Oklahoma ranks eighth nationally in suicides, and the number of suicides is up 30 percent since 1999. Next week an area tattoo artist will host a fundraiser, hoping to raise awareness and money to support suicide prevention.
Lindsey Moore got a special tattoo to honor the memory of her son Avery who committed suicide in April, just short of his high school graduation.
"I've said my goal, as his mother, is to spread the word," said Moore.
She's trying to spread the word about her son, about what a great kid he was, and about how blindsided they all were when he decided to take his own life.
"To bury a child to suicide is hard because you don't know why," Moore said.
Justin Williams of Grand Lake Mental Health in Rogers Country said that's often the case as there can be many causes. He said, there is no single factor that leads to suicide.
"Over 50 percent of people who commit suicide don't have a mental health condition," said Williams.
Rich Wallace has experienced suicide in his own life and wants to help raise awareness, so he created a watercolor design tattoo featuring a ribbon.
"It represents the tears shed on both sides," said Wallace.
He and his Secret Ink shop in Claremore will host an event next Monday and Tuesday starting each day at 8 a.m.
The tattoos are $40 and the proceeds will go to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Wallace says no appointments are required.