10/25/2014

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Group organized to help kids choose life over suicide

Group organized to help kids choose life over suicide

BATTLE GROUND, Wash. – A family nurse practitioner, and mom, concerned with recent news of teen suicides in Battle Ground is giving kids a voice.

She started a teen suicide task force where teens get to talk to kids their own age, and everything from bullying and depression to anxiety were the topics at Wednesday night's forum, which was packed with teens.

They listened as very brave teenage girls shared their own stories and spread positive messages to their peers.

Katlyn Viers is a 17-year-old senior at Union High School and Meredith Thompson is 16 and is a sophomore at Summit View High.

They both have similar heart-wrenching stories. Katyln said she was called "Fatlyn" every day in the 5th grade and Meredith was bullied and had trouble with having good relationships with people.

Katyln said 7th grade was hard but by the 8th grade her depression had gotten worse.

"I never got help with my depression," she said. "So it kind of took over, and I tried to kill myself freshman year."

Meredith said advice that it would simply boil over didn't help.

"I would get physically sick, because I didn't know how to express any of that. I would keep it all in, and I would make myself sick," she said.

On Wednesday, they were brave enough to share their stories among their peers, because they believe teens need to hear it from other teens.

"When you're a teenager and you listen to adults they're like, it gets better, but yeah, you can't relate to what I'm going through," said Katyln.

With support from loved ones and a plan, like Katlyn graduating early, they hope to help others now.

"To realize that it does get better, because for me, it got better," Katlyn said.

"You just can't give up,” Meredith said.

At the forum they were handing out bracelets that read "ALT" for Ask. Listen. Tell. when they see another teen in trouble. And they also had bracelets that read, "Choose Life."

The group is meant to be positive, teaching kids how to choose life.

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