A Waco mother who is coping with the loss of her son who committed suicide four years ago created a support group to help other families going through a similar situation.
Anna Fajardo's son, Daniel Giorno was the youngest of her four children.
“He liked to work and he was very active. Always had a lot of energy. He was really funny," Fajardo said.
Giorno who took his own life in 2014 would've turned 22 on June 8.
“This is where I come to tell my son ‘Happy birthday.’ I’m not able to give him a hug, to kiss his forehead," Fajardo said.
Giorno who lived in Waco all his life left three children behind.
"I miss him so dearly. I just feel like a big piece of me is missing," Fajardo said.
Fajardo said Giorno suffered from depression and mood disorders.
"We knew he wasn't taking medication. We didn't think it was a big deal. We didn't even give it a second thought because he was doing better," Fajardo said.
She now knows he showed some subtle signs, such as ending relationships with friends and family and stopped caring about his personal belongings.
In 2016, she started a group called Waco Survivors of Suicide Loss for people who were affected by suicide. They meet on the fourth Thursday of every month.
“The journeys are very similar. It’s people who can identify with your feelings and understand your feelings because they’re either going through or have gone through the same thing," Fajardo said.
Waco's National Alliance of Mental Illness Cynthia Cunningham said some of the signs exhibited by someone considering suicide include: withdrawal, isolation, change in sleeping habits, rage and hopelessness.
However, some people may not exhibit any signs.
"A lot of times people with depression are good at hiding. They put a smile on their face, and you don’t know what struggles they are going through," Cunningham said.
NAMI offers education classes for families and caregivers to support someone with coping skills. In addition, there are support groups for people who are battling with mental illness and their caregivers.
“If we all come together and share our experiences, you’re not going through this alone. So many other people are dealing with the same issues," Cunningham said.
They also offer one-on-one sessions and connect them with resources in the community.
“We want to know that they are not alone. That there are options and there are ways they can cope with the pain," Cunningham said.
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