BRUNSWICK, Maine (WJW) — The family of a 16-year-old boy is spreading the word about mental health in youth after their son died by suicide after struggling to cope with the pandemic.
TODAY reports Spencer Smith, a high school sophomore, passed away Friday.
Smith’s father, Jay, told TODAY his son has been having trouble adjusting to pandemic life. His family said Jay was upset because he couldn’t participate in school activities like football, but they didn’t realize how much he was being affected.
Over time, he quit working out, and his grades suffered.
“We knew he was upset because he was no longer able to participate in his school activities, football. We never guessed it was this bad,” Jay Smith told TODAY. “Looking back now we could see little things that we should have caught but we didn’t realize his mental health was deteriorating as bad.”
Spencer left a note for his family in which he described his struggles and said he felt like he was “locked in this house.”
“There’s help out there,” Jay Smith told TODAY.”This pandemic can’t last forever and if they’re feeling alone and depressed, they need to reach out for help. Things will get better. I ask parents to talk to their children.”
For more, click here.
A GoFundMe account has been set up to help his family pay for expenses.
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