'You’re not alone': Iowa teen mental health advocate - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

'You’re not alone': Iowa teen mental health advocate

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On average, one person dies by suicide every 20 hours in the state of Iowa according to the Department of Public Health.

It's a sensitive topic as mental health issues and depression are still stigmatized, but one Cedar Falls High School senior is working to change that. 

17-year-old Tehya Tournier has lost family friends and recently a classmate at Cedar Falls High School to suicide. 

Tournier said, "This year at Cedar Falls High School, we lost a classmate to suicide and there was an attempted suicide at West High School." She continued, "I've had family friends lose people who are struggling; it's been around my whole life and that's why I am so passionate about getting awareness out there."

She is now partnering with Troy Belmer, organizer of 'Alive and Running', to host her own assembly focused on suicide prevention and awareness. 

She says, "You are going to get tips on signs, what to look for and what to do when someone is going through these types of things."

Tournier says she's got a message that has the power to save a life... and she wont stop until she's heard. 

She says, "I wanted to be a voice and get it out there to say, 'you matter and people are listening."'

There will be a number of speakers at Tournier's assembly on March 22 at New Aldaya Lifescapes in Cedar Falls. It starts at 6:15 p.m. and it free to the public. 

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