Dad of Teen Who Jumped Off Bridge Releases Message About Depression and Helping Others
The father said he has struggled with depression himself.
A father who lost his 15-year-old daughter when she jumped off an overpass Friday night took to social media to encourage people not to ignore others who may be struggling with depression.
Eva Smith, a sophomore at Bloomfield High School in New Jersey, ran away from home Friday night, reportedly leaving a note telling her parents she didn’t want them to blame themselves for her depression.
She then jumped from an overpass onto the Garden State Parkway and was fatally struck by a car.
In a heart-wrenching video posted to Facebook just hours after her death, Eva’s father, Ronstin Smith, spoke about his daughter and how he himself also struggled with mental illness as a teen.
“Tonight my daughter killed herself,” Smith said in the video. “If someone in your life is hurting and needs help, help them. Don’t ignore whatever is going on in that person’s life. It’s a mental sickness and people need help. If someone says something that sounds like they’re in danger, get them the help they need.”
Smith told NJ.com that Eva had previously tried to end her life and she was put on medication and receiving therapy.
He also told the paper that his own family's difficulty in accessing medication, psychologists and therapy sessions are reasons why the mental health system is broken.
"She did try. She tried with everything she had and she used every lesson I ever taught her to try and get through what she was going through," he said.
Anyone considering suicide should call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline's 24-hour hotline at (800) 273-8255.
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