POLK CITY — A student from the state of Texas was door-knocking here in Iowa promoting Senator Elizabeth Warren when she unexpectedly saved a person’s life.
It only took a couple of knocks for Carly Routh to decide her life was worth saving.
Carly is an Army veteran.
She suffers from PTSD, anxiety and has survived military sexual trauma.
Her roommate was gone one morning and that’s when she made the decision to end her life.
“The voice in my head said, ‘You cannot get through this. You are not going to survive this and you are not going to survive tomorrow. You need to commit suicide.’ As scary as it sounds those thoughts came on so fast and I felt so at peace with that. I made up my mind that I’m going to take my own life right now. And it was that exact moment that Parisa knocked on the door,” Carly said.
But the day Carly said she was going to take her life, Parisa stepped in.
“She looked at me and said, ‘are you okay?’,” Routh said.
“I offered to call the police and anyone she needed and instead she asked that I come inside and make sure she calls someone instead,” door-knocker Parisa Mahmud said.
Carly is now a mental health advocate.
“Suicide is real and it’s not talked about,” Carly said.
She hopes her and Parisa’s story will inspire others that there is life beyond your struggles.
“I really want to make it okay to talk about mental health and it is okay to not be okay and it is okay to ask for help,” Carly said.
“I had her house and then a house next to her and another that was way out of the way. I was about to go to the other house and I decided at the moment that I didn’t want to. After that had happened I just couldn’t stop thinking about what would have happened if I had not been at her door at the moment, you know?,” Parisa said.
Now Carly and Parisa both said they have made a life long friendship and will continue to advocate for mental health.
If you want information on how to seek help if you or someone you know is struggling, you can contact the Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-8255. Or if you are a veteran you can reach out to that same number and press 1.