Earlier this month, in the middle of the night, Richard Blackwell was awakened by a “pounding on the front door.”
Richard wrote on LinkedIn that when he got to the door, a police officer greeted him, asking if he had a 16-year-old daughter, Alex, and that he “needed to check on her.”
When Richard and his wife reached their daughter’s bedroom, she “wasn’t breathing and had no pulse.” Wasting no time, Richard began CPR on Alex while they waited for the paramedics to arrive.
“Over and over, they tried” to resuscitate her. Two hours of tireless work passed, but to no avail.
After she died, Richard and his wife sat with Alex for a “long while afterward.” They “held her hand and kissed her [cheeks] until it was time to go.”
Alex’s last words in her diary were, “I’m just tired.”
Ever since suffering a concussion the previous year during a soccer game, Alex had battled social anxiety and general depression. However, with the help of therapy and a loving boyfriend, the Blackwells were confident “things were moving in the right direction.” Richard wrote on LinkedIn:
Suicide had been something that Alex said she considered in the past and we took that very seriously, but she was telling her therapist and us she was past that now and we were believing her.
However, when Alex fell asleep talking with her boyfriend, he knew something was wrong. Though her last words were, “It’s going to be OK,” Alex had not overcome her suicidal impulses.
Richard couldn’t help but question:
If love could not save her what could? In my heart, I think Alex made one bad decision on one bad day. One impulsive decision that couldn’t be taken back. Depression is generally curable. It just takes time and persistence.
He added that if your child is a risk, “don’t believe it when your daughter says I’m ok. Check on her often.”
He implores parents to stop stressing their children about school and grades, and just be as supportive as possible throughout their teenage years. “Get her in therapy,” he writes.
He continued (emphasis added):
Girls can be very mean to each other. We can’t just talk about bullies; we parents must ensure that Our kid shares warmth not hate to those they don’t like.
13 Reasons why” (a movie) is great if you are not contemplating ending your life. For those in danger it glorifies suicide and makes it seem not so hard to do. If you are the editor or producer of this movie reach out to me.
With depression you are closer to the edge than you know. One bad day could be enough with an impulsive teen.
The Netflix series, which chronicles the apparent suicide of a teenage girl and the “13 Reasons Why” she did it, had a multitude of producers— one of which is Selena Gomez. The pop star has proudly touted her affiliation with the film, saying:
“We stayed very true to the book, and that’s initially what Jay Asher created was a beautifully tragic, complicated yet suspenseful story and I think that’s what we wanted to do. We wanted to do it justice and, yeah, (the backlash is) gonna come no matter what. It’s not an easy subject to talk about, but I’m very fortunate with how it’s doing.”
Suicide is the second leading cause of death for young people. In 2014, over 5,000 teenagers and young adults lost their lives to suicide, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
If you or someone you love is suffering from suicidal thoughts, do not hesitate to reach out to a loved one, or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
Watch the story below, via WJBK.