10-year-old Ava-Lilly Sterland from Solihull, West Midlands was viciously bullied and suffered from depression for several years before she attempted to take her own life at just eight-years-of-age.
After moving schools and seeking help from a therapist who diagnosed her with PTSD, Ava has thankfully come out the other side happy and healthy.
Now Ava has decided to share her powerful story in the hopes that it might help and inspire other children out there who are suffering, to seek help and speak up.
Sharing her story, 10-year-old Ava holds up sheets of paper in front of a camera, explaining how everything happened. “A few years ago, I was bullied,” she starts.
“I was scared all the time at school, I didn’t know what to do,” she said, before going on to reveal that she found the courage to talk to her mum and dad, who immediately pulled her out of school and enrolled her somewhere new.
While at first everything seemed to get better, some things didn’t change. “My brain started to feel weird… I had a voice in my head that wasn’t my own,” Ava describes, adding, “The voice was telling me that nobody liked me and that I was doing everything wrong. This voice would tell me to hurt myself.”
“This voice told me to end my life, so I tried,” Ava heartbreakingly confessed. When Ava was in the midst of her dark depression, she attempted to take her own life before her mum found her and stopped her.
During a parent’s evening at school, Ava’s mum, 34-year-old Sophie Sterland, broke down in front of a teacher, explaining the whole situation. After feeling so helpless and alone for so long, Sophie was finally offered the support which Ava desperately needed.
“After this people started to listen to my mum and dad that I needed help,” Ava continued. “Then everything started to get better. I had lots of help off lots of different people.”
“Today I am a happy Ava, because I told an adult I trusted. If you ever feel how I felt or if you’re being bullied, please, please, please tell an adult that you trust,” she exclaimed towards the end of her powerful story.
If you are suffering with your mental health or are having suicidal thoughts, please reach out to someone, including the Samaritans who you can call for free on 116 123.