Suicide of Parkland survivor hits home for Stratford family
The death of Sydney Aiello, a Parkland school shooting survivor who killed herself last week, has hit at home for a Stratford family.
Before Demarius Bell, of Stratford, took his own life in January, he spent the day with his mom. His cousin Harry Bell says there were warning signs.
“Him and his mother went to the barber shop together, made a Facebook video, he cooked food for them, and that night, he kissed her on the forehead and said, ‘Mom I love you,’" Bell told News 12.
He says his cousin and Aiello were about the same age, and that he cherished his cousin “like a brother.”
"It broke my heart because he did not give the world what I know he was capable of,” says Bell. “His life was cut short. It was so sad because he was gifted."
Bell says families should make sure they are listening to their teens. “Are they saying things that make you feel as if you're not going to see them tomorrow?...Listen to them. Hear them out. Sometimes the loudest sound is unheard."
Sen. Richard Blumenthal says he has fought for legislation requiring insurance companies to give mental health conditions and treatments equal status as physical health conditions and treatments, so people who show suicidal tendencies can get all the help they need.
The senator says the first line of defense is watching for red flags.
Officials say suicide is the second-leading cause of death for teens.