Seven months after her nephew’s tragic death, a Saint-Eustache resident is looking to raise awareness about child suicide prevention.
“Pay attention to your children, especially those who do not speak, those who cannot express their emotions. We do not know what is hidden behind that,” said Jean-François Leblanc-Latour, or “Leblat ” on social networks.
On the microphone of Sophie Durocher, through QUB radio, she agreed to tell the story of her nephew, Lucas Lafrenière-Latour, who died tragically at the age of 12 in March.
“Lucas took his own life and he didn’t come. After his death, through conversations, we found out that he was experiencing bullying. He never told us about it, we couldn’t do anything to help him,” Lucas’ uncle said.
Even today, gray areas surround teenage deaths. The grief is painful, almost insurmountable, because of the lack of answers.
“This story will be part of me for the rest of my life. The hardest thing to accept is that I will never see or contact him again,” admitted Mr. Leblanc-Latour.
In the days before his death, Lucas confided in a friend in his class about his suicidal thoughts. The boy, also 12 years old, did not know how to react. But how can we blame him?
“He did not have the necessary tools to understand Luke’s words. But if he tells an adult, that might raise a flag. It may have saved Lucas. At least we know something is wrong,” he said.
Lucas Lafrenière-Latour, 12 years old, before his death. Photo by Jean-François Leblanc-Latour
With Lucas’ story, he hopes to raise awareness about childhood suicide prevention, the signs that aren’t always visible and the grief that can take many forms.
“It doesn’t just happen to dysfunctional families. It can happen to anyone, at any time. We have to be attentive,” said Jean-François Leblanc-Latour.