The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention reports that the state of Texas ranks 11th for suicide related deaths and on average, one person dies from suicide every THREE hours in the state.

Reporting on this story truly broke my heart. According to the Chron, tragedy struck North Texas when a father killed his two children before turning the gun on himself last Saturday. The children were ages 9 and 5. On Tuesday, December 12, the father, Dr. Christopher Dawson was identified as a 36-year-old surgeon from Dallas.

From the Fort Worth Star Telegram, Tarrant County medical examiners say the father shot himself after shooting his children on Saturday morning at their residence in what appears to be a murder suicide.

FOX 4 reports that Christopher’s wife, Rachel discovered her children’s bodies and called the police around 7 am.  The family was new to the area (just before Halloween) after moving from Phoenix.

Christopher began a new job at Baylor Scott and White Medical Center-Waxahachie on September 4th, but was no longer employed after October 20.  Tanner Franklin who lived across the street from the family heard a strange noise around 6:30 am Saturday morning and saw the family putting up Christmas lights.

They've been putting up the Christmas lights.  You come out here and see them with the dad. They seemed normal, man.

A friend of the family told KPNX Christopher was very controlling of his wife Rachel to the extent he wanted her to discontinue their friendship. Another friend, Ariel Borg became friends with Rachel in Phoenix and had no idea of the tragedy that would eventually occur.

We saw warning signs but I don't think anyone could have guessed that this would've happened. It shocked everyone….

The family has set up a GoFundMe page to help Rachel with funeral expenses. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Rachel and her family during this difficult time.

During the holidays, depression can play a serious role as individuals fall into hard times, which could lead to suicide.  If you know someone battling depression or if you are battling depression, please call the Texas Suicide Prevention hotline at (800) 273-TALK (8255).

Know the signs by studying them here and save a life this holiday season.