Local teen produces song to raise awareness about suicide prevention

Local teen produces song to raise awareness about suicide prevention

(WAVE) - A 17-year-old is hoping his voice will capture your attention.

Jackson Snelling is using his talent to talk about something that many people struggle with: Depression and suicide. He recently released a new song and video called “If I Only Knew,” which is about suicide and prevention and mental health.

The video (watch it below) is set in a church, where congregants are holding photos of loved ones lost to suicide.

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“The oldest in the video that has passed from suicide is 65 and the youngest was 10,” Snelling said. “Kids that young being able to do something like that, not being able to fully comprehend their actions will do to people around them.”

“If I Only Knew” was written about one of Snelling’s friends who died from suicide at age 14 in 2017. His name and photograph are among those featured in the music video.

The video is filled with photos of people who seemed happy. That led to his favorite lyric in the song.

"The fake smile you always wore was just so hard to see through,” Snelling sang.

“Society makes people feel like it’s not something you should talk about, so people put on fake smiles,” Snelling said. “You would never know they were going through anything until it’s too late.”

Snelling’s voice and face may be familiar to you. He auditioned for “America’s Got Talent” back in November, and he was on WAVE 3 News’ “Sounds of the Season.”

At the end of his video, Jackson is holding up a sign that says “I am a survivor.” He told the News and Tribune he has also struggled with depression and suicidal thoughts himself. He said he hopes that by sharing the song, and the faces of those who took their own lives, and the family and friends they leave behind, it will lead to more people getting help.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24 hours a day every day. Call 1-800-273-8255 if you need help.

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