"When your child or anyone reaches out for help-take it is seriously. I knew there were issues, but I could have done more."
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on September 2, 2022. It has since been updated.
Trigger Warning: This story mentions suicide which may be disturbing to readers
Twenty-six-year-old Savannah Sheats, from Atlanta, was reported missing on August 17, 2022 by her family members. Reports confirmed that she was found by the police a day after. She died by suicide, as per Good Morning America.
David Sheats, her father, is heartbroken over the sudden demise of his young daughter and talked about the grief of losing a child, in a heart-wrenching post that was shared by his other daughter, Alex, via Instagram. "There are bad days in life sometimes, and then there are these days. As has come to pass my sweet, beautiful daughter Savannah Nicole Sheats has taken her own life," David wrote in the post.
The post caption read, "❤️ A note from Dad." David continued to talk about his grief and the love he has for his daughter as well as her challenges as a young woman. "I've been reluctant to express that, but I think it's important. With a young child, a skinned knee is one thing. A hug and a band-aid will normally cure the tears. As that child becomes a young lady, the task becomes more difficult. There are no cuts, bruises, or bumps you can make better. The pain is internal," he continued.
He described Savannah as a young woman who was a "Giver, overachiever, and genuine person. She loves her soulmate/ sister Alex best, family gardening, animals, barre', running, dancing, singing, life, and exploring new things."
Alongside the note from the dad, the post included a series of photographs of Savannah with her family. David also went on to mention that the ability to help a person when they desperately need someone to understand them is the noblest deed one can do. "As a Dad and parent, I've learned a difficult lesson. When your child or anyone reaches out for help-take it is seriously. I knew there were issues, but I could have done more," he wrote.
As the post continues, he emphasizes that Covid has affected the mental health of people worldwide. Some have braved through their challenges, whereas some fell prey to them. Through the post, he urged the people and the community to be there for someone who needs help.
"Covid I believe has ratcheted up folks feeling disconnected, depressed, or anxious. Help at least one person. Do it today-don't wait. Everyone needs help at points. As the saying goes, 'No man is an island.' We need each other," David wrote.
He thanked the social media community and the people of Atlanta who helped his family by showing love and support during their time of grief. He finished his heartfelt note by saying, "We are devastated by these events-my beautiful Savannah's passing is tough to deal with, but we hope to bring awareness for others in similar situations so that their outcome is a positive one."
"I love you forever Savannah! Godspeed. Heaven will have the prettiest flowers ever, now that you're there" he concluded the note.
Dad mourning the loss of his 26-year-old daughter shares an emotional message on mental health. https://t.co/FHNSQ35m6S— ABC News (@ABC) August 26, 2022
Due to the pandemic, awareness regarding depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues were highlighted by doctors and psychologists all over the world. The taboo and stigma around mental health disorders have started to drift away. Several countries have taken the initiative towards promoting mental and emotional well-being.
According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, in the United States, suicide is the 12th leading cause of death. The pandemic has impacted Americans' mental health, leading to a major focus on suicide prevention and mental health care.
A national helpline was announced in July, which is a three-digit phone number, 988, launched to make mental health care more accessible. One can call or text 988 and access a free and confidential helpline which is named the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline that is available 24 hours a day and seven days a week.
Representative Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Sentir y Viajar