Remembering Dartmouth’s Tyler Joseph Leonard

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Remembering Dartmouth's Tyler Joseph Leonard

A foundation in honor of Tyler Joseph Leonard of Dartmouth and Child and Family Services work together to help young people at-risk of suicide.

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Tyler was 30 years old, a graduate of Dartmouth High School and Bridgewater State University, when he took his own life in 2018.

His uncle Joel Baptista said Tyler’s smile could light up a room, but it was amazing how much that smile could hide.

“We saw some signs and help was provided, but sometimes the pain is just too much and people can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel,”Baptista stated. “We have a close-knit family, but we just didn’t know it would come to that.”

Jenelle Hickey, the coordinator of Child and Family Services’ program that assists young people at-risk of suicide, gives them the help they need in order to hopefully move on.

Both Baptista and Hickey joined Sunday at Townsquare this week to discuss suicide in our area.

Contributed photo

Contributed photo

After Tyler’s death, Baptista said his family decided to form a foundation to assist organizations working with young people on suicide prevention. That organization is Child and Family Services and Janelle Hickey’s CBAT unit.

“We work with kids (ages) four to 17 who are in an acute mental health crisis,”Hickey stated. “That might mean depression, anxiety, or having suicidal thoughts and feelings.” 

She stated that the program lasts for about two weeks and that staff work to make them feel better.

CBAT currently houses nine beds. But, it will soon grow to fifteen when the program moves to the former Regal House on Church Street.  Hickey said that her program is always full. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon to have people at risk waiting for placement.

The Tyler Joseph Leonard Memorial Foundation will hold a fundraiser on September 10 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Allendale Country Club in Dartmouth. It will feature music and dancing, as well as a silent auction.

Proceeds from this event will be used to fund a scholarship for Dartmouth High School students and the Child and Family Services CBAT program. For more information and tickets, visit thetylerjosephleonardmemorialfoundation.org.

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The Townsquare Sunday Listen to the interview with Joel Baptista & Jenelle Hickey here

Sunday at TownsquareThis is a public affairs program that airs every Sunday at 6 and 11 a.m., on 1420 AM and 99.5 FM.

The SouthCoast’s leaders are highlighted in the program.

If you would like to see your organization featured on Townsquare Sunday, please e-mail the host at [email protected]

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