It is always a heartbreaking thing to witness the death of a child. It is even worse when it is one that took her own life out of desperation. At the age of 6 years old, Amy “Dolly” Everett netted herself a lucrative modelling contract. Donning the iconic Australian Akubra hat (which is a type of hat that is often associated with the unspoiled wilderness), Dolly’s sweet smile won the hearts of thousands. She soon became the face that represented the company who hired her, and her photo spread through the country like wildfire.
All wasn’t idyllic, however. Over the course of eight years, Dolly’s parents could only watch helplessly as their bright, outgoing daughter became withdrawn and sullen. It was clear to her parents that she was wracked with severe depression and anxiety, likely as a result of the intense cyberbullying that sprung from her fame. Unfortunately, the Everetts only grasped the true extent and depth of the bullying their daughter faced when she committed suicide at the tender age of 14, on the 3rd of January, 2018.
Although they were understandably shaken and overwhelmed with grief, the Everetts came out to address the public that bullied their daughter. Tick, Dolly’s father, called out the people who had driven his daughter to take her own life, asking them to look at what they have done. At the same time, he took the opportunity to shed light on just how damaging bullying can be. He shared a piece of art made by his daughter, showing just how much strength she showed even in her darkest moments.
Since Dolly’s death, the Everetts have decided to honour their precious daughter’s memory by launching the anti-bullying campaign named “Dolly’s Dream.” The aim is to not only raise awareness about suicide and bullying, but to also share hope with those who are walking down the same dark path their daughter once did.
They definitely have their work cut out for them – as the world gets harsher and more heartless to handle, suicide numbers have only continued to rise.
As of present, the number of lives suicide has taken far outstrips any other disease or accidents combined. In fact, it is the second leading cause of death for young adults and teens. The prevalence of the internet doesn’t help either. The internet has made it far easier to unload negative commentary onto a person anonymously in massive amounts. Phrases such as “go kill yourself” and the like can be easily found anywhere. Suicidal ideation is now so deeply embedded into the youth that many have taken to humour and self-depreciation to cope. Just about any teen is familiar far too familiar with gallows humour than they really should be. As depression amongst the youth seems to be only getting worse, normalization of suicidal ideation is likely only going to get worse.
Teens already have it hard, trying to navigate a major transitional moment in their lives while learning how to handle relationships and their own mental development. Hopefully campaigns like “Dolly’s Dream” will help bring hope to these teens and change lives.
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