Parents lose teen son to suicide

Heather Harvell, mother of victim AnthonioRivera, says "I don't want to see anyone else go through this kind of pain."

Jennie Runevitch/Eyewitness News

Indianapolis - Warren Central High School is dealing with a double tragedy: two teen suicides in less than a week. Now, the mother of one of the victims wants to prevent another life lost.

Photographs of 16-year-old Antonio Rivera through the years show the smiling face of a happy child and a much-loved teenager.

"He touched everybody's lives," said Antonio's mother, Heather Harvell.

But Antonio's parents say they never knew their son's pain on the inside. On Halloween night, the Warren Central junior took his own life.

"He hurt. Nobody, not even me, could realize how bad he hurt. We tried to help him, but he just couldn't get past it," Harvell said.

"We are all going through a really hard time at this moment and it's not something that we want anybody else to feel," added Antonio's father, Wilberto Rivera.

But another family of another Warren Central student is mourning too.

Tuesday night, a teenage girl committed suicide.

Fellow students are now dealing with a double blow: two suicides in less than a week, at the same high school.

The magnitude of that tragedy put this still-grieving mother on a mission.

"I don't want to see anyone else go through this kind of pain. And if I can help just one, that's all that matters," Harvell said.

On the day of her son's funeral, Harvell wanted to make sure other families know the risk of suicide is real and needs to be talked about.

"Not only do they not talk about it, it's kind-of stereotyped. A lot of people say, 'well, that means you're crazy, you've got to talk to a psychiatrist'. That doesn't mean you're crazy."

In fact, talking to someone, Harvell said, could have saved two young lives.

"If you can't come to your parent, there's your counselor, your preacher at church. You can talk to anybody. I'm sure there are help lines out there and I'm going to be passing the word. And I'm going to get involved. I won't let this be in vain."

Warren Central plans to have counselors and church pastors on hand to help students deal with their classmates' deaths.

There are also many resources for teens and parents to prevent suicide:

Indiana Suicide Prevention Coalition