TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) — A Topeka woman is working to tackle the issue of teen suicide. After losing a loved one to suicide, it’s a cause that’s very close to her heart.
Alicia Newberry is the founder of HEARTS. It stands for, “Helping Empower Adolescents Reject Thoughts of Suicide.” Her brother Joseph was just 18 when he died by suicide.
Newberry said on the outside he was a social, talented athlete, but inside, he had some personal struggles that people didn’t realize.
“He listened to this song ‘Ready for a Funeral’ and it didn’t hit me until after the fact,” said Newberry. “I don’t want parents to look back in retrospect like man, he was listening to his or she was writing this down. It’s so easy to just look at the evidence in front of us and dismiss it. So, it’s important that we just start having these conversations.”
Through her organization, Newberry provides information and shares resources with parents and students about suicide prevention.
She’s even working on getting a prevention and awareness program into local schools.
For more information about HEARTS, click HERE.