2019 Fab 40: Debra Oaks Coe

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Age 62

City Lehi

As a real estate agent, broker and woman dedicated to suicide prevention, Debra is a superhero in many walks of life. She leads the Utah Suicide Coalition’s LGBTQ work-group and co-leads the Anti-Discrimination Committee of Mormon Women for Ethical Government. Debra writes articles on suicide prevention for magazines, newspapers and online publications. She teaches monthly classes on suicide prevention and Youth Mental Health First Aid. She has testified for suicide prevention related bills in Utah’s state legislature, met with local mayors, city and county councils as well as representatives in state and U.S. legislatures.

Kryptonite “I often don’t know where to start, what resources are available, or who to help. Fortunately, I have many amazing people in my life. I turn to them for help and wisdom. I am just the representative of many hundreds of amazing people who are doing so much good behind the scenes.”

Save the Day “At age 20, our oldest son was diagnosed with a chronic illness that eventually took his life. While he had always been a straight-A student, he could no longer go to school and that made him feel isolated and like he was a burden to us. I decided to go to school with him. For the next four years, we took all the same classes. I took notes when he wasn’t well enough to attend class. I cherish that time. He earned his bachelor’s and graduated with honors. It helped pull him out of a dark place and have a positive outlook on life. It was the start of my desire to help prevent suicide in our community.”

Desired Super Power “I would love to have the power to put people in another person’s shoes for a short time. I believe understanding each other’s unique struggles is the key to knowing how to help.”

 

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