WEATHERLY, CARBON COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Taking the stigma out of suicide was the goal of a fundraiser in Carbon County Sunday.

The second annual “Remembering Joshua Suicide Awareness and Prevention” event took center stage in Weatherly. The fundraiser is named after organizer Jennifer Cooper’s son Joshua, who committed suicide in 2019 at the age of 20.

Suicide is the second-leading cause of death among 10 to 24-year-olds in the U.S and Cooper believes the more we know about the science behind the problem, the more lives we can save.

“As we are trying to raise awareness, we’re trying to end the stigma. We’re trying to normalize for people to say ‘I’m not okay’, and it’s okay to not be okay. We just don’t want people to live there. We want to bring them out of the darkness,” Cooper said.

September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. All the money raised Sunday will support suicide prevention programs, including an awareness walk called “Out of the Darkness” next weekend in Kirby Park in Wilkes-Barre.