Lexi Williams: 'I've been begging for help & no one will help me'
"It's heartbreaking to see how you begged for help so obviously and nobody took it seriously. May you rest in peace up there," tweeted @TotallyBia.
These are just a couple tweets out of thousands about Lexi Williams, a North Carolina teen who lost her life to suicide. The 16-year-old Ashbrook High School student died on Nov. 21 after jumping from the Cox Road bridge onto Interstate 85 in Gastonia.
I wish Lexi could have known that she wasn't alone before she died, how many people related to her struggle and how many people wanted desperately to help. Maybe then the outcome would have been different.
But that's the thing. When she was alive, people didn't see all of the signs that filled Lexi's social media account. Lexi was practically screaming for help on her own Twitter, writing things like "When you try to talk to your mom about your stress and mental health issues & she tells you to get over it," and "I've been begging for help & no one will help me."
I think people have become more aware of suicide in the last few years. Today, suicide is talked about at funerals and in news articles, instead of swept under the rug. Today, people aren't afraid to openly mourn victims of suicide and talk about their cause of death. And while I think these steps have been crucial in raising awareness, I think there is still just as much of a stigma against mental illness.
It shouldn't be that way. People should take mental illness seriously — and not just take it seriously when someone dies because of it.
But still, when many of us see someone posting things like Lexi did on social media, we think, "You're just seeking attention" or "Get over it" or "Why are you posting about your problems on social media?" instead of actually helping them.
If you witnessed someone having a seizure, you wouldn't just stand there and watch. You would jump in to try and help; you would call 9-1-1. Yet mental illness can be just as life threatening, and, when someone reaches out for help, whether it's on Facebook, on Twitter, in a text message, or in person, it should never be taken lightly.
Via Yours Truly blogger wrote, "There are many more Lexis out there, with suicidal thoughts. I don’t want her to just be another victim of depression and public neglect. ... I am going to do my part, to make sure her death was not in vain.
"Lexi Williams will make a difference, she mattered, her life mattered, she meant something and you do too. ... You are not alone. ... Without you the world would be completely different, it would be incomplete. You are an important piece to a large puzzle."
If you are contemplating suicide or feel you have no one to help you, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.