BANGOR- Steps for Souls is a group that raises awareness about suicide and prevention efforts.
Bangor High School students started the group after loosing some of their peers to suicide.
Bryce Pelkey was a senior at Bangor High School when he took his own life.
“Bryce was super outgoing, a ton of friends, athletic, smart, funny, gave the best hugs ever,” his mom, Anne Pekley, said. ‘He just cared and loved a lot, maybe sometimes too much. He just had a huge heart.”
His mother said she didn’t see it coming and others in similar situations say the same.
“You know you’ll hear a lot of people say there must have been signs, warning signs, and I know in our case with Bryce there were not signs at all,” Pekley said. “He was your typical average 17 year-old male, like normal high school things, feelings, and whatnot.”
It’s often the stigma surrounding mental illness that keeps people from seeking help.
“You’re not alone. There’s so much support,” said Sofia Wittmann, a suicide survivor and co-founder of Steps for Souls. “You deserve to have a happy life and if you’ve experienced trauma or had something happen to you, it is possible to overcome it.”
On Sunday, members of Steps for Souls held their annual event which includes a walk and resources for those struggling.
“Anything that raises awareness about suicide prevention and suicide information, any of those pieces this is almost an epidemic in this area,” said Judy Fortin, the Clinical Director of Inpatient Pediatrics at Acadia Hospital.
Any funds raised at the Steps for Souls event are going to help fund Acadia Hospitals Youth Program.
If you or someone you know is struggling, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1 (800)-273-8255.