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Mother hopes to erase mental health stigma after daughter's death

She will be participating in the Bayou Side 5k in New Iberia.
Brandy Roberts
Posted at 5:00 PM, May 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-20 20:35:32-04

NEW IBERIA, La. — Englyn Madisyn Roberts had just turned 14 when she died.

Her mother, Brandy Roberts, hopes events like the Bayou Side 5k can raise awareness of mental health illness. Her family and friends are participating in the event.

“Her friends, my family, coworkers, nieces, nephews, sisters, brothers, they’re all to support in her memory,” said Roberts.

She says awareness, is crucial to end the stigma and start a conversation, especially among young people.

“I know that they have this thing called the snitch rule,” she said. “They don’t want to snitch on their friends when their friends confide in them and this is not the time to not be a snitch. If somebody is reporting that they want to self-harm or hurt themselves, or that they’re having thoughts about it, that they need to speak to a licensed professional or someone that can actually do something about it.”

She says, unfortunately, the cases of loss or self-harm are coming closer to everyone’s door, and it isn’t until it’s too close that some realize.

“You hear of these people and you feel sorry for them, but you never think it’s going to happen to you,” Roberts added. “And now, it’s like almost every week you’re hearing something about a teenager or someone close by. It has to stop.”

She says she sees herself becoming a mental health advocate after the loss of her 14-year-old daughter.

“I don’t want another parent to have to go through the pain and the loss of the questions that we have unanswered because you don’t get that back.”

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