The Kennedy sisters don’t ever want to see another family go through the tragedy they experienced.
In 2004, at the age of 19, their older sister Brianne Kennedy took her own life.
“Brianne was our beautiful older sister. We always looked up to her,” Jacklyn Kennedy said. “She was intelligent, talented, and she really could have done anything in her life.”
Brianne left behind three younger sisters: Jaclyn, Callie and Shalyn. The Kindersley, Sask., natives have launched an awareness campaign and clothing line called Life is Worth Living BCK to help reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness and suicide.
They have shared their story in schools across Saskatchewan.
“Talking about it has helped heal us … and helped with our grieving after losing Brianne,” Jaclyn said.
Callie adds that it’s important to “be able to keep her memory alive and to share with other people that mental illness can affect anyone.”
“If you look at my sister in lots of her pictures, even the week leading up to her death, you wouldn’t see a girl who is feeling so much pain inside that she doesn’t think her life is worth living anymore.”
All proceeds from T-shirts and sweaters sold go to the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA). The sisters have already donated $1,500 to CMHA in memory of Brianne, and hope to make another donation soon.
“It’s something that we need to talk about and bring to the surface and get rid of this stigma,” Callie added.
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