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Christen McGinnes lost her right jawbone and a third of her teeth and tongue when she shot herself in the head in 2010.
She had attempted to end her own life after a struggle with mental health, following a series of traumatic events.
She told Barcroft TV:
Right up to until 2009, I lived a charmed life. I had a lot of friendsI loved my job and I was best friends with my grandmother.And then, everything went to hell.I lost my job, my grandmother died. I was dating a really nice guy. I moved in with him and then he broke up with me.I’d lost all of my savings and began drinking heavily.At the time, I thought that killing myself was the right thing to do.
Right up to until 2009, I lived a charmed life. I had a lot of friends
I loved my job and I was best friends with my grandmother.
And then, everything went to hell.
I lost my job, my grandmother died. I was dating a really nice guy. I moved in with him and then he broke up with me.
I’d lost all of my savings and began drinking heavily.
At the time, I thought that killing myself was the right thing to do.
When she pulled the trigger, her roommate was sleeping in the next room. Her roommate called for an air ambulance to hospital and Christen was operated on.
She remained in a coma for three weeks and has since had 49 surgeries to reconstruct her face. She will need more in the future too.
I think the biggest change for me was seeing how much support I really had and how many people truly cared about me. It took the anger and depression away.
Christen now volunteers at the Trauma Network Centre in Virginia and strongly advocates people talking about their mental health.
By talking about suicide and admitting we’ve been there, others can know they are not alone.
You can watch the full video, below:
If you are feeling vulnerable, upset or depressed there is always someone available to talk and help.
You can contact the Samaritans 24-hours a day for free via their website or phone line 116123.
If you're LGBTQI and in need of someone to talk to, Switchboard LGBT offer advice and help every day from 10am to 10pm on their website and on 0300 330 0630.
Alternatively, if you suspect a young person might need help, you can call Childlinefor help and advice on 0800 111.