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The Suicide Prevention Project

Photo: Vicky Sunderland Photography

Teen suicide, it's a subject people don't like talk about.

But it's happening at an alarming rate.

According to the latest statistics from the Fresno County Corner's office, so far this year two teens have taken their own lives.

In 2016, eleven teens committed suicide.

In 2015, five teens killed themselves.

Now professional photographer, Vicky Sunderland is using her talents to let all teens across the valley know they are not alone in whatever troubles they are going through.

She created pictures which depict the real-life challenges and struggles teenagers face today.

Struggles like homelessness, to feeling unwanted, mental illness, to being bullied.

Sunderland says, "Suicide is the second leading cause of death for kids between the ages of 10 to 24. Right now, there is an epidemic. I didn't really know about it, till I met a mother from Visalia, whose son Jace had committed suicide and it pulled at my heart."

It pulled her heart so much, Sunderland started the Suicide Awareness Project on Facebook.

She hopes teens will go there to share their struggles and know there's help out there if they need it.

Sunderland says, "You are loved. You are wanted. You are worthy. If it saves one people, that's enough for me." {>}{>}

She does plan on printing her photos, and allowing others, like maybe schools to use them to help spread the word to teens across the valley.

Sunderland says since placing the photos on Facebook, she's received calls from students at other schools in the valley, like Clovis High, which wants to take part in the project.

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