Mother shares story of son’s suicide to save young lives

Suicide among teens and young adults is on the rise and the numbers are staggering.

Every year in the United States, more than 4,600 teens and young people commit suicide. It’s now the second leading cause of death for 10- to 24-year-olds behind car crashes.

Lori Mulholland, of Carlisle, lost her son to suicide.

“He loved life and was very happy and a sensitive soul. He reached out to the underdog. Every homeless person in town my son knew their name,” said Mulholland.

Twenty-year-old Zachary Ryan was dealing with personal problems. He turned to drugs to help cope and numb his pain. In August 2012, Zach took his own life at his girlfriend’s home.

“He had a shotgun and he was saying, ‘I’ll just kill myself, I’ll just kill myself’ and the gun went off,” Mulholland said.

September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. Mulholland is using her grief to help others. She’s trying to raise awareness of suicide prevention programs and help teens who are struggling. She wants them to know suicide is never the answer and there’s plenty of help out there.

“There’s a hole in my heart that will never heal,” Mulholland said. “It might get a little scar but it will never heal. Tomorrow is another day. This is just a temporary situation and if you can cope, there is hope.”

Studies show teens are more likely to text than call a crisis helpline. They can text 741741 to get in touch with a crisis counselor.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is committed to saving lives. For help and more information, go to

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