LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — In Clark County, more than a dozen kids have died by suicide each year over the past five years. One family in North Las Vegas wants to share an inspiring message after losing their child last week.
“I see him as the war cry to say enough is enough,” Renard Green said.
Green didn’t think he’d ever talk about his son Renard Junior in the past tense but now he is as he shares his son’s story – hoping to end suicide.
“I understand his actions but it’s very hard to accept his actions,” Green said.
Renard Junior died by suicide last Friday at the age of 15.
His dad said the teen struggled with sickle cell anemia, an incurable blood disease, for most of his life.
“2022, he was bedridden for almost a year because he had lower back pain,” Green said.
His father described him as an introverted, high-achieving student at Mojave High School. However, it wasn’t until Green read his son’s diary that he realized there were mental health struggles.
“I believe it read, ‘My mental health is fading, the thing I fear the most is be forgotten.’ So, in reading that last sentence of his journal, that kind of propels me to come out and talk about the situation,” Green said.
Data from the Clark County Coroner and Medical Examiner shows there have been 14 suicides this year for those under the age of 20. Last year the total was 18 for that age bracket.
In 2021, there were 22 suicides and in 2020 it was 26, making it the highest number of suicides for that age group over a five-year span.
Renard Junior’s family hopes that the community will begin to view mental health struggles as a war that must be conquered.
“We do not all face the same things, and that’s fine to acknowledge our differences. But with our differences that’s how we attack the battle,” Green said.
If you or anyone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, please call the suicide and crisis lifeline at 988.