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Warrensburg teen memorialized in ceremony

"Young people who are stressed, please turn to someone you trust for help - a friend, relative, teacher, pastor, anyone," she continued.

Evie Swinton's friend, Jamie Thackrah-Harris, echoed the point, as she talked about Courtney's friendly, fun character.

"To all young people who feel suicide is the only way out - It's not!" Thackrah-Harris said. "By ending your pain, you'll create more pain in more people than you could ever imagine - Seek help!"

Irv West of Thurman, who organized the event, called for people to advocate for changes in society that break down walls between people, and instead build profound, life-enriching bonds with one another.

Amy Molloy, area director of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, told the crowd about how suicide is a leading cause of death among teens and young adults.

"There is hope, help, recovery and healing," she said, adding that people can reach out to others to prevent such grievous losses of life. "We must be compassionate, we must be good listeners, we must be willing to ask for and receive help, and we must remember that we are not alone - I think that is the message that Courtney would want to share."

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