DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla. – A mother who lost her son to suicide urged school leaders to provide more resources to young people who are struggling.
“A lot of times we are too stressed out to hear our children, to really listen to them and I think that is the biggest problem,” said Shibbon Mitchell. “And it’s not just the kids, it is the parent’s too.”Students at Deerfield Beach High School are mourning the loss of yet another classmate.
Mitchell’s son is Bryce Gowdy, 17, a stand out student athlete, who took his life on the railroad tracks in late December.
Earlier this week, a 17-year-old girl, was fatally struck by a Brightline train. Her death has been ruled a suicide. She’s the third student to die from that school in the last two months.
The tragedy on the tracks in Deerfield Beach happened just before 9 a.m. Monday after Broward Sheriff’s Office deputies arrived to find a young woman hit and killed by a Brightline train.
Crime scene tape blocked off the area of Dixie Highway near N.E. 2nd Street. Investigators reviewing surveillance video before ruling the death a suicide.
The victim was identified as Alexis Marion, an 11th grader at Deerfield Beach High School. Her grandfather said she was an honor student and athlete. Marion is the third Deerfield Beach high school student to die in less than two months.
Terrance Jackson was shot and killed this month. Cell phone video showed the chaos leading up to the fatal shooting outside of his grandfather’s funeral.
The concern with this community is that two of the student’s deaths have been death by suicide.
Jessica Ruiz, PsyD, chief psychologist at Behavioral Health Associates of Broward said that suicide is a tragedy because it is preventable.
“What it takes is someone knowing that they are not alone,” she said. “Know that you don’t have to do this alone. There are trained professional that understand depression, understand anxiety. To bring hope back into the picture that things can change.”
She encourages teens to speak with an adult about their issues. And parents, teachers and administrators should take the time to listen.
Ruiz also advises that if a student confides in another student about thoughts of suicide, it should not be kept a secret and it should be brought to the attention of an adult immediately.