick opened the letter and started tearing up.

The letter read, "I have struggled with suicide & depression since I was 9. I'm 23 now. Hearing you speak has really helped me. Please keep doing this. You're amazing."

The I'm Enough Movement hosts meetings every second Wednesday at Civitan Homes on Garland. The group also meets every fourth Friday of the month at the Public Library of Enid and Garfield County.

Barwick said she encourages people to call her if they have questions at (580) 747 -- 8438.

"I might be elbow-deep in dough for cinnamon rolls, but I'll put you on speakerphone and we can talk," Barwick said.

The I'm Enough Movement's next event will be a fashion show in August. Barwick said to contact her if you are interested in being a model.


(c)2018 the Enid News & Eagle (Enid, Okla.)

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