OKEECHOBEE, Fla. — Her daughter attempted to take her own life more than two years ago as part of a foiled suicide pact.
Now, an Okeechobee County mother is continuing her mission to keep other families from feeling the sting of suicide, writing a tell-all self-help book she hopes will give support to struggling families.
“No one asks to be suicidal. It’s a mental health issue. It’s a mental health issue that needs to be addressed,” said Katrina Sheffield.
Sheffield says her daughter’s attempted suicide during her 9th grade year took the family by surprise.
“Three days after she attempted her suicide, I was watching the Today show. And on the Today show, they were talking about the rise in suicide and they mentioned three steps that there are to look for. There were no three steps with me,” Sheffield said. “If there are no signs, there are no signs. So I set out to let other parents know in my position, you cannot blame yourself."
Sheffield said she learned first-hand that there was not a lot of help for families in her position.
“My husband pulled his youngest daughter out of a crimson blood bathtub and a week later had to go back to work,” Sheffield said.
So she started an organization called POSK, or Parents of Suicidal Kids, to be a resource to families needing advice and support.
“I’ve had an excess of 50 people or more reach out to me and share their story with me,” Sheffield said.
She also wants to be able to give financial assistance to families so they can take time off work and tend to matters at home, without worrying about lapses in pay or missing bills.
She wrote a book called ‘Broken but Worthy’ which she hopes will help raise money for families and offer another source of help for families who need it.
It contains stories of lives she’s helped save, resources she finds beneficial, and goes into detail about her daughter’s story.
“She’s okay with her story being shared if it saves another life,” Sheffield said. “The name of the book is ‘Broken but Worthy’. That is the name of the book because in the end we’re all broken but we’re all worthy. We’re all worthy of living,” Sheffield said.
Katrina says she also wants to create a documentary that would be played in schools for suicide prevention.
She plans to keep the book at a low cost so more people can access her message.