Girls support group: 'you are never alone'
Suicide is the second leading cause of death for teens and young adults, according to the CDC. Nine months after losing her daughter to it, Yvette Hernandez has made it her mission to break down stigmas around mental health.
"She just graduated high school, we lost her 17 days before her 18th birthday," Hernandez said.
Hernandez did not know her daughter, Jacquelyn was suffering. The young girl was bright, caring, and involved in her church.
"It's one of those things, what if she had one person she felt like she could confide in?" Hernandez asked. "Maybe she would still be here."
While she was completely blindsided by her daughters death, she was also inspired to save young women.
"Our middle daughter, she is 15 and she and Jacquelyn, they're really close," Hernandez said. "Anytime of day, I could go and find them in Jac's room."
Jac's Room is now a mentoring organization for girls. Every Saturday, young women from middle school to college meet at Across the Way Baptist Church.
"They cry together sometimes, they hug each other and it's really awesome to watch them bloom and blossom," Hernandez said.
It is not just young women Hernandez wants to reach. She warns parents to look out for any signs their child may be suffering from mental illnesses.
"There were small signs, I just didn't know what to look for," Hernandez said. "So be aware, especially when you have kids this age because they go through so much."
She said this is just the beginning. She wants to reach as many young girls, even if they are not struggling with mental health, so no one ever feels alone.
"I hope that she's watching from where she's at and just happy that, that's what's going on," Hernandez said.
Jac's Room is hosting a scholarship banquet Thursday night to celebrate one of its members graduating high school. It will be at the Emanuel Worship Center from 6:30 - 8 p.m. If you are interested in tickets, or joining the group, email firstname.lastname@example.org.