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Pendleton mom fights for teen LGBTQ resources

Posted at 9:00 PM, Feb 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-06 08:43:59-05

PENDLETON — A Pendleton mom is taking action for her son and says there is a lack of resources for LGBTQ teens in Madison County.

Molly Downey says her 15-year-old son, Gage Downey, attempted to die by suicide almost two weeks ago.

"He felt so alone and didn't feel like he could reach out to anyone and I can't lose my son," Molly said.

When Gage left the hospital, Downey says they told her to find a support group for him, but she couldn't find one.

"Madison County is huge," Molly said. "There's no reason why there shouldn't be something local."

She told her story on Facebook and says the responses were overwhelming.

"I've had so many people reach out and say, 'Hey, we've gone through this either with suicide or having child with alt lifestyle,'" Molly said.

Mom wants more resources for LGBTQ teens

That's why she is making it her mission to get an LGBTQ youth support group in Pendleton.

Chris Paulson runs Indiana Youth Group and says LGBTQ youth are five times more likely to contemplate suicide.

"It's scary," Paulson said. "It is difficult to know that this is the reality of the LGBTQ youth in this state."

The organization helps schools set up GSA'S or Gender and Sexuality Alliance Groups. Molly wants to see something like this at Gage's school.

"No judgment, unconditional love," Molly said. "I want that for him."

The principal at Pendleton Heights High School says they used to have a gay straight alliance group, but it hasn't been active for several years. Parents, students, and teachers who want to get involved can contact school leaders.

If you or someone you know is in crisis and needs immediate attention, call 911. You can reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. LGBTQ youth can also call The Trevor Project suicide prevention lifeline at 1-866-488-7386.

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