Mother of teen who committed suicide launching non-profit to hel - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Mother of teen who committed suicide launching non-profit to help others

Lily Adams (Provided) Lily Adams (Provided)
FAIRFIELD, OH (FOX19) -

The mother of a local teenager who took her own life is honoring her daughter by working to help other teens who might consider suicide.

Paula Adams said her 13-year-old daughter Lily Adams, a student at Fairfield Middle School, committed suicide June 21.

Lily, according to her mother, was a happy, fun child.

"She was outgoing, never saw a person that she could not make laugh. She made funny faces," Paula said. "She was an artist. She was a poet."

Several months before Lily's passing, Paula said she noticed a change in her.

"She started withdrawing, isolating herself, getting darker and darker, writing darker poetry," Paula said.

Lily's father had died, Paula had a stroke and Lily was struggling with her grief, so Paula said she fought to get her daughter help any way she could.

It wasn't until after her daughter's death that Paula said she found cruel messages on Lily's social media accounts and learned she had been bullied.

"She's been called several terrible names, and there was one boy at school who picked on her constantly," Paula told FOX19 NOW.

Some, Paula said, even encouraged Lily to kill herself.

"I've had my bouts of crying, going in the shower and just screaming my head off with just grief, pure, agonizing, horrible, but I decided that I need to move on," Paula said.

Moving on, for Paula, did not mean moving on from Lily. Instead, she is re-directing her pain into something positive.

She and her significant other Richard Tetley are launching "Project LIRA" - LIRA for Lillian "Lily" Indigo Roarke Adams.

"To have the information that they can share amongst themselves so that they know they're not the only ones who are struggling," Tetley, Co-Founder of Project LIRA, said. "They're not the only ones being bullied, [to know] that we do care."

Through their website, they plan to work with physicians, community leaders and pastors to educate the community. They're tackling any teenage topic from low self-esteem to bullying and self-harm.

They hope to speak at events, schools and churches too, and they want to let survivors of suicide share their stories through blogs.

The idea is to be a resource for all - all in Lily's honor.

"Get the message out that everyone is worth saving, and suicide is never the answer," Tetley said.

The Project LIRA website is up and running, although Paula said it is still under construction.

They said they are working on officially becoming a non-profit and are selling t-shirts and fundraising online to get the organization going.

This isn't the first time a student at Fairfield Middle School committed suicide. Thirteen-year-old Emilie Olsen took her own life in 2014 following bullying allegations.

The Superintendent of Fairfield City Schools Billy Smith provided a statement regarding Lily's death:

"The district mourns the loss of Lillian Adams and our thoughts and prayers continue to be with her family and friends during this difficult time. The district supports any efforts to support our students and families that are in need. or example, the district partnered with Changepoint to implement the ID Project at our middle school last year as well as the Be the Difference program at our high school. These programs allow students to learn about each other and have the opportunity to hear each other's differences, which ultimately results in a more positive environment for our students.

In addition to the ID Project and the Be the Difference program the district is bringing Jeff Yalden, a teen and family life coach, to the district in October. He is an expert in the fields of teen mental health, suicide prevention, and crisis intervention. Each student in grades 6-12 will have an opportunity to listen to Mr. Yalden. He will also be addressing the staff in our two middle schools, our freshman school and high school.  We will also be making him available for a community in the evening. Students, parents and community members are welcome to attend."

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please reach out for help. You can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-273-8255.

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