NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - The mother of a 17-year-old who has been missing since last week said she is hoping to soon be able to embrace her son - who she said has lived with mental illness for most of his life.

Shaquila Walker said it has been difficult not knowing where her son, Yahyaa Trice, has been since he was reported missing late last month.

According to New Brunswick police, Trice was last seen on Dec. 28, 2019, at about 10 a.m. on Louis Street.

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Walker told TAPinto New Brunswick that her son has dealt with bipolar disorder, an emotional disorder and ADHD. She said his mental health issues emerged when he was 7 years old and he had been prescribed Adderall.

Walker said her son has threatened to kill himself and recently cut himself with a knife.

The official alert from police indicated that Trice is a "suicidal juvenile."

Since he was reported missing, Trice called his sister, Walker said. However, the family hasn't heard from him in days. She said she thinks he is in Newark, where the family lived in the past. They moved to New Brunswick in November.

Waiting for Trice to come home has taken a toll on Walker. She said she has been suffering from severe headaches and that she sometimes can't get out of bed.

She is waiting for the moment Trice walks in the door.

"Maybe he'll just get tired," Walker said. "I used to be a runaway, but I was very young when I was running away. I used to be gone for two or three weeks, maybe a month. But, I used to get tired. People get tired of you asking if you could stay with them and it's hard. ... Now that I have a kid who is kind of doing the same thing, I can only imagine what he's going through."

Walker said Trice was a bight kid who often got straight A's in his classes - he attended comprehensive care schools for students in crisis until recently being homeschooled by a tutor. She said he loves basketball and harbored dreams of playing in college and then the NBA.

Police describe Trice as a 6-foot-2, 150-pound African-American. He was wearing a navy blue hooded sweatshirt with black pants.

Police are asking anyone with information to call 911 or contact the New Brunswick police at 732-745-5200.

"I worry about him a lot, especially at night time because I'm like, 'What is he eating? Where is he sleeping?'" Walker said. "If he is in Newark, I would be more concerned, more worried because I am from there and I know what those streets entail."