Ozark Center Reminds Public of 24 Hour Hotline Counselors as Tow - KOAM TV 7

Ozark Center Reminds Public of 24 Hour Hotline Counselors as Town Grieves


Ashley and Eric Grafton remember their energetic and kind son Ty, a sophomore at Joplin High school, and an incredible big brother.

"He was always going somewhere, doing something. He would beat box while he was doing the dishes or doing chores" says Ashley.

"He was really good at soccer and basketball. Basketball was his primary thing but he was just really dexterous and I was jealous because he was so naturally good at it." says Eric.

Last December, the young man who was know for dancing instead of walking everywhere took his own life.

The Ozark Center Crisis Services offers 24-hour-a-day help for people facing similar situations, or even people just having a crisis in general.

"You do not need to be suicidal to call, you can be stressed, anxious, not sleeping not able to eat..having a bad time in a relationship, you can call." says Debbie Fitzgerald from the Ozark Center Crisis Center.

 Experts say you should be cautious if your loved one is displaying extreme mood swings, isolation, the use of alcohol and drugs, and giving out possessions. But experts say some people don't ever show a sign that something is wrong.

Just like 16 year old Ty, who's family plans on working with Joplin high school on amping up their suicide prevention program, with more constant education on suicide, speakers, literature..and maybe even a mobile app with FaceTime like features to go to while in a crisis. And, one serious reminder.

"You're not really breaking a friend's trust if you tell an adult or tell a professional that your friend is in trouble, your friend might be angry with you in the short term but an angry friend is better than a dead friend" says Ashley.

Donations to the Ty Grafton Memorial Fund can be made at any Southwest Missouri Bank location. All proceeds will go towards future suicide prevention programs at Joplin High School.


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