Family urges others to 'get help' after 13-year-old girl takes her own life
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — A 13-year-old Bakersfield girl died by suicide Monday.
Sarah Ullmann was an eighth-grade student at Rosedale Middle School.
Her family said she battled depression after being bullied by peers through social media.
Sara's sister and mother, Kathryn and Sissy Ullmann, on Thursday remembered Sarah as being a bright young woman who was full of life.
"Everybody loved her, she had so many friends and there were just so many people that loved her," said Kathryn Ullmann.
Bill Walker, director of Kern Behavioral Health and Recovery Services, said suicide is the third-leading cause of death among teenagers and said talking with teens about the sensitive topic is necessary for trying to prevent a tragedy.
"The first thing is engagement, engage our teenagers as much as we can in normal activities, like family and sports," he said, adding regular contact will help you detect if something is wrong.
The Ullmann family wants to encourage others to seek help, too.
"Get help," sister Kathryn Ullmann said. "I know a lot of people are hesitant, because they feel like nobody understands what they are going through and nobody can help them, but they can. And I know these people, like Sarah, she was surrounded by so many people, but she felt so alone. For those other young people out there, I just want them to know they are loved, even if they don't have family, somebody loves them. I love them."
If you are battling suicide thoughts or know someone who is, call the crisis hotline at (800) 991-5272 anytime day or night.