Helen Cousin thought her 16-year-old daughter, Maisie Cousin-Stirk, would talk to her if something was wrong. Then came the day when Maisie didn’t come home.Screenshot/Just Giving
As Mamamia reported, the UK mom had no idea that her teen daughter was troubled. Only days earlier, Maisie had been excitedly planning for an upcoming family trip to Greece. She seemed happy in school and her friendships as well. Helen told the Daily Mail:
“Maisie was a fantastic daughter. She was doing well at school. She didn’t have loads of friends, but I think she wanted it that way and she had a few very close friends. I know they had fallings out and there were stresses and worries but I thought those were just normal teenage things.”
On June 19, Helen said goodbye to her daughter and went to work. Maisie had just finished her exams and decided to stay home from an optional school assembly. Instead, she visited her sister, Amy, and spent time with her nieces and nephews.
When evening came and Helen still hadn’t heard from her daughter, she began calling around, looking for her. She even organized a search effort through Facebook.
Then came the heartbreaking news. Amy’s partner, Liam Hunter, found Maisie’s body in a lane near their home. She had ended her own life.
Devastated at the loss, Helen struggled to understand why Maisie would take her own life. She told the Daily Mail:
“I had no idea that Maisie was feeling so bad that she felt she had to do this. I don’t know why and I don’t think I ever will.”
Maisie didn’t leave a suicide note, but as Amy went through her sister’s belongings, she found a drawing that helped her understand Maisie’s state of mind. When held one way, the doodle appears to say, “I’m fine.” But when turned around, it reads, “Help me.”
A wonderful company called lapel pin badges are making some badges using a design I found in MaisieCousin-stirk bedroom…
When Helen saw her daughter’s “Help me” drawing, she began thinking about how difficult it can be for some young people to reach out to someone about their problems. She said:
“I never thought she would do this. We were very close and she was always by my side. I really thought she could talk to me about anything.”
Now, Helen is using her daughter’s note to help others. She turned Maisie’s design into a lapel pin that can be used as a way for someone in distress to find help. The family is also raising money for suicide prevention and looking to remember Maisie with a garden at Helen’s school.
Helen wrote on Facebook:
“I am hoping that these badges will allow anyone who may be struggling with their emotions to express how they feel — hopefully encouraging others to give the help and support needed.”
If you or someone you know is at risk for suicide, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.