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In the last eighteen months, the City of Casey has witnessed an unexpected spike in youth suicide.

Rowan Membrey.

The first occuring in March 2011, Rowan Membrey stood before a train where he took his own life after a chilling goodbye post on Facebook “Chillen with Jesus…”. The news of his death devastated hundreds as was evident at his funeral. “We had no idea anything was wrong. He seemed fine whenever I saw him, and I saw him the night he passed away” says good friend Dylan Pell.

It is known that Rowan was a regular user of the drug ice, but was sober at the time of his death. It is also thought that Rowan was suffering from depression however his condition went unnoticed.

Depression and drugs are believed to be the reason behind a number of the other suicides that have taken place.

Estelle Ametoglou, 17, took her life the night before her 18th birthday in December last year.

Estelle Ametoglou

It is believed the 17 year old was suffering from depression, before turning to drugs as a way to deal with her condition. “We knew she was using but she didn’t want help and wouldn’t listen to anyone”, says a friend of Estelle’s, “There was nothing we could do. We didn’t know it was that bad”.

Brett Maggio, Aaron Creek, Ben Schlaer and Jack Kirkham are amongst the other names of whom the community lost since the death of Rowan. Each death bought more pain for the citizens of Casey, especially as there seemed to be some kind of connection between all victims, whether through school or social groups.

One death which stood aside from that of the others was the passing of 16 year old Paige Menzies. Another railway death, she jumped in front of train on June 6 earlier this year.

Paige Menzies

It is believed cyber bullying is the reason behind her suicide.

Although suicide rates in Australia have been on the decline, the City of Casey seems to have had a dramatic jump in youth suicides throughout the last year and a half.Many are now making aware of depression and encouraging those suffering from the mental illness and suicidal thoughts to come forward and seek help.

City of Casey have also increased their “Drug Awareness” programs in schools as a result of the devastating deaths.

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