Suicide survivor shares her experience to raise awareness

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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Statistics show that suicide is one of the leading causes of death amongst teenagers in Washoe County, but Erin Gill, whose daughter attempted to commit suicide, is doing what she can to make sure children know help is available.

"She locked the door behind me and by the time we got in she grabbed the knife off the kitchen counter and cut her wrist to the bone,” explains Gill.

This life-changing event occurred just a few months ago, changing the lives of not only Erin Gill, but her 13-year-old daughter, Brianna. It was a scene that left her entire family in disbelief, but it was first responders that showed up immediately that saved Brianna from the worst.

"I decided to end my life, and when that didn’t work, I was constantly trying to do it, but still not wanting to really die," said Brianna Gill.

At the age of 10, Brianna fell into a deep depression that led her to try to find a way to eliminate her pain. Brianna found her release was through self-harm.

"I was so scared that people would judge me and that they would abandon me because that is the worst feeling, the feeling of being alone," Brianna explained.

Brianna said she would ask for help at school, but she never would receive it. Her mother desperately searches for answers, which she claimed is far too difficult in Northern Nevada. Her daughter had to wait over a month to get into a local facility.

"With kids, they don’t know there is a resource out there, so if you are not talking to your kid about suicide and they hit that spot they might not know where to turn and they may take their life," said Erin.

Erin explains it's not always evident that your child may be suffering but constant conversations are key. Being present, asking questions, and recognizing changes, could save a life.