(FOX 2) - Today, a tough reality is suicides and school shootings are often linked back to battles with mental illness. That's why the student run group, Key 2 Finesse, decided to do something about it.
"Mental Health is something that really needs to be addressed these days and we thought it was time that something was done about it," said Key 2 Finesse member Nick Lazrado.
Instead of just talking about mental illness, Key 2 Finesse, a student run organization made up of about 20-teens from schools across Metro Detroit, decided to do just that.
Seeing first hand in their own high schools, a rise of teen depression, anxiety and suicide.
"It's really a life changing experience to know we can be part of something bigger and we can help people that are not getting the help they need," said Lazrado.
To raise the money, student volunteers held an essay competition. They also asked friends, relatives and local businesses to support the cause.
In a little over 6-months, they were able to raise 34-thousand dollars and this year they are donating the money to The Easter Seals Peer Support Program, which a program where teens who have dealt with or overcome depression and mental illness are trained to help others.
"I was astonished on amazing this was," said Easter Seals President, Brent Wirth. "This was the first time that I got to see them all together and 34-thousand dollars for just a small group is impressive."
"Supporting peer to peer workshop felt like we were helping teenagers, specifically," said Bibha Moorthy of International Academy East. "That's always been a goal of Key 2 Finesse."
Krish Ghosalka, the youngest member of the group, raised 2-thousad dollars and he says his sister who founded the group a few years ago inspired him to make a difference.
"I thought that I could grow as an individual and I can really help the community by joining the cause," Ghosalka said.
"They didn't choose to be like that or they didn't choose to have that and through these peer workshops they can talk to kids who have gone through this in the past and realize that it's not all over and there is hope," said Troy High School Junior Dhruv Muralidhar.