"Erica was beautiful, of course. She was very high spirited. She loved dance"
Jennifer lost her then-twelve year old daughter Erica to suicide just over two years ago. Her death has caused unimaginable pain in her family. A new CDC report says suicides in Missouri have gone up 34 percent from 1999 to 2016, not suprising to some mental health professionals like psychologist Charles Doyle, who says our society has gotten smaller because of the internet.
"There's an identification. Someone else is having that pain that I experienced, and this is what they did. And sometimes unfortunately, there's a contagion effect. It might take away that natural inhibition has to not end their life. And they start to think "Well maybe this is a way out, maybe it worked for them"
He suggests if you see you loved one showing signs of suicide you can ask them if they're having thoughts about what it would be like if they weren't there.
"Sometimes just giving them permission to even say they're having those thoughts without any threat that you're going to jump in or do anything, it's a great relief to just let that out. An you can then really start to acess what their risk is"
He says if it seems necessary, to call law enforcement or get that person into an emergency room. Jennifer advises parents just what it takes to keep their kids alive.
"If it crosses your mind, it means it's crossed their minds more. Put them in the hospital, get them the help they need. Whether it hurts you or makes them mad, it doesn't matter. I would rather make them mad than lose them"
Ahe looks back on old pictures of her beautiful girl, she remembers her fondly.
"She was always voted most caring in school. She had a very big heart with a very big attitude to go with it"
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