Reporting Dana Kozlov
(CBS) — It’s become a crisis in the far northwest suburbs: teen after teen taking their own lives.
But they’re fighting that trend with education and a little help from a celebrity.
CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov reports.
It’s been two months since Lucy Rodriguez’s 14-year-old daughter, Cynthia, killed herself in a park near their Crystal Lake home.
“That’s what hurts, that you feel that you could have done more,” she says.
Rodriguez says her smart, caring, artistic daughter struggled with depression and several losses prior to her suicide. She was also being bullied on Facebook.
Crystal Lake’s park district police chief says tragically, Cynthia is just one of four people under the age of 21 who have committed suicide on park district property in the last two years.
Prior to that, there had been none – ever. It set off alarm bells.
“It’s startling on our end,” Chief Ronald Lyons says.
So, officers recruited WWE star and actor David Otunga to speak to local students about bullying.
“Sometimes, that’s all they need, somebody to remind them that it will be OK, there will be a tomorrow, there is hope,” Lucy Rodriguez says.
Park officers hope this will only be the beginning of their outreach.