Fatality on Highway 410 and Steeles – Let’s help our kids and teens feel safe, loved and understood

On May 13th at about 11:40 AM I was driving south on highway 410 to go to Stratford as my son was in a rugby tournament. As I approached the Steeles overpass I saw something that no one should ever have to see. I immediately stopped past the Steeles overpass and along with a few other drivers, some who had gotten out of their cars, worked hard to stop traffic by yelling and honking our horns, before police can arrive.

It was a long two hours as about 8 of us stayed to give statements of what had occurred and what we had seen. Needless to say, I did not make it to my son’s rugby tournament and as the police released me and I started driving home, the only thought that went through my mind was what could have happened or cause a young teenager at 11:49 am to be standing on the Steeles overpass and seconds later be laying 50 feet in front of me on the 410. What could have happened that he felt that no one can help him or understand him. As I got home I kept texting my son and letting him know how much I love him and as I do that often, I felt the need to keep doing it until he came home safe so that I can give him the biggest hug and squeeze him a little tighter than usual.

While waiting at home I searched the internet to find news on the incident, but little or none was written except an article by the Brampton Guardian titled “Hwy. 410 south closed after pedestrian killed” by Peter Cristione. Now I understand the reasons why most do not report on such incidents, but we must look beyond the incident at hand and concentrate on the reasons and the solutions. The reasons to why young teenagers feel in such a way and how we as parents, teachers, doctors, coaches, instructors, family and friends can help in making such situations better. Maybe we need more speakers at the schools on bullying, depression, mental health, motivation and/or dealing with life as a teenager, maybe we need to pay more attention and listen to our kids, maybe we need to be persistent in getting some answers when our teens don’t want to talk, what ever it may be, we need to do more. We need the support, funds and programs from the Ministry of Education and the government because no child should ever feel that they are alone and no one can help them in what they are going through.

To all the kids and teens out there: There will be times in your life when you will be hurt, when the pain will seem unbearable and people will say and do things that are senseless and cruel and make you question life, but know that things will get better. Talk to your parents, they will do anything and everything to help you. If not your parents talk to someone close to you, a relative, a friend, a teacher, a doctor or call a help line, there is a lot more people willing to help than not. Please SPEAK OUT …. We will listen.

Although what I saw will not soon go away, it is nothing compared to what his parents, family and friends are going through. My heart goes out to you all and I can only hope that together we can help our children feel safe, loved and understood. I know after what I experienced, even though I already talk my son’s ears out, will do it more, will hug him more, will listen to him more and be persistent as hell in making sure that he is okay and hope and pray that it will be enough to keep him safe.

I am greatly saddened by the situation and reach out to everyone with the power to help to do so.

Conversation With A Therapist, Teen Suicide, Brampton News,

Please Note: Out of respect and privacy for the family and friends some comments may not be posted  and names, age and private information will be removed from the comments.

65 comments

  1. Thank you ALL for your kind words, and taking the time to write this article. The young man was my cousin, and I as well as the family appreciate you taking the time to reach out and write this in his memory.

    • My thoughts and prayers are with all of you during this difficult time. I wish you peace to bring comfort, courage to face the days ahead and loving memories to forever hold in your hearts.

  2. I am not a parent but I work with youth and teens regularly running multiple programs for the local YMCA. I find that the youth/teens when they feel connected will open up to other adults (sorry parents, sometimes not you) about issues they are facing. They are afraid of the “backlash” they will recieve at home or any judgement. One of the tools we use is the 40 developmental assets which state that youth should have multiple adults outside of the home as support and in a lot of cases youth and teens today DON’T. Getting them connected is a great way to help them build their self esteem, learn leadership qualities and give them opportunities to talk if they need too. There are a lot of free programs out there that youth and teens can participate in it’s just a matter of looking. If they don’t want the YMCA then try other community programs. No one should feel that there isn’t anyone there to listen or that no one cares.

  3. Last night on our way home, my husband informed me that his friend at work told him that his friends son committed suicide by jumping off the over pass at 410 hwy. I was over come by sadness for this young man and his family, I was also sad for the people driving along the highway who witnessed this, how must they feel I voiced to my husband, and today checking my face book posts I come across this post of everyone who this tragedy touched, I would like to say to everyone that my heart also goes out to you, as well as my husbands friend and the family of this young man.

    • This is a tragic story. I agree with some of the others that there needs to be greater support offered through the high schools. There was an article in the globe and mail last year that talked about 3 students taking their lives within months of each other in Brampton from the same school.

      • Very tragic and sad. The support needs to start in the primary grades and continue all through high school. Some of these young people are so tormented and desperate by the time they get to high school they’ve lost all hope. We need to help them NOW!!!

  4. This is where the Bell Media and Clara Hughes are making an impact, but not quick enough. We need our Health System and Education system to step up. With an election coming in June this is something we need to ask the candidates running in Ontario what they are going to do. Our future is our children and grandchildren and we need them to be healthy and happy. We also need society to realize that bullying of any kind is not acceptable and should be taught to our children. Parents also need to take a interest in what their children are doing. My heart goes out to this child and family as there are always unanswered questions left behind. Heartfelt sympathies.

    • My colleague emailed this article to our entire staff, and all of us wanted to reach out to each and every one of you, and be your support.

      We, at Spectra, are dedicated to being there for the people in our community; especially when in crisis or feeling suicidal. We have a 24/7 Distress Line for people to call when they feel things aren’t going right in their life… and for some people, when things have gotten to be so bad and too much to handle that they feel, “The pain is too much, I just want to die”.

      Unfortunately there are people in society that do judge, that give advice, that blame, that criticize, that tell us how we should be living our lives. They tell us to, “Just get over it, things will get better!!”. But that doesn’t make us feel better when we are told that. We just feel worse because we aren’t able to stop the feelings.

      When you call us we will listen to you, we will be supportive, we will be there for you. We care. Maybe you have people in your life telling you what to do and what is best for you, we don’t do that. We are here to listen to what you want to talk about; without judgement. All we ask is this; please pick up the phone and call us. If you don’t call us how can we help? No one deserves to feel sadness or feel alone or feel they have no one to talk to. You have our word. You have us. Even if you just want to call and cry and let it out…we are here for you. You don’t have to go through this alone. When you are ready, we are here waiting for your call.

      Distress Line (Brampton): (905) 459.7777
      Distress Line (Caledon): 1 (800) 363.0971
      Distress Line (Mississauga): (905) 278.7208

      For more information on us please visit our website:
      http://www.spectrasupport.org

      • Good for the person who approved this to happen at your company. As a mother of 4 I would like to thank you for the info posted here. This is the most respectable, unselfish gesture I have ever seen from a corporation.

  5. I am so sorry for what you are going through Sara. I know for me writing this blog, talking to family, friends and strangers here, has helped me. I am sure that in time things will get better, but I do not want to forget. I want this young man and every other child that has done this to be remembered so that we can be better parents, so that we can be better teachers, so that we can be better friends, so that we can be a better brother and/or sister, so that we can be better doctors and most importantly be better human beings, without blaming it on others to why this has happened, but having the thought in mind of what we ourselves can do about it to make a better future for everyone. If someone is angry at the education system do something, send a letter to the Ministry of Education to spend more money on things such as this, if someone is mad at the Government and the Health Care System do the same. Call the Ministry of Transportation to put higher barriers on overpasses, call your MP, call the Board of Education or the Superintendent ….. What ever it may be DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. It is up to all of us to make a difference.

    • My colleague emailed this article to our entire staff, and all of us wanted to reach out to each and every one of you, and be your support.

      We, at Spectra, are dedicated to being there for the people in our community; especially when in crisis or feeling suicidal. We have a 24/7 Distress Line for people to call when they feel things aren’t going right in their life… and for some people, when things have gotten to be so bad and too much to handle that they feel, “The pain is too much, I just want to die”.

      Unfortunately there are people in society that do judge, that give advice, that blame, that criticize, that tell us how we should be living our lives. They tell us to, “Just get over it, things will get better!!”. But that doesn’t make us feel better when we are told that. We just feel worse because we aren’t able to stop the feelings.

      When you call us we will listen to you, we will be supportive, we will be there for you. We care. Maybe you have people in your life telling you what to do and what is best for you, we don’t do that. We are here to listen to what you want to talk about; without judgement. All we ask is this; please pick up the phone and call us. If you don’t call us how can we help? No one deserves to feel sadness or feel alone or feel they have no one to talk to. You have our word. You have us. Even if you just want to call and cry and let it out…we are here for you. You don’t have to go through this alone. When you are ready, we are here waiting for your call.

      Distress Line (Brampton): (905) 459.7777
      Distress Line (Caledon): 1 (800) 363.0971
      Distress Line (Mississauga): (905) 278.7208

      For more information on us please visit our website:
      http://www.spectrasupport.org

  6. I do agree, this is a senseless tragedy. I have a daughter who went through a serious bout of depression. After recovering, she is now proactive in lifting the “stigma” of mental health issues. She and a friend, who also suffered from mental health issues, are now going to schools around the country and lecturing on this issue, and encouraging kids to speak up. We need to be more proactive with this struggle to be in tune with our children.

    • My colleague emailed this article to our entire staff, and all of us wanted to reach out to each and every one of you, and be your support.

      We, at Spectra, are dedicated to being there for the people in our community; especially when in crisis or feeling suicidal. We have a 24/7 Distress Line for people to call when they feel things aren’t going right in their life… and for some people, when things have gotten to be so bad and too much to handle that they feel, “The pain is too much, I just want to die”.

      Unfortunately there are people in society that do judge, that give advice, that blame, that criticize, that tell us how we should be living our lives. They tell us to, “Just get over it, things will get better!!”. But that doesn’t make us feel better when we are told that. We just feel worse because we aren’t able to stop the feelings.

      When you call us we will listen to you, we will be supportive, we will be there for you. We care. Maybe you have people in your life telling you what to do and what is best for you, we don’t do that. We are here to listen to what you want to talk about; without judgement. All we ask is this; please pick up the phone and call us. If you don’t call us how can we help? No one deserves to feel sadness or feel alone or feel they have no one to talk to. You have our word. You have us. Even if you just want to call and cry and let it out…we are here for you. You don’t have to go through this alone. When you are ready, we are here waiting for your call.

      Distress Line (Brampton): (905) 459.7777
      Distress Line (Caledon): 1 (800) 363.0971
      Distress Line (Mississauga): (905) 278.7208

      For more information on us please visit our website:
      http://www.spectrasupport.org

  7. may god see this family though these hard times. May the people of canada push for better mental care.we need to teach our kids copying skills we have to work on building self a steam in our children and parents have to reach out to their kid .And parent you must earn you childrens trust Im bipolour so I know a little bit about the mental health system keep an eye on behaviour change in you childen. good luck to every one thats suffering

  8. Normally i do not like to leave comments like this but I do think this is an issue that needs to be dealt with. HIGH SCHOOL is a cruel place!! I remember getting picked on and called horrible names. I let it get to me so bad that i eventually stopped going. I had let people over come me and win. In the end i suffered and im still suffering now. The point is i believe that a simple smile or a simple hello to your fellow peers can make a difference!! STOP THE NAME CALLING! STOP THE JUDGING! STOP THE BULLYING!! JUST BE FRIENDS !! It takes a lot more energy to hate then to love. If someones hurt, LISTEN!!… WE NEED TO HELP EACHOTHER THROUGH DIFFICULT TIMES! My heart goes out to this person. I hope that someone reads this and it makes a difference wether it be by changing our behaviour towards others or by making someone feel that they are not alone!!!

  9. I witnessed this as well. My life hasn’t been the same since. It’s 1am right now and I am awake, crying. I cry and no matter what I do I can’t get the images out of my mind.
    I went home and held my son tight, he is only 11 months old. I cannot express how I feel for this mother, her life will never be the same.
    I am not sure how I can move on with my life after seeing this. I can’t function. I know time heals everything so for now, I find comfort in this blog – thank you for writing it!

  10. I witnessed this as well. My life hasn’t been the same since. It’s 1am right now and I am awake, crying. I cry and no matter what I do I can’t get the images out of my mind.
    I went home and held my son tight, he is only 11 months old. I cannot express how I feel for this mother, her life will never be the same.
    I am not sure how I can move on with my life after seeing this. I can’t function. I know time heals everything so for now, I find comfort in this blog – thank you for writing it!

    • My colleague emailed this article to our entire staff, and all of us wanted to reach out to each and every one of you, and be your support.

      We, at Spectra, are dedicated to being there for the people in our community; especially when in crisis or feeling suicidal. We have a 24/7 Distress Line for people to call when they feel things aren’t going right in their life… and for some people, when things have gotten to be so bad and too much to handle that they feel, “The pain is too much, I just want to die”.

      Unfortunately there are people in society that do judge, that give advice, that blame, that criticize, that tell us how we should be living our lives. They tell us to, “Just get over it, things will get better!!”. But that doesn’t make us feel better when we are told that. We just feel worse because we aren’t able to stop the feelings.

      When you call us we will listen to you, we will be supportive, we will be there for you. We care. Maybe you have people in your life telling you what to do and what is best for you, we don’t do that. We are here to listen to what you want to talk about; without judgement. All we ask is this; please pick up the phone and call us. If you don’t call us how can we help? No one deserves to feel sadness or feel alone or feel they have no one to talk to. You have our word. You have us. Even if you just want to call and cry and let it out…we are here for you. You don’t have to go through this alone. When you are ready, we are here waiting for your call.

      Distress Line (Brampton): (905) 459.7777
      Distress Line (Caledon): 1 (800) 363.0971
      Distress Line (Mississauga): (905) 278.7208

      For more information on us please visit our website:
      http://www.spectrasupport.org

  11. My partner was driving on the 410 when this happened. He’s been profoundly affected since then and having nightmares. He wants to know why someone would do this.

    • No one will ever understand why, but if we raise awareness we can try and change things so they do not happen again.

    • Kim, there is no REASONABLE reason to do something like this, as your partner said… I have been of both sides of the spectrum, I can tell you what I tell many people who are angry, or feel guilty or wished they had done more: this is NOT ABOUT YOU! it does not matter what anybody could have said or done, that feeling of emptiness and hopelessness is like a black hole, a deep pit where you don’t think there is any way out. as I said, it is not reasonable, but you only feel and act to what you feel. there is NOTHING you could have said or done, NOTHING to convince someone not to commit suicide once you have that idea fixed in your head. the worse part as I see now, is that when you want to jump, you are not even scared. you just want all that pain inside to stop once and for all. that inside pain, created but a combination of physical and mental reasons, valid or not for others, are the only valid reasons for someone to make a decision to end your life. I have to say I have been blessed with an extraordinary support group of incredible friends who did not give up on me. unfortunately, this is a rare situation rather than the norm and being a teenager is probably one of the hardest times because you don’t know what to do with yourself with normal growing problems, then add the personal situation, the fact that parents are not necessarily able to connect/communicate with the kids and mostly that the kids believe and speak only to their peers who are as inexperienced as themselves… it is a hard topic, I do not condemn people who kill themselves. that was THEIR ONLY SOLUTION even if from the outside it sounds stupid, dumb, selfish (I hate that word). it is a survival mechanism, your brain and your psychological situation cannot connect properly but there is the stigma of ‘being crazy’ to ask for help with feelings and depression. maybe that is a better way to help the children — don’t send a grieving counsellor AFTER the fact. send someone once a month, parents or adults can volunteer and just talk to them about your experience so at least the children will see they are not alone. being alone and hopeless is the best medicine for suicide. but again, that is NOT ON YOU who are left behind. it was not done to hurt you, to be selfish and not think of my family or friends, it is an illness. May God keep his family and friends and give them some sort of consolation because this young man is already in God’s arms and He knows what he needs as someone else said before. sorry for the long message. just wanted to pass my experience across.

      • My colleague emailed this article to our entire staff, and all of us wanted to reach out to each and every one of you, and be your support.

        We, at Spectra, are dedicated to being there for the people in our community; especially when in crisis or feeling suicidal. We have a 24/7 Distress Line for people to call when they feel things aren’t going right in their life… and for some people, when things have gotten to be so bad and too much to handle that they feel, “The pain is too much, I just want to die”.

        Unfortunately there are people in society that do judge, that give advice, that blame, that criticize, that tell us how we should be living our lives. They tell us to, “Just get over it, things will get better!!”. But that doesn’t make us feel better when we are told that. We just feel worse because we aren’t able to stop the feelings.

        When you call us we will listen to you, we will be supportive, we will be there for you. We care. Maybe you have people in your life telling you what to do and what is best for you, we don’t do that. We are here to listen to what you want to talk about; without judgement. All we ask is this; please pick up the phone and call us. If you don’t call us how can we help? No one deserves to feel sadness or feel alone or feel they have no one to talk to. You have our word. You have us. Even if you just want to call and cry and let it out…we are here for you. You don’t have to go through this alone. When you are ready, we are here waiting for your call.

        Distress Line (Brampton): (905) 459.7777
        Distress Line (Caledon): 1 (800) 363.0971
        Distress Line (Mississauga): (905) 278.7208

        For more information on us please visit our website:
        http://www.spectrasupport.org

  12. I have been through the depression the suicidal thoughts, the bullying. You feel as if it will never end and life will never get better. Somehow with the love of friends and my mother I got through always hoping for a better tomorrow. I spend every day watching my teen daughter for signs that something is off and try to talk to her and keep up to date with her life. We are parents must watch them more at this age then when they were children. Teens have so much to deal with everyday and the slightest thing can send them on an emotional roller-coaster. My thoughts and prayers to this family in this terrible time I cannot imagine the pain and anguish. The people who witnessed this please get some one to speak with, this can haunt you in many ways. And may this young soul hopefully finally be at peace from whatever was hurting him so much.

    • My colleague emailed this article to our entire staff, and all of us wanted to reach out to each and every one of you, and be your support.

      We, at Spectra, are dedicated to being there for the people in our community; especially when in crisis or feeling suicidal. We have a 24/7 Distress Line for people to call when they feel things aren’t going right in their life… and for some people, when things have gotten to be so bad and too much to handle that they feel, “The pain is too much, I just want to die”.

      Unfortunately there are people in society that do judge, that give advice, that blame, that criticize, that tell us how we should be living our lives. They tell us to, “Just get over it, things will get better!!”. But that doesn’t make us feel better when we are told that. We just feel worse because we aren’t able to stop the feelings.

      When you call us we will listen to you, we will be supportive, we will be there for you. We care. Maybe you have people in your life telling you what to do and what is best for you, we don’t do that. We are here to listen to what you want to talk about; without judgement. All we ask is this; please pick up the phone and call us. If you don’t call us how can we help? No one deserves to feel sadness or feel alone or feel they have no one to talk to. You have our word. You have us. Even if you just want to call and cry and let it out…we are here for you. You don’t have to go through this alone. When you are ready, we are here waiting for your call.

      Distress Line (Brampton): (905) 459.7777
      Distress Line (Caledon): 1 (800) 363.0971
      Distress Line (Mississauga): (905) 278.7208

      For more information on us please visit our website:
      http://www.spectrasupport.org

  13. Thank-you for sharing, as a mom who has a child who stuggles with mental health and has had thoughts of hurting themself this really hits home, I was on the 410 south ans was wondering what was going on when I was rerouting my normal drive home, I am deeply sadden to know this is the reason why. My heart goes put to the family and friends of this young man, may he rest in peace.

  14. Kids or youth need people their own age or a little older who they can look up to. Go into schools and mentor and talk about sex, suicide, abortion, bullying etc. Kids listen to age related people.

    I am a young adult and know what bulling can do to a person.

  15. My heart goes out to this young man, his friends, family and to those who were present at this time. Unfortunately we were heading northbound… as we came upon the accident scene we realized what had taken place. I can’t get that sight out of my head and had the most sickening feeling in my stomach…knowing this was possibly someones brother/son/grandson/nephew. God bless you all….

  16. It is sad that young people don’t feel like they can speak to anyone. I believe social media has a lot to do with this. Growing up if you wanted to talk to someone it had to be your family. Now, a young person can go online or turn on their phone and talk to any of their peers. As a result young people don’t know how to talk to their parents or other adults for that matter. They don’t know how to relate to them or know there are people willing to listen (this idea is so foreign now).

    The nuclear family that once held us together has quickly disintegrated.

  17. I am so sorry that you had to experience this. 14 years ago my son jumped from a bridge to his death on a railway track. The media were careful to suppress the story because there is a belief that if we talk about suicide more people will take their own lives. This is a myth which is held in our school systems as well and which needs to be debunked. Talking about it makes it easier to deal with. When people aren’t afraid to say how they feel and aren’t afraid to ask for help they are more likely to live.
    My son was in the care of a mental health facility when he died. We know now that the medication he was given combined with recurring flashbacks of sexual abuse by a neighbour was likely the cause of his death.
    He was a young man loved by all and who loved much. He was in care for over a year by medical and mental health professionals. They all failed us because of ignorance. Suicide kills more people in Canada each year than the falling of the twin towers did in 2001 yet we continue to spend money on the popular killers rather than the real ones.
    Be sure to get help for yourself…and welcome to the beginning of hope that this can change.
    Peggy Guiler
    River of Hope Enterprises.
    Some support here:. http://www.yourlifecounts.org/

  18. My heart goes out to the family of this young boy.I also suffered from lack of confidence and missed out on many things in my younger years as “I did not fit in”.I am a 54 yr. old mother of a 19 yr old beautiful daughter who has also been bullied since beginning of school.These kids need to talk with people who have had these thoughts and actual experiences to know they are not alone.They need to know there is a tomorrow and the bullies are not “powerful”and are not worth giving up on their own selves.Bullies need to be identified to all not protected by the crowds they hang with.BULLIES are people who prey on others that will make something of themselves and strip them of their self-worth.People need to help when they see these situations not turn and walk away.God be with you.

  19. The passing away on Tuesday was of one of my best friends son. Very dear to my heart too. He was only 15 and very loved and cared for by many people. The incident has left family friends and classmates and teachers shocked as we all try to understand and accept he is gone forever. We try our best with youth these days but we dont know what goes on in their minds. God bless his soul and keep him safe wherever he is.

    • I am so sorry for all of your loss. Being a parent my heart brakes thinking of his mom and what she might be going through. Although I can not say or do anything to ease the pain I want her to know that I am thinking of her every day and only hope she is given the strength that she needs during this difficult time.

    • My colleague emailed this article to our entire staff, and all of us wanted to reach out to each and every one of you, and be your support.

      We, at Spectra, are dedicated to being there for the people in our community; especially when in crisis or feeling suicidal. We have a 24/7 Distress Line for people to call when they feel things aren’t going right in their life… and for some people, when things have gotten to be so bad and too much to handle that they feel, “The pain is too much, I just want to die”.

      Unfortunately there are people in society that do judge, that give advice, that blame, that criticize, that tell us how we should be living our lives. They tell us to, “Just get over it, things will get better!!”. But that doesn’t make us feel better when we are told that. We just feel worse because we aren’t able to stop the feelings.

      When you call us we will listen to you, we will be supportive, we will be there for you. We care. Maybe you have people in your life telling you what to do and what is best for you, we don’t do that. We are here to listen to what you want to talk about; without judgement. All we ask is this; please pick up the phone and call us. If you don’t call us how can we help? No one deserves to feel sadness or feel alone or feel they have no one to talk to. You have our word. You have us. Even if you just want to call and cry and let it out…we are here for you. You don’t have to go through this alone. When you are ready, we are here waiting for your call.

      Distress Line (Brampton): (905) 459.7777
      Distress Line (Caledon): 1 (800) 363.0971
      Distress Line (Mississauga): (905) 278.7208

      For more information on us please visit our website:
      http://www.spectrasupport.org

  20. Thank you for sharing. We are all concerned, not only with what took place but what triggered this young man’s suicide. To all those who witnessed this, seek help, talk about it. It can be very traumatic when you witness something like this. I suffered with issues as a teenager and often did contemplate suicide, but there was always one thought that always over took the rest ‘tomorrow’. What ever is going on today, yesterday, it’s temporary, though the heartache is great, it’s temporary. Wait, hold on. For if you don’t have tomorrow then you don’t have a new day where things can change. Tomorrow things will be better, hold on, it’s temporary. Talk with someone, but hold on.

  21. I’m from the same school as the 2 students who have recently passed, I didn’t know either of them personally but from what I have heard both were unexpected.. You just can never really know what another student is going through

  22. Fix the economy! Make it possible again for only one parents paycheque is enough to support a family. If there was someone at home these kids would have someone to talk to, and at least as parents, we would actually notice the torture in their faces rather than being caught up in trying to make a living. It would allow us to spend quality time with our kids. To involve them in after school activities rather than sending them home to an empty house or worse yet, some before and after school program! They need their parents time and attention, not those of a teacher, or doctor, or therapist! They need a social life outside of the school environment. They need to see that they have another life outside of school where they are loved, where people care for them, where they fit in despite of what they wear or say or do, and where people are truly concerned for their well being! Yes, some teachers may care about the kids they teach, but the system handcuffs them. It is our responsibility to our children to give them the quality of life they deserve! They need to be raised by family, not by strangers!

    • The mind is amazing but dangerous. Even though some people have love and support, the mind “tricks” them into thinking otherwise. The young teen didn’t come home to an empty house, was always doing activities (with the parents too). Yes it is sad that what you wrote about does happen… But One can’t always blame it on that…

  23. Thank you everyone for your comments. Writing this article has helped me with what I saw and experienced. The only intentions are to bring awareness and try to understand what I saw. In the past couple of days I have teared up when driving, sitting at work, watching TV and reading your comments. It is not just what I saw that puts me to tears, but the thought of what his mother is going through. I only hope that she is given the strength to be able to deal with this the best that she can and that goes out to all of his family and everyone that knew him. I do not claim to know what happened or the reasons to why it happened, but I do know that all of us need to do more.

    • The young man is my friend’s son. Would you be willing to speak to his mother/family about what you saw? This is difficult for all of us and we are looking to fill in the gaps. Please let me know how I can get in touch with you away from this blog.

      Thank you.

  24. I agree with GQ, our healthcare system is failing our young people. Having gone through an attempt with my own son, I have firsthand knowledge of just how ridiculous mental health resources are. Every agency that we went to for help had at least a 6 month waiting list! Unless you have unlimited financial resources, you are basically screwed. We talk about telling our kids to speak out about their problems, but then are unable to provide them with the needed help for up to a year, because the services are simply too overwhelmed. My heart truly breaks for our youth & more specifically for this teens family and friends. Maybe the politicians should be looking at this issue!

  25. Are we doing the best we can for this millennial generation? Was it right to give participation ribbons to everyone along the way? I think it is very hard on these kids who were raised without the concrete knowledge of action and consequence as they reach adulthood.
    The real world can be a tough place and I think in being kinder and gentler in the way we raised our kids has left them ill prepared to deal with the stress and pressure that confronts them.

    • Well said, unfortunately, you’re exactly right. I work daily with teens and young adults. The majority of them believe that they are owed a living and every privilege of life. Many are shocked/ confused when they learn that jobs can be lost, possessions repossessed.
      Two young men from my area died in the manner described above. One because he was drowning in debt, the second because of guilt felt over his friend’s death. It was shocking to us all

  26. I think its very sad and I feel so bad for this family.
    I have 3 kids myself and couldnt emagine losing one. Iv also had a cousin 14 hang herself there isnt a day that goes by that I dont tell my kids how much I love them and check on them before going to bed. Because you just never no what there thinking or feeling. Even when they say there fine.

  27. I’ll tell you what happened to make that teen feel like he had nowhere to turn – our healthcare system! Every day teens (mere children) are turned away from hospitals despite attempting suicide, to save a bed. They are sent right back home without any help so they can try again and unfortunately in this case a young life was lost far too early.

    • You hit the nail on the head CQ! I had struggled for months to get help for my daughter and it wasn’t until she was hospitalized with a suicide attempt that she was put to the top of the list for psychiatric help, but this was only for a week of inpatient counselling and medication. After discharge, all she has received is 10 minute appointments with a psychiatrist to refill her anti-depressants and we were back on a wait list. It has been 5 months since her discharge and counselling is finally beginning. Meanwhile, we have been paying $200 an hour for private therapy and maxed out the credit cards doing this because I could not sit back and wait for the system to help her. When I hear of the billions wasted by this government on ehealth, gas plants, Ornge, green energy, on and on, I want to go down to Queen’s Park and smack, scream at, and spit nails at these politicians. Mental health, especially for kids, is the most underfunded service in our system and needs to be revamped now!

    • I can really agree with you here, We are currently in the same situation, where the health facility is constantly trying to get rid of my younger brother, even though he has not improved and is in a non-stable situation. They feed him zombie pills and for about an hour or two, he doesn’t think or feel anything. They usually feed him the pills right before visits, so to make it look like he has improved but we are his family, we have spent far too long with him to know he is not at the level he should be at. They don’t do much diagnostic testing to figure out the exact issue but instead try to accumulate false discharge credits with the zombie-pills. One other issue, the school system here is so non human. I have also felt like I was at the bottom, no one to help, and teachers and school were part of it. The teachers always picked on me, always pushed aside issues raised, put you down in front of the whole class, just because of the fact that some people cannot learn a certain way. I don’t know where I would be if it was not for my true friends and family, who made life worth pursuing and living. Its not much, but if everyone outside, school, home could make people feel like they have a future that’s worth living, we would not be here. It is when the last ray of hope is lost, then its over, to the person suffering, its his last outcry. If everyone could spit out something positive instead of putting some one down, the social help group would know no limits. No one at that age is suppose to suffer from the ugly “truths” of life, far too young. Condolences to the family and please remember it wasn’t your fault, you loved him but the only short coming came from the system. You trusted them to take care of your boy. This is the outcome of a system where, every aspect of life is based on money. Once again, remember there are others thinking of your family and your boy and our hearts are with you. Much love.

  28. I also took a bunch of pills when I was 16 as a direct result of being bullied. I had to be pulled out of 4 schools as this “bully” fallowed me and to this day, I still warn for going to the prom I missed due to fear. My parents and I did reach out to the school system and they did nothing, none of the schools except for ask the “bully” to stay out of school for 2 days. I am 37 now, a mother of 2 boys and think of this topic often. I would love to be able to visit schools and speak to children. This poor boy. My prayers and thoughts are with him. Xxx

  29. When I was 16 I took a handful of pills. Not sure if it was cause I wanted to end the suffering I felt or to actually get someone’s attention that what I was feeling and going through needed help other than a good nights sleep or some exercise. I now realize that those thoughts of suicide are not my real thoughts, that they come to me when the chemicals in my brain are not balanced. Medication has made me function and not have those thoughts. With medication I can now use exercise to help me feel better, but without it I would literally not be alive.
    To me it is not a mental health issue, it should be a brain health issue. Change the wording, change the stigma.

    Laura m

  30. Sadly if someone has suicidal ideations it’s more than “being bullied”. Though I think it can have negative impacts on the persons mental health I think wanting to committ sucide is a mental health problem along with depression. It’s so sad that a young person feels this way. I think instead of taking about bullying they should have speakers about how to motivate people with low self esteems. There will always be bullies but how can we raise about it. And how can we help those with mental health issues. What should parents and friends look out for?

    • Kristen, I could not agree more. I lost my wife at 30 years of age after being together for almost 7 years to suicide a few years ago. Mental health is the key to all of this. All too often people just associate it with “depression”. From there they try to find ways to figure out what “caused” the depression. Things like bullying, etc etc. From all I’ve been through, watching first hand my wife’s struggles right in front of me, I can tell you it’s a helpless feeling. There is no parenting, motivational speaking, or anything else that can simply be said. When someone of sound mental health says “don’t worry, you’ll get through this tough time, tomorrow will be better”, that’s exactly it. To that person that “light” is not imaginable. All they see is tomorrow being as horrible as today.

  31. I love the book “Hold on to Your Kids.” It talks about how we, as parents, need to have the centrally important relationship in our children’s lives. Other children, and even teenagers, do not have the maturity to be able to meet the needs of our children like we can. If they believe that their relationship with friends is the most important and are ostracized for any reason it leads to tragic events like these.

    Speakers in schools can provide awareness, but awareness isn’t always enough. And often those who need it most are too hardened to really listen. Real change requires action, and the action that will help our children the most will be us, as parents, teachers and other adults, making our relationships with them highest priority, bullies and bullied alike.

    You have shared a great start, in the things you have done with your son. Thank you, for being willing to share such a painful experience, so that change for the better can be possible.

    • I agree!!!! Hold On To Your Kids is the best book I have ever read and I bought copies for all my siblings who have children and many friends. I often give it as a gift to new parents or grandparents. I think the more folks who understand the philosophy of attachment, and how to apply it, the less kids we will have feeling unattached, hopeless and alone.

    • I agree with you so important to have the support at home. I think if kids know they can talk to there parents they can get alot off their chests that they cannot tell their peers. Then they don’t feel so alone and hopeless. Also really listening to their concerns. What may seem like a small issue to an adult may be a mountain to a teen.

    • God bless the young man, and may he be at peace within himself today. Only GOD knows what he needs now, and I send my deepest condolences to his family. Keep each other close, and love, love love each other !!! Gos bless”

  32. I think schools, instead of having “motivational speakers”, should really hire a therapist to come in once in a while to actually help students.

    • There’s only so much the principal can do and she has been very supportive to the staff and students during the time of both tragedies.

    • My son was friends with both the students at that school. There is something going on in that school that goes much deeper then the eyes can see.

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