This story originally aired in January 2010.
September is National Suicide Prevention Month and the awareness has hit close to home for one Inside Edition reporter. In 2008, Inside Edition Chief Correspondent Jim Moret contemplated taking his own life after he was faced with financial issues.
Moret, who is based in Los Angeles, recounted his personal turmoil in his 2010 autobiography, "The Last Day of My Life," and how he emerged from the depths of his own despair.
"I had this overwhelming feeling of hopelessness, and it really took me down a dark path, so that I actually thought, 'I'm worth more dead than alive,' because I knew that I had $3 million in life insurance and if anything happened to me, my wife and kids would be taken care of," Moret admits.
Before joining Inside Edition, Moret was out of work for more than two years after serving as host of CNN’s “Showbiz Tonight.” To help pay the bills, he borrowed money against his home.
Moret was overextended on his home and said "the shame and the humiliation was so overwhelming that I couldn't sleep and I would think about death."
Those thoughts nearly became a reality in April 2008, when Moret was driving on the Pacific Coast Highway near Malibu.
"And that's where I turned down this dark path in my mind and I thought, 'All I have to do is turn that wheel a little bit and I'll go right over the cliff, it'll look like an accident and everything will be fine,' " Moret says. "On that road I really was Jimmy Stewart in 'It's a Wonderful Life.' I was on that bridge, ready to jump. It was really a turning point in my life, I stopped the car and it was a 'scared straight' moment because it was a true wake-up call where I thought, 'Do I really want to do this?' And I thought first of my family, and they saved my life, they really did. The image passed and I saw my children and my wife and the pain that I would cause them."
Moret says the experience re-defined his life.
"We often value ourselves based upon our bank accounts," he said. "And that's not really our value at all."
No one in his family, including his wife, knew of his struggle.
“When I wrote the first two chapters, I showed them to my wife and she cried, and it was the first time she ever realized the depths of the pain,” he said.
At his wife's urging, Moret turned his near tragedy into a book, titled "The Last Day of My Life."
"Even though the premise seems dark, the book itself is one of hope and one of inspiration and empowerment," he explained.
If you or anyone you know is contemplating suicide call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.