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Local mother is using daughter's death to help others

Updated: Wednesday, March 19 2014, 10:30 PM CDT
Reported by: Kyle Rogers

Debbie Rose never imagined she'd be spending her daughter's birthday raising awareness on preventing suicide.

The difficult topic and the memory of her daughter were all that was on her mind Wednesday night at a Cumberland County Wendy's.

Rose's daughter, Elizabeth, died by suicide in 2009. Not too long before her passing, Rose said her daughter was on medication for depression.

Elizabeth would have turned 23 on Wednesday. However, in the years proceeding her death, her mother has been sharing her story, explaining the pain of such a loss, and hoping parents and educators will bring light to the reality of suicide in hopes to save a life.

"We were taught not to talk about suicide," said Rose. "It was like forbidden as you don't want to put the idea into their heads. If they're thinking it, the idea is already there and talking about can do nothing but bring it to light and prevent it."

A supporter of House Bill 1559, Rose hopes lawmakers in Harrisburg will make legislation requiring schools to have suicide prevention programs. The plan would also require teachers of middle and high school students to take classes on how to deal with children who have thoughts of suicide and how to properly get help. So far, the bill has had little movement in the Capitol.

"She might not be still here but she might have been here longer," said Rose if the legislation were law in 2009 when her daughter died.

Brandon Marsico, a suicide awareness advocate, hopes the bill would pass. Affected by his own suicide attempt, he feels the  conversation is a must for any young person who may have such thoughts.

"In no way,shape or form do we want teachers to become counselors or counselors become psychatrists," said Marsico. "We just want them to have the knowledge to do it."

Both Marsico and Rose plan on walking in suicide awareness events. For more information, visit:

Rose said she's collected more than $13,000 in funds towards suicide prevention organizations in honor of her daughter.
Local mother is using daughter's death to help others

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