December 19, 2016
The father of a New Jersey teen who died by suicide on Friday night posted a live Facebook video hours after his daughter's death advocating for depression awareness.
Ronstin Smith, the father of 15-year-old Eva Smith, of Glen Ridge, Essex County, posted the heartbreaking live video at 1:55 a.m. Saturday shortly after learning that his daughter had died. According to NJ.com, authorities confirmed the death at 10:37 p.m. on Friday.
In the video, Ronstin Smith stares directly into the camera and speaks out about the need to help those dealing with depression.
“I realized last night that I would never be able to help my daughter. I would never be able to give her advice again so I took the words that should have been for her and gave them to the world. Depression is real,” Ronstin Smith wrote in a later Facebook post after the video had gone viral.
In the video, which had been viewed more than 19,000 times as of Monday morning, Ronstin Smith shared how he, too, had depression as a teen. He attributed his daughter's depression as the reason she took her life.
“Remember Eva seemed happy. She was always a bright light hiding a darkness that eventually consumed her. Reach out to your friends suffering from depression and be a support system for them, give them every option so they don't take the shortest path away from their issues.”
Watch the full video below.