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Community gathers for vigil in Chandler to raise awareness about teen suicide

The candlelight vigil was held to remember two teens who died by suicide in Chandler last...
The candlelight vigil was held to remember two teens who died by suicide in Chandler last weekend.(Arizona's Family)
Published: May. 20, 2022 at 8:31 PM MST
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CHANDLER, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- Teens and parents came together on Friday night to host a candlelight vigil at Chandler City Hall after two teens died by suicide last weekend. The vigil was held to remember the students and bring attention to the rising number of teen suicides in Arizona. There have been six suicides among teens at Valley high schools in the past month.

Chander City Councilman OD Harris organized the vigil and posted about it on his Facebook page earlier this week, encouraging the community to attend the event. Harris said the event was necessary to bring everyone together to talk about a difficult topic and call for greater support for mental health. “This is the first time that the city has taken upon themselves to address such a critical conversation and bring awareness to mental health,” he explained.

Zariah Liufau is a student at Chandler High School who says she felt the need to step out of her comfort zone and speak about mental health. “It’s not an easy topic to handle. But it opens a lot of eyes to say, don’t just reach out to people to make sure they’re OK right now, but always check on them. Always make sure they’re good,” she said.

Liufau says she was classmates with one of the students who died and was among the many to come out to honor her memory. “She definitely was the brightest person in the room, and I never really expected it. I hope she’s resting now, and the love that everyone has for her at Chandler and the love I have in my heart is big for her,” she said.

If you or someone you know needs help, the hotline is 24/7 at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or visit the website at suicidepreventionlifeline.org.