Parents urged to talk to children after video posted just before - News, Weather & Sports

Parents urged to talk to children after video posted just before suicide

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Gloria Berry Gloria Berry

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A Male High School student took her life shortly after posting a video online.

The video remained online for a lot of the day Tuesday, even though the school system, law enforcement and the family tried to get it taken down.

WAVE 3 News already decided the video was something we just could not air out of respect for the tragedy that occurred, but it's likely that a teen you know has watched the video because it was viewed more than 11,000 times. Unfortunately, one of the things that increases the chances of suicidal thoughts in children and teens is a friend or peer who recently committed suicide.

It's more common than you might think. Seven Counties Services, a behavioral health agency, said there were three times more suicides than homicides in Louisville in 2012 and Kentucky ranks number two in teenage suicide.

Because what essentially was a suicide note was placed on social media, Seven Counties Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Gloria Berry said it impacts the young people who view the message.

"That has increased the knowledge that this is happening and other people feel this way and this is how they're handling it, so maybe this is my answer or my solution," she said.

She said the solution for parents is not easy, but tough questions need to start a conversation, "Not to be afraid to ask that question, 'Do you ever have thoughts yourself about life would be easier or better if you weren't here?' If you hear a yes, then you want to get professional help and you want to keep your eyes on them at all times, keep them close by even if they have to sleep in the room with you."

The family of the Male High School student said: "She [name redacted] made friends everywhere, was very active in school, great student, and active in church but she suffered from depression and didn't reach out for help."

Berry said that's why those conversations between parent and teen are so essential. She said to ask questions such as,


  • "If this were to happen, how would you handle it?"
  • "If one of your really good friends told you that they were feeling that their life was pointless and that they wanted to die, how would you handle that?"
  • "If you felt that way, how would you handle that?"


For a time Tuesday, Jefferson County Public Schools shut down access to YouTube and Twitter because the video from the Male High School student was out there. School officials said this was to allow students impacted by the tragedy to get help. Twenty additional grief counselors were at the school all day to allow students to talk to someone whenever they needed to.

Additional resources available are:


  • Seven Counties has a 24-hour child crisis line available. They do counselor assessments no matter the time of day. All you have to do is call (502) 589-8070. You can also visit Seven Counties website by clicking here.
  • To view facts about suicide and suicide prevention from the National Institute of Mental Health, click here.
  • To read tips on how to have a conversation about suicide, click here.
  • For information from JCPS concerning suicide, click here.


Funeral Information for Maddie Yates is as follows:
Visitation – Friday, April, 18 from 10 a.m.-8 p.m. at Memorial Gardens East (11601 Ballardsville Rd.)
Funeral – Saturday, April 19 at 10 a.m. at Southeast Christian Church
A fund for donations has been established at Republic Bank under the name Maddie Yates.

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