Richfield teen holding a prom a year after suicide attempt

The event raises money for suicide awareness
Posted at 10:39 PM, Apr 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-29 16:45:12-04

A Richfield family lived through their daughter's suicide attempt a year ago, and now they are celebrating her life with a prom.

The event called Karlee's Prom is to raise money for mental health awareness and suicide prevention to help others who might be struggling. Teen suicide has been a topic of discussion lately following the release of Netflix’s “13 Reasons Why.”

"February 15, 2016 my daughter attempted suicide," said Tricia Cull, Karlee Gross' mother.

A year ago Karlee tried to end her life.

"She literally did it right upstairs from our house and I don't know if it was God's intuition or mother's intuition. I literally just walked up there and found her," Cull said.

They rushed her to the hospital where she was kept in the ICU for three days.  But Karlee survived.

Friday night she attended prom. She now goes to a private school that doesn't have one so her mom organized one for her. All the money goes to suicide prevention and the organization Life of Hope.

"The main goal we want to change is the stigma that goes along with this topic. Because a lot of people feel like, "Oh my god what happened, what's wrong with that family?' When that has nothing to do with it," Cull said.

The Executive Director of Life of Hope Deeatra Kajfosz said the new Netflix series helps put teen suicide into the spotlight. But is worried at-risk teens might hear the wrong message.

"A youth might see it as a reasonable way out especially if they think it's a reason to teach someone a lesson," Kajfosz said.

Karlee struggled with anxiety and depression her sophomore year before she attempted suicide. Her message for other teens talk to someone if you are having a problem. She also had a message for her parents.

"Just believe in your kids when they say they are struggling with something," said Karlee.

Even with all the recent news on teen suicide the group most at risk for it is men 45 and older. If you need help the national suicide prevention hotline in 800-273-TALK (8255).

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