To use Alexa's story to raise awareness about the dangers of bullying and cyberbullying. Not only did she matter - everyone matters.
To shed light on the issue of depression in adolescents and the relationship between depression, bullying and suicide.
Most importantly, to start a conversation in schools and the general community that fosters solutions in curbing destructive behavior, promoting kindness and coming to the realization that everyone has the Power to Change an unfortunate Outcome.
Out of sadness and frustration I wrote a poem and created an accompanying video tribute entitled SHE MATTERED. In the 9 years since Alexa's death, with even stronger bullying legislation across the nation, that now includes cyberbullying, the number of incidents climb. The root cause, for both the victim and perpetrator, is often related to underlying mental health issues. I want these to be addressed.
It is distressing to me that attention is not paid to the suicide of young children, or even young adults, unless it is extremely dramatic or newsworthy, like jumping off of a well-known bridge or committed by someone famous. We live in a town neighboring Sandy Hook in CT. My heart breaks for the parents and families of all of those who lost their lives, but it makes me question, "Why does it take a massacre of innocent lives for our communities and the nation to wake up and see that we have a problem?"
It's hard for me to read all of the tributes and rememberances to those who die in horrific circumstances. Alexa was just one young girl in a small town, who became so depressed, that she saw no way to end her pain than to end her life, but SHE MATTERED also.
SHE MATTERED and is missed as much as all the other children who lost their lives senselessly. All of those who are bullied, and thrown into deep depression as a result, MATTER. All of the other people, young and old alike, who are dying by suicide, MATTER.