Missing Teen Raises Concerns About Depression

24 May

Police are still searching for the 15 year old girl from Danville who disappeared Monday morning. Alliy Bayliss was last seen on the San Ramon Valley High School (SRVHS) campus at around 8 a.m. Monday. She is reported to be white, about 5’8″, and was last seen wearing blue jeans and a red zip-up hoodie.

Allison Bayliss went missing on Monday, May 23, 2011 at around 8 a.m.

Her parents, along with the help of police and thousands of community members are frantically looking around Danville and San Francisco. An apparent suicide note that she left at her house lead her father to believe that she may go to the Golden Gate Bridge. At around 4:45 Tuesday morning, Her father found her bike and helmet in a park near the bridge; the search has continued around the area. Local media stations have been contacted and community members have rallied together to post flyers and spread the word of her disappearance.

While law enforcement and family members are frantically searching for any clue as to where Alliy may be, the Danville community and fellow SRVHS students are hoping for her safe return. Students even started a Facebook group, FIND ALLIY BAYLISS, which has now amassed almost 10,000 members. Facebook users have been posting comments of love, support, and hope for her safe return. UPDATE: as of Wednesday morning, the FIND ALLIY BAYLISS Facebook page was taken down due to inappropriate comments. A new page has been created under a similar name: FIND Alliy Bayliss.

Comments include engouraging words such as:

“Alliy being a teenager is excruciatingly painful. But it doesn’t las forever. SO many people love you, let that carry you through any pain you are feeling.”

“The greatest joy I have is being a mother to a teen girl. I hope you come home safe and sound so that you can experience that kind of happiness for yourself, later, years from now. You have so much to look forward to. Go home sweetheart, you are loved.”

“Praying for Alliy’s safety and for her family… Alliy, I hope you are able to find a friend to talk to or even just to sit with. Please hold on to the truth that you are loved and cared about and you have friends who want to walk with you, listen to you, and just be present with you, even when life is so very hard. You are not alone”

This case has raised concerns, not only for Alliy’s well-being, but also for the status of her mental health. Alliy is considered at risk for depression and suicide. Many times, family and friends of people struggling with depression don’t know what signs to look for in regards to said issues. Many people don’t reach out due to fear of the negative stigma associated with depression; they are worried of what people will think about them and how they will be viewed by those they care about most.

Even though one’s teen years are many of the most difficult and emotionally wearing, many high schools (and colleges) do not yet know how to deal with issues such as teen depression, self-harm, and suicide. SRVHS has had counselors available to its students throughout the past few days. Many students remain hurt and confused by Alliy’s disappearance. The hope is that the on-call counselors will be able to help students with any pain associated with the situation.

Over the past few years there have been discussions of putting up net on the Golden Gate  Bridge in order to prevent people from jumping off and taking their own lives as often. Kevin Hines who jumped off the Bridge at the age of 19 and survived says that most people who jump instantly regret doing so. Although it is still to be determined as to whether or not Alliy attempted to jump off the bridge, there have been other cases within the past couple months involving teens who have jumped or fell off the bridge; one was a prank and the other was an attempted suicide – both survived. Both stories gained national attention.

As search parties continue to look for the missing girl, community members are doing anything and everything they can to help the family. Many have signed up to bring meals as well as dropping off younger kids at school, and helping out with anything else that may need to be done in this difficult time. Today, countless students throughout the area wore blue, Alliy’s favorite color, as a sign of support and awareness. Danville Congregational Church is hosting an interfaith vigil tomorrow night at 7:00 as a way to show its support for Alliy and her family.

More information can be found at the following news stations: San Francisco Chronicle, Contra Costa Times, KTVU, and Patch.

Anybody with information about Alliy or her whereabouts should call 911 immediately.

For those struggling with depression themselves or know somebody who is, visit The Love Out Loud Campaign to find different resources available. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at: 1-800-784-2433. (UPDATE: Those who are struggling with these issues in the Bay Area should also check out the Bay Area Suicide and Crisis Intervention Alliance)

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Posted by on May 24, 2011 in Assignments, News, Videos


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