It's a word you rarely hear during our newscasts, suicide, especially when it comes to teens.
It’s a word that’s important to discuss now during the pandemic when many teens might be struggling with their mental health. A local man and woman are tackling this topic head on for personal reasons.
"He was a great kid. A good wholesome kid. He loved to smile," cried Stacie Robinson.
Stacie wiped away tears as she remembered her baby brother gone too soon. At just 18 years old, his senior year of high school, he took his own life. Stacie remembers seeing the signs.
"He got into a depression in his life," she explained. "Giving away his video games to his best friend. Calling his friend depressed. Maybe not taking care of his self hygiene-wise. Those are signs that child is going through something, either depression or something else. But when he gave away his prized possession, his game, to his best friend that was the ultimate. That would have been the sign had we known."
“Do you miss your brother?” asked Local 4′s Evrod Cassimy.
“Tremendously,” said Stacie.
“What’s his name?” asked Evrod.
“(Crying) Bryan walker.”
20 years later, the pain hasn't subsided.
"When people talk about suicide, they don't see what is left with the family and how that affects the family later on," said Stacie.
Calvin Mann has a formula to help prevent teens from suffering in silence.
“What we used was engagement and then we learned to empower them and then we applied the encouragement,” said Calvin. “So that’s our method and that’s our way we’re gonna smash suicide.”
He too has seen teen death at an alarming rate. It led him to create the non-profit, Encourage Me I’m Young or EMIY for short, with one main goal.
"To impact boys, the lives of boys through fatherhood so we improve the lives of families," said Calvin.
Together Calvin and Stacie have teamed up for the non-profit affecting the lives of young men from all across metro Detroit.
“And expressing to them to go for their goals and dreams. That’s where I stand. And I’m constantly trying to keep them focused on goals and dreams,” said Calvin.
"Whatever I can do to assist a child in not taking their life, that's my mission, that's my family's mission," said Stacie.
And to that young boy that is suffering in silence Stacie says “You have people that love you. There is nothing that is so major that cannot be overcome.”
“Consider your dreams,” added Calvin. “Focus in that area and search for someone or ask someone who can help you with your dream.”
There is a fee to be a part of EMIY but sponsorship opportunities are available. For more information, please visit: https://emiyworld.com/
Don’t worry, girls are not left out either. Stacie Robinson works with young girls as well during the day through Franklin-Wright Settlements Inc. It’s a human services organization in Detroit that helps individuals and families with life and social needs.