SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- A recent study from the CDC looked into suicide rates among teens and found that, in the past ten years, suicide attempts have tripled.
It’s a staggering statistic and a reason why one local teen is sharing her personal experience with suicide with her peers.
“The semicolon is ‘my life isn't over’ and the heartbeat is ‘okay, I’m still breathing, I’m still going,’” said high school senior Cheyenne Capella.
Capella, better known as Chi Chi, told Western Mass News that she decided to tattoo the three words "I'm still here" on her wrist as a daily reminder of what she's overcome.
“I was alone. I was definitely depressed. I was empty,” Capella explained.
Four years ago, Capella was in a dark place that was difficult to escape, so difficult that she attempted suicide multiple times.
“My thoughts of suicide began after a few years of bullying. My bullying started in seventh grade. After three years of non-stop coming into school every day and people being mean to me and calling me names, after three years of that, I started thinking there was no way out,” Capella said.
However, luckily, through an amazing support system, she was able find a light at the end of the tunnel.
“That’s what kept me pushing. I’m living for my mom, I’m living for my dad, I’m living for my sister,” Capella added.
Now, Capella is trying to share the light she found with others. She is a youth ambassador for Unify Against Bullying in Springfield and travels around western Massachusetts sharing her experience with others.
“I’m trying to share that you’re never alone. It’s so hard because I was there. I felt that no one was there and no one cared,” Capella noted.
Unify stands for Unique Individuals Inspiring Future Youth, an acronym that Capella embodies.
“She’s phenomenal as you can see. She’s had many people come up after her presentation and share with her their bullying story they have never shared with anyone,” said executive director Christine Maiwald
Although it's difficult to talk about, Capella hopes that by sharing her story other young people will know that life gets better.
“Just remember to live. We were driving in the car and she had the sunroof open and the windows down and I just remember thinking ‘I’m so happy. I didn't do it because life is so beautiful now,’” Capella said.