Bay Area high school quarterback starts suicide prevention campaign

The varsity quarterback at San Mateo's Serra High School is showing his leadership abilities on and off the field.

After suffering a personal loss, he's launched a campaign to help troubled teens and prevent suicides.

16-year-old Luke Bottari launched his campaign Friday night. 

Luke's mom says he has lost a handful of peers to suicide, including a former girlfriend, just six months ago. She was 15-years-old.

Luke says, "When she passed away, it hit me that it's all around us. We need to do something about it. I want to do something, save lives."

Luke founded Play for Prevention, a non-profit. He had socks made that feature red stripes in honor of his friend's favorite color and the logo is an eyebrow arch, a tribute to her love for makeup.

Both teams wore the socks at Friday's nights game where Serra played San Jose's Archbishop Mitty High. 

Luke's mom Natasha says, "It is happening. Keeping it a secret is not helping anybody. The more we talk about it with our kids, the more we can bring it into schools and have kids talking about it, the better off we're going to be". 

Luke hopes that Play for Prevention inspires and empowers teens to talk about their struggles. That bringing suicide out into the light, may help the darkness from becoming overwhelming.

"It's not a sign of weakness if you're in a struggle to reach out and say you have a problem," says the quarterback.

Luke hopes to bring the Play for Prevention campaign to other sports, including basketball games and golf tournaments.