- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 14, 2015

CORTLAND, Ill. (AP) - Brett and Laura Bartosik don’t want anyone else to feel the pain of losing someone to suicide.

Since 20-year-old Seth Bartosik took his own life in June, his parents have started The Seth Project Ltd., a nonprofit aimed at bringing awareness to suicide and giving teenagers and young adults a place to feel safe and find resources if they are struggling.

“We’ll be more of a resource for them to get them in the right direction,” Laura Bartosik said. “If we can save one life, that’s our goal.”

Brett Bartosik said he hopes to raise awareness of and prevent what he called an epidemic that no one talks about. According to Batavia-based Suicide Prevention Services, suicide is the third leading cause of death among people ages 15 to 24.

The couple intends to direct people from this age group to resources such as those Suicide Prevention Services offers. SPS Executive Director Stephanie Weber will be on the board for the nonprofit.

The Bartosiks officially formed the nonprofit in August, naming it Project Seth Ltd. to honor the memory of their son, who they described as charismatic and adventurous.

A website should be running soon. In the meantime, updates come through the Project Seth, Ltd. Facebook page.

Just before forming the nonprofit, Laura and Brett Bartosik, along with several of Seth Bartosik’s friends, raised $2,000 during a weekend-long scavenger hunt in August to commemorate his life.

The Bartosiks plan to donate part of that money to a student in the culinary program at Elgin Community College, where Seth recently had enrolled. The remainder of the money will go to two hockey players at the Leafs Ice Centre in West Dundee, where Seth played.

The scavenger hunt will be one of the nonprofit’s annual events; the Bartosiks hope to host others, as well. They also would like to hold a monthly meeting where teenagers and young adults can relax and talk to other people about their lives.

The couple acknowledges that throwing themselves into the nonprofit has helped them grieve, although their main goal is to help others.

“It keeps us incredibly busy,” Brett Bartosik said. “And it keeps us focused on helping anyone who needs help.”

But their son still is prominent in their thoughts.

“We’re just trying to focus on Project Seth,” Laura Bartosik said. “We still miss him every day. He was our only child. Our lives were dedicated to Seth. And this is what we can do.”

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Source: The (DeKalb) Daily Chronicle, https://bit.ly/14aJkwC

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Information from: The Daily Chronicle, https://www.daily-chronicle.com

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