Lenexa woman hopes story of overcoming wanting to take her own life will help others struggling

LENEXA, Kan. – A Lenexa woman is hoping her own struggles with suicide will encourage others to keep living.

Phaedra Moll, 49, started having suicidal thoughts when she was in the third grade.

“I don’t really know where that came from, but my best friend had just moved out of town, I changed schools and I didn’t have any new friends,” Moll said.

Phaedra Moll

Those suicidal thoughts eventually led to Moll self-harming and later, in her mid-twenties, led to her trying to take her own life.

“I can’t tell you how many times I overdosed and was in the hospital,” she said.

Moll said stress over a recent move to the Midwest, a newborn baby and her ongoing mental health battle made life seem impossible; she didn’t know where to turn for help.

“I didn’t know how to get help,” the 49-year-old said. “I didn’t know how to ask for it, but somehow, some way somebody needed to know that things were not right in my world.”

Moll said she wanted to die, but at the same time, she wanted to be rescued.

“I wanted people to know just how much I hurt so they would find me in this super vulnerable position and come in and save me,” she said.

Moll’s final attempt at taking her life happened when she was 32. She recalls going to see her therapist after taking a handful pills. She gave him a note and had him play a song she liked before she lost consciousness.

“He’s looking at me, and he said, ‘Phaedra, what have you done?’ and I don’t remember anything after that,” Moll recalled.

Moll said her therapist saved her life. Someone had finally heard her cries for help.

“I scared myself, from death, back to life,” she said. “I was so close to dying and survived and decided that I didn’t I want to go down that road again.”

Moll admits that she still has suicidal thoughts, but she's learned to cope with it through therapy and a five-step plan.

“If talking to someone doesn’t work, if journaling doesn’t work, if breathing doesn’t work, if calling the therapist doesn’t work, then I’m headed to the emergency room,” Moll said of her plan of action.

Phaedra Moll

She also finds comfort in playing the harp. She said it allows her to share her story through music.

“It is something that is mine,” Moll said. “Nobody can take it away from me.”

Moll currently works for the Johnson County Mental Health Center where she offers peer support to other people on their path to recovery.

She hopes her story will give someone else, especially young people, enough strength to hold on when times are tough.

“My past has not held me back,” Moll said. “I have survived, and each and every one of you young people, who are experiencing these emotions, who are facing these daily challenges that are so overwhelming, it is possible to get through it and to have a happy healthy life. We are all stronger than we know.”

Suicide Help Information

If you are thinking of hurting or killing yourself PLEASE call 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433).

Learn how lifestyle changes can help you battle depression. KU is running clinical trials. To learn more call 785-864-4274 (leave a message) or visit http://psych.ku.edu.

If you are struggling and need to talk to someone who understands, call 1-866-WARM-EAR or 913-281-2251.

If you need more information or a referral, please call Mental Health of America at 913-281-2221.

No matter your financial situation, there is help available. Please seek help if you or someone you know is suffering.

Suicide Help Information Online

If you are having suicidal thoughts, we urge you to get help immediately.

Go to a hospital, call 911 or call the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433).

Click on the boxes below for our FOX 4 You Matter reports and other helpful phone numbers and resources.