Rena Romano has been through so much suffering.

It started at the age of four, she was sexually assaulted for years by her brother, her own flesh and blood.

“I was in so much pain. I couldn't think of anything else but ending the pain,” says Romano.

Her brother wasn't the only one who mistreated her. As a young adult, a colleague sexually assaulted her.

The pain, the hurt was too much to handle, she thought about ending her life.

“The night before I was going to commit suicide. I spent the evening trying to find the perfect outfit to wear. I was more concerned about the people who would find my body and how I would look,” she says.

Romano instead called a suicide prevention hotline.

You can also call, anytime. The number is 1-800-273-8255

The lifeline is free, confidential, and always available.

“The man on the other side of the phone gifted me the greatest gift,” she says.

Kelli Deaton with the Crisis Center used to that person on the other end, helping those vulnerable to suicide.


Now, she is a Suicide Prevention Care Coordinator. She assists the person seeking help after they call the hotline.

“We sit with them, we listen. A lot of it is listening and letting them vent. Letting them talk about their story,” says Deaton.

With the recent death of Chester Bennington from Linkin Park, Deaton says celebrity suicides play a vital role in influencing those feeling defenseless.

“They can relate to them and they connect with them. If they think it's good enough for them, it can be good enough for me,” says Deaton.

The key, Romano says, is to find the strength to overcome the temptation.

Now, a motivational speaker, she helps others in that numb state of mind.

Romano also has a podcast called “Survive to thrive.”

“Failing at suicide. I'm glad I did. There was a point a long time ago, I was in so much pain. I didn't know how to ask for help,” says Romano.