Our Story.

In Nov 2020, we lost our 18-year-old daughter to suicide. No one saw it coming, she had never voiced that she was depressed, she never did things like cut herself, or act out. She was always happy and every time we asked how she was doing she said … “I’m ok!” She never shared with her closest friends, she never reached out to us or any family, or any of the existing suicide hotlines. She went down that dark path on her own, silently, and constantly building her fears and anxieties about her life in her mind, without reaching out. In isolation, her mental state won – she convinced herself that the pain of life was too much to handle and hung herself in her closet.

Her death affected people across the spectrum. Her siblings, cousins, relatives, friends, acquaintances, all came to a crippling halt when they heard, and everyone said the same thing… “I’m so shocked, she never said anything.” If she could only see the amount of people that were affected by her death, if she could only see how many around her were willing and ready to support her… there is a good chance that she will be with us today. All she had to do was reach out, and many times that is the scariest thing- because we feel exposed, we feel that people will label us, and facing that pain, that ownership of our pain is scary, and sometimes too much to handle. Without support they feel abandoned, alone, desolated, and they perceived pain is so great that they do not see any light down the tunnel. They feel like they have no other choice…  but the support is there if you reach out! 

We decided to make a real difference in the lives of teenagers and young people who are struggling with mental illness silently.  We would like for young people and teens to know that is it’s ok to share not only your strengths, but it’s ok to share your struggles, your weaknesses, your anxieties, and fears about your circumstances. The act of reaching out to one’s peers, to a stranger, or to anyone, brings an awareness to the problem.  It will help defuse the fear and mounting anxiety, and it will help start the slow and long road of support and changes in that person’s life. The fear is always bigger than the reality. 

Since her passing, we have been able to help many young people avoid suicide with the support of friends, family, and professional doctors who have generously volunteered their time and services towards addressing this critical issue. As a result, Athenie’s Angels charity was established.