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Local speaker lost father and son to suicide; hopes program will help suicide crisis

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Posted at 4:15 PM, Mar 07, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-07 19:57:40-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — State Representative Rick Staples filed a resolution this year calling teen suicide a "state crisis." It will also create a suicide review program to research statistics and prevent suicide deaths.

Annette Lake, of Lebanon, believes the program is needed. She lost her father and son to suicide.

"Ten months, ten days, my father committed on March 21 2001. My son committed January 31 2002," she said.

She said she was numb after their deaths. Her son Terence was 17 when he took his life.

"He had everything, he was popular he played football so I was blindsided by it.

But Terence, a class leader, would also get angry. His mother could never understand why.

"He would get angry or be angry about something and have problems in school. So we put him in a program called YCAP it was part of the YMCA program and they helped kids that were struggling in schools or have behavioral issues. Suicide was never part of it, it was why are you so angry why do you lash out, but really that was an early sign that something was wrong," she said.

Data from Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network shows a more than 24 percent increase in child suicide deaths from ages 10 to 17.

Every now and then, Lake shares her story hoping to impact at least one life.

"People commit (suicide) because they're in pain and they don't see a way out. So if I can do that just one person every time I speak that's impacted I've done what I've need to do because I feel that it's my purpose," she said.

If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, help is available. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.