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Serenity’s story: Warning signs for mental health in teens

Published: Sep. 24, 2021 at 5:33 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) -Serenity Allen, known as Sunny by her loved ones, was a bright light to everyone around her. Her mother, Katherine Wilke, told News 10 she enjoyed spending time volunteering through Girl Scouts and performing in band at Waverly High School.

“She was amazing, she was a light. When things were dark she always had a sense of humor always laughing,” Wilke said. “She would be willing to go somewhere if it was to help someone else. But could not do it to have fun for herself.”

But one tragic day two years ago changed everything for Katherine’s family. That’s when Serenity took her own life.

Katherine says while she can’t bring Serenity back, she can have open conversations with her kids to make sure they know they are not alone.

“Even if you don’t think someone cares and in you’re in that moment of drama, someone does. Be with them even if their even their mood just be with them,” said Wilke.

Katherine says feelings of depression or anxiety can happen to anyone, and it’s okay to get help. She says sometimes that first step is all it takes to save a life.

“We’re in this fight with them. Every challenge they have, we’re their biggest cheerleaders,” Wilke said. “Don’t criticize them, love them where they’re at. How we cope and handle it really matters, it can save a life.”

If you or a loved one is having suicidal thoughts, experts say the best thing to do is talk to someone you trust or go to the nearest emergency room.

The National Suicide Prevention Hotline is also here to help. That number is 800-273-8255. You can also text the national alliance on mental illness at 741-741. You will receive free crisis support from a trained counselor, 24/7.

There’s another way you can show support. This Sunday is the Out of the Darkness Community Walk at Lansing’s Adado Riverfront Park. 700 people are signed up, but News 10 has been told there is room for more.

SIGN UP ONLINE or in person. Registration begins at 11 a.m. Opening ceremonies start at 1 p.m.

The walk is free, but a $150 donation gets you a t-shirt. Proceeds benefit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

Copyright 2021 WILX. All rights reserved.

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