Mental health in spotlight following Meghan Markle's disclosure about suicidal thoughts
Mental health is in the spotlight after Meghan Markle revealed she thought about taking her own life in a bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey on Sunday evening.
"I just didn't want to be alive anymore," said Markle. "That was a very clear and real and frightening constant thought..."
The Duchess of Sussex made a candid disclosure during the interview about feeling targeted and isolated as the first biracial member of the British royal family.
Former White Plains resident Leydy Rodriguez says it bring back painful memories to her.
"It doesn't matter where you're coming from. If you feel isolated, it's bound to happen. It's bound to become so bad, that you feel like dying," she says.
The 33-year-old emigrated to the U.S. from Colombia when she was 11.
"I grew up very poor, there was a lot of warfare I saw too many things that I shouldn't have seen," she says.
Rodriguez says it left a psychological scar and that she self-isolated for a year in her 20s and thought of taking her life.
Marie Considine heads up the Westchester chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
She says Meghan Markle coming forward with her story will help others.
"Just the fact that she did reach out for help is a huge step, especially in an institution like the royal family. To reach out for help is overcoming a number of barriers and stigma right there," she says.
Rodriguez agrees, and says she overcame her mental health struggles.
"It can always get better. And if we don't talk about it... then we're going to lose more people," she says.
The National Alliance on Mental Health says calls to their call center have gone up 15% over the past year, with the calls lasting twice as long.