The Political Beat: Local advocate talks importance of proposed mental health bill

CHARLOTTE — Warning: Some of the content below may be tough to read.

Fonda Bryant found herself contemplating taking her own life nearly 30 years ago. But a loved one stopped her.

Bryant then dedicated her life to helping save lives in Charlotte. She talked to the Political Beat’s Joe Bruno 12 stories in the sky, where some people have decided to take their own lives.

“They know that when they jump, that’s it. It’s no coming back from it, no waking up and saying oh my god, “I made a mistake,” Bryant said. “Once you go over that edge. That’s it.”

Bryant has advocated for a lot of change throughout the years and pushed for signs for help in places such as parking decks. A bill in the state house would set aside half a million dollars for parking deck operators and local governments to install suicide prevention signs. They would be placed in garages that are at least three stories high on each floor, in the elevator lobby and stairwell.

State lawmakers are calling the bill the Fonda Bryant Suicide Prevention Signage Act.

“Because we’re in a state of mental health crisis in in North Carolina, and across the country, that just seeing that sign, and it says you are not alone, and also helps remove some of the stigma that more individuals will reach out,” representative Carla Cunningham of North Charlotte said of the bill.

>> In the video at the top of the page, watch Bruno’s full interview with Bryant.

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