OLATHE, Kan. -- Their Johnson County town has been rocked by suicide, now local teens are doing something hoping to save lives. Johnson County teenagers held a soccer tournament Friday night, honoring three teens who recently took their own life. The teenagers hope to start a conversation with their peers, and donate thousands of dollars to a good cause.
It's not unusual to see teens in an intense soccer match on a Friday afternoon, but the game this Friday is different than the rest. Across the field, there were three posters facing back at them with the faces of three teens gone too soon. Ciara, Cady and Caroline. All local teens who have recently taken their own life.
"My sister...she was great."
The smile says it all. Teenie Goode was her sister Caroline's biggest fan. She lost her this past summer.
"It was the day after her birthday. None of us expected it," Goode said.
Teenie put this event together last year with two of her friends, in memory of Cady and Ciara. This year, she had to add her own sister to the list. Teenie says they all battled depression.
"When teenagers open up about depression and anxiety, they're like no you don't understand. You're joking. You're too young to know what that feels like. But no one knows what's going on mentally."
This is Teenie's way of getting the ball rolling and the conversation started.
"I think it has a really big impact, it provides a service in a different way," Kristin Vernon said.
Kristin Vernon works for the Headquarters Counseling Center in Lawrence, where people contemplating suicide call for the help. Vernon says there was a big increase in calls in November. The center is spearheading a peer-to-peer line, where teens will answer phones rather than adults. All proceeds raised on Friday will go towards that, all in the name of Cady, Ciara and Caroline.
"No matter what you're feeling- someone is always there to listen," Goode said.
If you or someone you know needs to talk with someone, call the hotline at 1-800-273-8255.