This is going to be a very serious post. I’m going to be talking about suicide. I’m sorry in advance if that makes you uncomfortable, but everyone needs to see, hear, read, and be aware of this.

Have you heard of Katelyn Nicole Davis? If not, I’ll catch you up. Katelyn Nicole Davis was a 12 year old girl from Polk County, GA. She lived with her mother and younger brother. On December 30, 2016, Katelyn took her own life. She live-streamed her suicide for the world to see. I’m not going to post the video here, nor am I going to post any links to it here. I have seen the video though and it’s chilling, eerie, and heartbreaking. In the video, you see this child setting up a noose in a tree outside of her home. She is very thorough. She then addresses her audience. She apologizes and says her goodbyes, and then, she kicks away her platform and that’s it. For 20 plus minutes, the live stream shows Katelyn’s lifeless body hanging from a tree, swaying. As the video goes on, it gets darker and darker outside. Eventually, Katelyn’s phone begins to ring and you can hear voices calling out to Katelyn; somebody is looking for her. The video ends only when it is completely dark and Katelyn’s body is no longer visible.

Let this sink in for a moment. A child was in so much anguish, so much pain, that she felt the only option she had left was to take her own life. This was not a rash decision. This was not a sudden decision. Katelyn was ready. She was tired and had nothing left. Reports from the incident say that she was sexually assaulted by her stepdad. Such a traumatic experience can completely screw with a person’s self worth. For this to happen at such a young age is terrible.

We cannot keep writing off and dismissing stuff like this. We cannot ignore mental illness or anything like this. This is serious. As someone with a mental illness it frustrates the hell out of me that these things are dismissed so easily. This girl needed someone to be there for her; to tell her it’s okay to feel the way she did and that it’s okay to be sorry. It is so comforting, believe me, to know someone is there for you with no agenda, no burden, no anything. We need to be there for each other. We need to support each other. You can save a life.

Mental illness is not a phase, it is not “no big deal.” We read countless articles about teens and children who are bullied into suicide. This needs to stop. I ask every single one of you; if you know someone who is struggling, who is at war, who is one step away from jumping off a ledge – be there. Feeling like you’re alone is a terrible feeling. Feeling like no cares or that everyone would be better off without you is a terrible feeling. Be an ally, be a friend, be a support system. You don’t know how far that can go and how much that can mean to someone. MENTAL HEALTH IS CRUCIAL.

If you are going through anything like this yourself, talk to me. I am here for you no matter what you are facing. I have been there, I know, and I understand. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to me, there are countless resources available.

Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255If you don’t feel comfortable actually talking to somebody, they have an online chat feature. You can access that by clicking this link.

Suicide Prevention Lifeline
The Trevor Project – For LGBT+ Youth
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance