A young girl who once attempted suicide after being bullied is now happy, healthy, and sharing an inspiring message with other young people who are struggling with mental health issues. Ava-Lilly Sterland was diagnosed with depression at the age of seven and attempted to take her own life a year later. Thankfully, she didn’t succeed, and now age 10, she wants others to know they’re not alone and life can get better.
Ava’s parents were beside themselves with worry. There’s nothing more heartbreaking and devastating than seeing your child struggling so badly, and Ava’s parents Sophie, 34, and Christopher, 40, were no different. They sought professional help for their daughter, at which point Ava was diagnosed with PTSD. With some treatment and love and support from her family, Ava is now doing so much better.
The girl had been suffering in silence. At first, Ava never opened up to her parents about the fact that she was being bullied at school, and while they immediately moved her when they found out, the damage had been done. “We got her into a new school and she moved within a week,” Sophie recalled. “But it was clear something was happening in her head. Ava became very negative and started to harm herself.” Not long after, she tried to hang herself with a jump rope.
Ava is encouraging other kids to speak up if they’re unhappy or struggling. Ava, from the West Midlands in the UK, once believed the world would be “better” without her. Now, she knows how wrong she was and how important it is to speak to her parents if she doesn’t feel quite right. She’s encouraging other kids to do the same and will hopefully save some lives.
Ava has made a video to inspire and comfort. Taking to an Instagram account run by her parents, Ava uploaded a video she made for other children who might find themselves where she was those few years ago. “Ava decided to make a video for other children on her own,” her mom, Sophie, explained. “She has lost a part of her childhood and has grown up before her time. But she is in a much better place now.”
What a relief – and what an inspiration Ava is!
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