Bismarck Legacy High School student joining forces with ‘Robbie’s Hope’ to cut teen suicide in half by 2028

Published: Jan. 31, 2021 at 5:38 PM CST
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - In October, 2018 a happy, athletic teen from Colorado took his life.

A Bismarck Legacy High School student is spreading his memory and helping other teens and parents have difficult but necessary conversations.

The group’s goal is to cut teen suicide rates in half by 2028.

The Eckert family was at a school conference when they received a phone call no parent expects.

“No parent should bury their child,” said Robbie’s mom, Kari Eckert.

At 15 years old, their son Robbie had completed suicide.

“He was not struggling, he was very vibrant and full of life. He was a student athlete, he was very well liked,” said Eckert.

After the tragedy, his parents knew right away something needed to change. They founded Robbie’s Hope, a program written by teens for parents to know how to check on teen’s mental health.

Teen suicide rates in North Dakota have been on the rise since 2018. When Legacy High School freshman, Nevaeh Mock heard about Robbie’s story, she talked about it with friends to check in on how they’re doing.

“I have always loved helping people and I heard that was a group. I didn’t really know that there was a group of just teens teenagers that just sign up for this kind of stuff,” said Mock

Since its founding in 2018, more than 2,000 teens like Nevaeh have met online with parents to discuss better ways to let their children know it’s ok to ask for help.

“It can be an awkward and uncomfortable situation but teenagers want to talk about it and we want to talk about it with an adult,” said Mock.

Kari Eckert said Robbie would be overjoyed with how far the organization has reached.

Robbie’s parents went to NDSU and have roots in the state. They said other teens are working on legislation for teen mental health.

For more information on booklets for parents and teens go to Robbie’s Hope website.

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