There are warning signs and symptoms of depression, which are subtle but can turn into something much worse.

One mom whose son died by suicide is helping others recognize those signs so that they can guide family and friends to a better place.

"He had struggled with depression on and off through his life and had an extraordinarily tough semester and eventually chose suicide before the end of his senior year," said Marny Lombard.

Lombard lost her son Sam five years ago. Today, she works with Forefront Suicide Prevention on the UW campus.

"I wanted to save a life," said Lombard. "I thought that that would put my pain to work in a positive way."

College can be a difficult time for many young people, who are transitioning from adolescence to adulthood.

Final exams, career planning, new relationships, parties, homesickness - it can all feel like too much.

"Listen carefully. Listen for someone who or observe someone who is beginning to withdraw from friends. They are spending more time by themselves. They may be in their room more, they maybe or beginning to use substances to an increasing degree they may start to talk about death, they are beginning to withdraw from their favorite activities."

"Any expression of hopelessness, any expression of, 'Well, you'd be better if I wasn't around anymore.' Those are things to be taken seriously, to reach out, to encourage that person, to talk more," said Lombard.

Ask an open-ended question and just listen. Lombard says people who are struggling sometimes just need to talk, and that can be a first step toward a more positive outlook on life.

"We need to in small ways an in large really let people know clearly that they are loved and that we'll do anything we can to support them

Lombard says counseling others has helped her overcome the darkness and guide others toward hope.

"It's about reaching forward and working for others," said Lombard. "That's where I get my reason for life."