HUBBARD, Ohio (WYTV) – This week’s Hometown Hero works around the clock to help prevent what happened to her son from happening to other teens.
Amy Zell is the coordinator of Teen and Virtual Services at the Hubbard Public Library. She loves her job because she gets to work with kids every day, but she also helps teenagers with a very serious issue – suicide.
“I lost my son almost seven years ago — November 15, 2009 — at the age of 16 to suicide,” she said.
After doing some work with the American Association of Suicide Prevention, Zell started the Trevent Fund, named after her son’s favorite gaming name. The non-profit helps people who are contemplating suicide or know someone who may contemplating suicide.
“We work with them to help them identify what resources they have in the community,” she said.
The Trevent Fund holds events, discussions and different programs in the community to help raise awareness of suicide prevention. According to Zell, her biggest impact is calling or texting with people in trouble.
“I could get a text at 2 in the morning from someone I’ve never talked to before. I had a person once who sent me a text and said, ‘My boyfriend said if I’m ever sad, text this number. I don’t know who you are, but will you talk to me?'” she said.
Zell said sometimes people having problems can only text her because they aren’t ready to talk yet.
“They’ll text for a couple days and when they feel better, they’ll stop. So that’s one of the things we can do, because we’re not one of those big organizations,” she said. “Help Hotline has amazing programming, and we always refer them to Help Hotline because it’s the best there is in our community, and they’re trained for that. But initially, all they can do is text it. You can’t do that with Help Hotline. You have to call that in, so I try to get them to the point where they can actually say how they’re feeling out loud.”
Keeping people from experiencing the heartache that she felt is one the things that makes her work worthwhile.
“I don’t want anyone to ever go through that pain, and I don’t think there’s anything special about me,” she said. “I just think we all need to listen to each other. If we just listen, pay attention and ask questions, we can all make a big difference that way.”