Family shares tragic story during Mental Health Awareness Month in hopes of preventing more pain

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LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and today, Thursday, is Mental Health Action Day, which is a good reminder for people to know it’s OK not to be OK.

That’s according to Hope Means Nevada, which is constantly working to eliminate youth suicide.

8 News NOW Anchor Christian Cazares spoke to a Las Vegas valley family who has decided to share their heartbreaking story in hopes of preventing more pain.

Kristina Cullinane’s late sister Aliya was just 17 when she took her life. According to the family, prior to Aliya’s death in 2017, she did not appear to them to have had any struggles. But Aliya’s death was an eye-opener for her entire family about mental health.

They said they want to spread awareness through Aliya’s story. Cullinane says she knows nothing will bring her sister back, but she hopes to be a shoulder to lean on after a tough year brought on by the pandemic.

“I think she was in a manic state,” Cullinane said. “I’ve learned that after the fact. I didn’t know as much about mental health as I do now, and I’m not claiming I’m a professional, but I know no one should feel embarrassed to ask for help or feel like they are not worth it because they are so worth it.”

According to Hope Means Nevada, two out of three teens with depression don’t get treatment, and suicide is the number two killer among teens.

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