Project Seth, a local not for profit, suicide awareness organization, hosted their second annual Sethtastic Battle of the Bands on Friday March 4th at The House Café in Downtown DeKalb. The event brought many teens and young adults together and reminded them that they are not alone. Five bands competed this past weekend. Party Apple Peel and Bring Your Son to Work Day tied for first place.
Project Seth strives to end the stigma of suicide and mental illness. They want to support teens and young adults by helping to find people they are comfortable enough with to share their thoughts – good, bad, or otherwise. To build a relationship, to mentor them to be the best they can be and feel comfortable enough to be themselves, and to speak their minds even if it’s a bad day. What do they want to do? What are their interests? Where is their creative energy? Are they accepted for who they are? Are they feeling pressured? What are the pressures: work, school, home, friends? They want youth to feel they have a purpose and to feel special; that they are on this planet for a reason and sometimes through the every day pressures the sense of importance and belonging is forgotten.
From Laura and Brett Bartosik: The reason we’re here and have created a non-profit called Project Seth is because we lost our son, Seth in June of 2014. It’s difficult to let go of the idea he’ll walk in the door, leave a dirty dish in the sink, grab his longboard and go for a ride, text with his plan for the day, or call just to chat. Those daily rituals of family life that make you feel complete are seemingly unimportant until you don’t have them to fill your life. Being a parent is the best job you will ever have and the best gift is the child you laugh with, lay awake worrying about, give a pat on the back, grab a bandage for…it’s endless and rewarding. We’ll always be Seth’s parents and we want to do what we feel we must do by honoring Seth and hopefully making him proud of us just like we are proud of him.
Seth stressed the importance to not judge anyone, “you do not know what has happened to that person in their life”. We’re here because we don’t want any young adult to feel “judged” or alone without the means to find help. We don’t want any other parents, family, or friends to go through the tragedy of suicide. We’ll admit we don’t know everything there is to know about suicide or battling depression, but with the help of counselors and survivors we can help give young adults the support they may need, empower them to be the person they want to be, and to know there are other ways to overcome depression. We want them to be happy and know how important they are to us.