EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) - "She was the best mom, honestly. I can't even put it into words how good she was. It was like magic watching her go through all these problems and come out on the good side. She always stayed positive," said 19-year old Mikayla Strother.
Her nickname was Smiley.
"You would've never been able to tell anything was going on with her. She would just put a smile on. She'd do what she had to do for me and my sisters."
Behind that smile, Mikayla said her mom, Bobbi struggled with bad relationships and an alcohol problem.
"In her last year, she distanced herself from everybody, me and my sisters especially. That really hurt me because she was my best friend."
On June 13, 2018, Mikayla lost her best friend to suicide.
"It's hard even getting up in the mornings, because it's like, what's the point, you know?"
Mikayla's family is one of the thousands in this country who have survived suicide. According to new numbers from the Centers for Disease Control, suicides in Indiana and Kentucky have increased more than 30 percent over the last two decades.
"I always think about the what ifs. What if I did this? I could've said that. You know. But, I can't sit and dwell on what I didn't do but what I can do now."
That is why Mikayla reached out to 14 News.
"I never want my worst enemy to experience anything like this. And I know so many people who are sad and have suicidal thoughts and go through things and they feel like their life isn't worth it, and feel really alone."
She hopes her story will encourage others to get help.
"Suicide doesn't end suffering. It passes the pain on to pretty much anybody who knew you and got a chance to know you and they carry that with them for the rest of their lives."
A GoFundMe page has also been set up for Mikayla and her sisters.
If you or a loved one needs help, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline: (800) 273-TALK or (812) 422-1100. You may also text 741741.