50 tablets 'enough to kill a person', teen took 100
IT IS the phone call in the dead of night every parent with a teenager dreads.
A call from emergency services saying your child has been rushed to hospital in a critical condition.
Thoughts immediately flood your head as the fog of sleep lifts and the range of emotions overcome you.
What happened? Are they going to be okay? Where exactly are they?
Panic sets in.
That was the reality for Ipswich mother Sue Brown.
Immediately Sue thought her daughter had been involved in a terrible accident or had become the victim of a brutal crime.
But nothing could be further from the truth.
Her daughter, Sheridan, attempted to end her own life after swallowing more than 100 tablets used to treat her mother's medical condition.
Sheridan, alone in a room, her mind in a dark and lonely place, crushed up the tablets, swallowed them and lay down on her bed.
Sheridan, 18, then waited until the darkness crept closer, and closer, and closer until she finally slipped into unconsciousness.
But while she lay there she ironically turned to social media . . . the very same social media accounts which caused her so much turmoil, angst and heartbreak.
Sheridan was one of the fortunate ones.
A concerned friend contacted police and she was subsequently rushed to hospital, where she remained for five days in intensive care in an induced coma.
The doctors told her parents to prepare for the worst as the drug had started to shut down her major organs.
Ms Brown said seeing her beloved daughter fighting for life in hospital was heartbreaking - an image which will be forever etched in her mind.
She said she immediately blamed herself for not noticing her daughter's cry for help.
"The doctors told me 50 tablets was enough to kill a person," she said.
"She could not breathe for herself and her whole body had started to shut down.
"I honestly thought I had lost her . . . I thought she was going to slowly die in front of me.
"I was experiencing a lot of emotions and inner turmoil and immediately thought, had I missed something, had I missed the signs?"
Sue said she found out what had been tormenting her daughter after accessing her phone and social media accounts while she lay in a coma in hospital.
She said what she found nearly broke her.
"So many people let her down by not contacting the police after she posted on social media she was going to take her own life," she said.
"She had been bullied heavily on social media, especially by two particular girls.
"They have threatened to bash her and have been calling her things like a slut, whore and trannie on social media.
"She also broke up with her boyfriend and she found out he had hooked up with another girl the following day.
"It was the tipping point, it all got too much for her to handle and she must have been in such a dark and horrible place."
Ms Brown said she was speaking out about her family's near tragedy to help other parents.
She said it was okay to seek help and urged all parents to do so.
"You never really think about youth suicide until it touches you and your family," she said.
"I am lucky, my daughter survived but it was a very close call.
"We are trying to get her the help she needs but it is hard to tell someone they need help when they do not think they do."
* Sue Brown and Sheridan are not their real names
WHO TO CONTACT IN A TIME OF CRISIS
Lifeline: 13 11 14 - www.lifeline.org.au; Suicide Call Back Service: 1300 659 467 - www.suicidecallbackser vice.org.au; beyondblue: 1300 224 636 - www.beyondblue.org.au; MensLine Australia: 1300 78 99 78 - www.mensline.org.au; Kids Helpline: 1800 551 800 (24/7 crisis support) - www.kidshelp.com.au; Headspace: 1800 650 890 - www.headspace.org.au (direct clinical services); Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service: 1800 011 046 - www.vvcs.gov.au