Hundreds gather to remember teen who took own life

Posted on: 10:00 pm, July 22, 2013, by

OLATHE, Kan. — A warning from Olathe teens Monday to take your friends comments online seriously.

Some Olathe North high schoolers said they are learning that the hard way after their friend took his own life last Saturday. This is the second teen in four weeks from Olathe to do this. School administrators said a student at Olathe South took his life last month.

Friends of the latest teen who killed himself gathered at a vigil behind Olathe North. Mental health experts were also on hand at the vigil in case teens needed someone to talk to.

“It’s really hard. It’s still unreal to some of us we didn’t see it coming so no one really knew,” Zosha Gomez, a friend of the teen, said.

“He was a wonderful person and we love him we still love him,” Catherine Nolan, another friend, said.

Gomez and Nolan said the signs of trouble are now clear: it was all online.

They said their friend had statements like, “this is it man, I’ve decided,” or another one that read “drifting away from reality and into my place of happiness and peace.”

“I think social media is a place that people put things and its never thought of any twice but it could be a cry for help and its sad that we have to see it now and learn from that,” Nolan said.

Mental health experts said social media has become a popular place to express symptoms of depression like irritability or anger. They say teens should take these comments seriously and forward it to someone who can help.

“We’re definitely going to pay attention to it more,” Nolan said.

Gomez added, “If your friend is upset and you can tell don’t just stand there and like let it pass.”

If you are having suicidal thoughts, we urge you to get help immediately. Go to a hospital,
call 911 or call the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-SUICIDE. Learn more by visiting FOX 4′s You Matter section online.

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