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Letters for Emily: Big Sister Rallies Support for Suicidal Bolingbrook Girl

Danielle Armknecht is working to spread suicide awareness and to generate support for her little sister through a letter writing campaign.

A little girl from Bolingbrook has been deemed suicidal. And her big sister is reaching out in a bid to show her how much she is loved and how life’s every moment is precious.

Danielle Armknecht has organized a Facebook campaign called “Letters for Emily” and is encouraging folks from all walks of life to share their thoughts and their words of hope and support with her sister. She has been encouraged by the early results.

And by the reaction of her little sister.

Emily is 12 years old. And she is undergoing long-term treatment at a facility in Kankakee. Danielle said Emily had battled depression for some time. And, then, her case took a turn for the worse.

“Emily was recently discovered to be extremely suicidal,” Danielle Armknecht said. “It is VERY serious and instead of panicking we decided to reach into the community for help.

“She is currently under a long treatment inpatient program in Kankakee, but we need to spread the word about suicide and that you are never too young to be contemplating it and you should know your support reaches so much further than you would ever know.”

Mom Says Suicidal Bolingbrook Girl Brightened Up When Letters Began Arriving

Danielle asks friends, neighbors—anyone willing to help from anywhere on the planet—to write Emily at her home address: Emily B., 632 Rockhurst Road, Bolingbrook, Ill., 60440. And she reached out to me, too.

“If you could somehow write an article helping us spread awareness and reach out into the community to encourage writing letters of hope to Emily, we would be forever in your debt,” she said. “Awareness is key and gathering a little support in the form of a letter would be fantastic!”

How fantastic? Consider this:

“Emily is good; today is her birthday,” Danielle wrote in a recent Facebook post. “I just got off the phone with her. She told me, ‘I finally feel like there’s a little hope and I feel really happy today.’

“It made me smile,” Danielle said. “Then, she said was was supposed to receive a cupcake from her peers (at the facility where she is receiving long-term care in Kankakee). My mom went to visit her and brought a picture of the goodies that have come in the mail so far.

“When I told Emily last night on her five-minute call about all the support and letters and how they were from all over the world, she cried and cried and told me, ‘Thank you.’ She said she is looking so forward to coming home and reading everything.”


Jen Slepicka November 02, 2013 at 09:50 PM
Support is available locally. Suicide Prevention Services of Batavia, IL. posted about Emily on Oct 25. It's spurred an outpour of consoling comments to Emily as well as letters in the mail to her from Australia, Puerto Rico, Ireland, and more. We are connecting with Emily's mom to see if we can be part of her discharge program and follow up care afterward. www.spsamerica.org
Jen Slepicka November 02, 2013 at 09:51 PM
www.facebook.com/suicidepreventionservices to see all the loving comments.
Nicole November 04, 2013 at 09:42 AM
I didn't know children that young had to deal with this. What a great story, and what a great sister. Glad she overcame what she has in order to be able to help her sister. Good luck to both of them!
Queen Edwards November 05, 2013 at 02:32 AM
Yes Nicole and it's downright scary if you think about it: a child should be doing homework or watching TV in their bedroom, BUT...instead that child is contemplating various methods of suicide that will work best. I was 9 years old when I started having issues of suicidal tendencies. My parents were separated, I became a survivor of 2 TRAUMATIC INCIDENTS and both of my parents had to work jobs to support my brother and I, which didn't leave enough time for our parents to pay attention to the emotional and mental health of my brother and I. I know my parents did the best they could of raising my brother and I, but this is why it's VERY IMPORTANT for parents to pay attention to their child(ren)...ESPECIALLY during their preteen, teenage, and young adulthood.
charles November 05, 2013 at 08:57 AM
And a BIG "way to go!" to the students and staff at Humphrey Middle School for taking her talk seriously! With everything else facing public schools today, it would be real easy to pass this off as just another preteen having a bad day. I'm so glad to know that her friends and teachers listened and really heard what she was saying before it was too late. Thoughts and prayers to the family for a speedy and successful recovery.
Jen Slepicka November 05, 2013 at 02:53 PM
Queen- I am sending you a hug. Thank you for talking about it. People need to hear it.
J Parker November 05, 2013 at 09:54 PM
Please Please Please someone screen those letters before they let Emily read them. There is always someone who's intellect or lack of, that could write something damaging to any progress Emily has made. Kudos to you "big sister" for your loving support at what must be a difficult time in your life as well.
Jamie November 06, 2013 at 03:26 AM
I know how she feels. It saddens me greatly however that a girl this age has lost hope. I lost mine at 13. Today i'm a grown man who is stripped down. Empty , lost , lonesome and every one of my days are spent thinking of and wishing I could die. At 55 the only friend I truly feel I have is my cat. He gives me reason to arise, but the joy doesn't last long. I'm tired. Very tired to the bone. That is a tired that is truly deep. I have little support, but what amount I have I appreciate it. The shine is gone. The gloss of life shines no more. Too much of life has robbed what joy there was. The incessant worries and troubles that continue to body slam me day by day is enough to throw me over. I question my reason for being here. For a girl that young, my heart aches. For me, it's too late i feel. Dead set in my ways and there is not much left. Sorry to take up time here, but i just wanted to share my thoughts a moment. Hope that girl improves with time.
Laurie Dodd November 06, 2013 at 07:38 AM
Jamie, please open your eyes to the simple pleasures life has to offer. Feel the sun shine on your face. Listen to the purr of your sweet cat. Find a stream or fountain in motion - for me, the sound of moving water is calming and beautiful. I know depression and loneliness are not easy to bear, but I hope you will find some reason to go on. Volunteer with a group at your local pet store that helps cats find new homes, and you will see that you can still do some good in this world - and you may find that your fellow volunteers are caring enough to support you as well. Consider treatment with antidepressant meds, which can help lift the burdens you feel. Reach out to people around you to find some warmth and love. I feel for you and wish you the best.
Queen Edwards November 08, 2013 at 12:52 PM
I wish the best and pray that Emily continued to receive the support. that she needs. I appaude all people that are supporting Emily as well.
Nicole November 09, 2013 at 12:10 AM
Jaime i will pray for you as well as Emily. The Lord works in mysterious ways have faith love and forgive and happiness is in the future. God bless
MomofmanyinPlainfield November 09, 2013 at 06:37 PM
You're an amazing sister Danielle! Strength and love to you Emily!

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