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30 Days to a Safer Neighborhood: Marion County Family Affected By Suicide, Substance Abuse

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Marion County has had 47 drug related deaths since January 1. When a person is addicted to drugs, it can take a toll on everyone around them.

Tricia Kyer and her family have dealt with more than anyone should. She lost her son after he committed suicide at a young age and said she never saw it coming.

"He would do anything in the world for anybody. He was truly about friends and family. Just taking care of everybody," said Tricia Kyer, Sonny's mother.

Sonny Lynn Blosser II was a recent graduate from East Fairmont High School, 19 years old, and had a whole lot of life left to live.

He was his mother's pride and joy and a friend to anyone that knew him.

In one night, everything changed and the lives of his family members were turned upside down.

"I looked over to his bed then I looked back this way toward his closet. The light was on. That struck me funny. I was thinking why does he have to sneak out? He's 19," Kyer explained. "There was a heavyweight bag in front of the door that had slid when I went to push it the rest of the way open. That's when I found him. He had hung himself in his bedroom off of the heavyweight."

Karla Carpenter, Tricia Kyer's best friend, said the day was horrific and she can remember it like it was just yesterday.

"Just very calmly she was just 'I need you. Bub hung himself. Get here.'," Carpenter said. "That was all she said."

Kyer said she had no idea her son was battling a depression. But she did know he was dealing with a substance abuse problem.

"We found stuff in the room the next morning that we believe he had used," she said.

She said November 23, 2011 was the day her world fell apart and she would never be the same again.

"I remember telling her 'You will breathe again, I promise'. Here we were again going through this and she said 'I'm not going to breathe ever again'," Carpenter said.

It was months before Kyer could get back on her feet again. But the day she did, something had changed and she made it a goal to save lives.

"If I sat back like everybody else that has a stigma with a suicide and not talk about it and pretend this never happened to me then what good am I doing for someone else?" she said.

That's where the Project SLB Foundation came from.

It's a foundation created by Kyer to fight against substance abuse and suicide. She is making it a lifelong goal to help those in need so other families never have to go through what she did.

"I've got to do something positive out of this. Make a purpose behind all of it and save other lives. That's where I started Project SLB Foundation from. In memory and honor of my son," Kyer said.

Project SLB has put on many events around Marion County. Kyer said she is building an army to put an end to substance abuse and suicide.

Kyer and her family have come a long way in the past two years, but said they are no where near healed.

"She's not back on her feet," Carpenter said. "She may put on a good front but she is not back on her feet."

Kyer said it's important for family and friends to watch for signs of suicide. This can range from a lack of interest in the persons favorite activities to bad grades.

No matter what someone may be going through, Kyer said it's important to interfere and get them help.

To learn more about the Project SLB Foundation, you can visit its website or Facebook page.

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