A teenager from Maine dies by suicide after feeling locked at home due to the pandemic. His father wants to tell other teenagers that things will get better and that there is help out there when they need it.
On Friday, Spencer Smith took his life by suicide after suffering due to being lockdown for the past months. His dad, Jay Smith, explained that his son's mental health was affected by the life changes for the past few months.
He said that they knew Spencer was upset because he could not join in his school activities like football. Little did they know that it was so bad that it prompted their son to take his life away. Smith noted that when they tried to look back, they realized that there were cues which they missed to notice.
Deteriorating mental health
On Tuesday, the dad from Brunswick said in an interview with Today that they knew how their teen had felt but did not think it was that bad. He said that they did not realize that Spencer's mental health was already deteriorating.
The dad-of-two shared that Spencer was a "great kid" in his sophomore year at Brunswick High School. The teen loved schooling and hanging out with his friends. Smith said that his son was working out all summer so he could become the lineman to their school's football team; however, when the sport became flag football, he lost interest in it.
Smith explained that his son did not like that they had to do social distancing during practice. Eventually, the 16-year-old stopped working out. He also said that his son suffered from remote learning. His child left a written note telling his parents that he felt like he was locked in their house.
To encourage other teens who might also be struggling, Smith shared his son's story. He wants to let other youngsters know that they could seek help if they have a hard time coping with the pandemic.
DEVASTATING: Spencer Smith left a note for his parents, writing about feeling locked in the house and growing apart from his friends. Spencer was just 16-years-old. Posted by The National Desk - TND on Monday, December 14, 2020
Teens should seek help when needed
Smith noted that there is help out there, so when the children are feeling depressed and alone, they need to seek help from others by reaching out. He also said that the pandemic would not last forever and that things will get better. He also wants to alert parents to talk to their children to help them cope.
The Brunswick School Department offers counseling and bereavement support services to students and staff that need them. In an online statement on Friday, school superintendent Phillip Potenziano reminds people of what to do when they need help.
He said that you or your child should reach out for help in any way if you are not feeling well. Apart from that, he also noted that suicide should never be an option to help solve the problems that you are facing.
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