Local pastor shares story of his son’s suicide
SPANISH FORT, Ala. (WKRG) – May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Tonight we are focusing on a serious problem in our community… suicide. Pastor Richard Ullo and his wife, Sharon, shared the story of their son, Adam, who committed suicide on March 16, 2015.
At the Bible Baptist Church in Spanish Fort, the congregation turns to Pastor Richard Ullo for answers, but it was he who was left speechless when his twenty-four-year-old son committed suicide.
“It was my wife’s birthday, and as we were driving home our daughter called us and said, ‘Daddy, I think Adam killed himself.’”
The Ullos said they knew Adam was struggling, but not with this severity.
“There was never anything that made me feel like I was worried about him or worried about him,” Sharon said.
Adam had suffered a brain hemorrhage a few years earlier following a snow skiing accident. They said that even though he had been cleared by the doctors, he had never been the same. He had dropped out of college. However, he was on the right track and had started a production company for missionaries.
“We didn’t recognize it in our own son and are taking action. I dare say that this is one of our biggest regrets, as far as he is concerned, ”said Pastor Ullo. Ullo goes on to say that Adam finally made the decision to kill himself. As difficult as it may sound, they are getting better at not blaming each other for her death.
Equine Therapy Group counselor Kari Whatley says it’s so important to ask someone if they’re in pain, even if you have to pry up. She says not to turn around the question. Ask him the question: “Do you intend to kill yourself?”
“Just talking with someone and being really upfront with them and saying, ‘I’m afraid you might hurt yourself’ can go this far,” Whatley said.
Whatley says there are resources available in the community for those who need to talk to someone. You can reach her here.
The Ullos hope no family has to go through what they have, but they hope their story will encourage other families to keep lines of communication open to avoid tragedy.