EUGENE, Ore. -- A local teen is working to prevent suicide around the world and he's starting in Eugene.
Carson Lydon lost two friends to suicide in just the past two years. He's now working to raise awareness about mental health.
Lydon said he lost his close friend Will Manstrom-Greening to suicide on February 14, 2017.
"I've known him since I was born," said Lydon. Then, he said he lost a family friend, Christine Tofte, on May 15, 2018. He said he'll never forget those two dates or the two people they represent.
"It's just a lot of questions that you can't answer," said Lydon. "You just never know what's going on in someone's life."
At 15 years old, he's starting his sophomore year with a big goal: "Try to make this world free of suicide, that's my slogan."
For the second year in a row, he's getting a team together for the Out of the Darkness Walk, organized by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. AFSP said they use the funds raised to invest in new research, create educational programs, advocate for public policy, and support survivors of suicide loss.
Lydon said his goal is to raise $10,000.
"Last year I raised $5,000, but I got to go bigger this year," said Lydon.
He's designed shirts for his team, A World Free of Suicide-WMG&CT, and will be passing them out for free at the walk. He said Stoneworks International is sponsoring the few hundred he needs to order. Lydon said they're still looking for a company to help make them.
He says along with the walk, he tries to be more aware of others: "I try to make sure every single day to ask someone...how are you, and that I love them."
Lydon said he wants to make sure people know they're loved, because it can make a big difference: "If you keep fighting and keep persevering through everything that's going on in your life, you can make it positive."
The Out of the Darkness Walk will be at Alton Baker Park in Eugene on September 30th. The event begins at 10: 00 a.m. and the walk starts at 11:00 a.m.
If you'd like to get involved or donate, click here.
If you'd like to keep up with Lydon and his team's journey leading up to the walk, click here.
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