H-SANTA MARIA

Mar 20, 2012 8:25 PM by Nikki Ibarra

Local family shares personal story about suicide

The mother of a 12 year-old Santa Maria girl who died by suicide last week is speaking out. She hopes her story will shed light on this social problem.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 36,000 people in the United States die by suicide each year. In 2009, there were about 4,000 suicide deaths in California; and it's the 6th leading cause of death among kids 14 and younger.

Last Wednesday night. Niarie Celine Quintero wanted to go out with her friends. When her mother said no, Niarie got angry, and went inside her room. She never came out.

"I didn't see the signs in my daughter. I thought she was happy, throwing a tantrum like most teenagers do," said Niarie's mother, Lily Iefata Quintero.

Niarie's family hopes sharing her story will prevent this from happening again.

"I don't want the youth to ever feel like, you know, you don't have anybody to talk to. Don't keep it bottled in," said Niarie's brother, Jason Quintero.

Immediately following the news of Niarie's death, Santa Maria-Bonita school officials called in psychologisfts and counselors to come and speak to students at the school. According to school officials, it was important for them to be on site, to offer support.

"Things are never that bad to where they should go extreme to that point," said Jason Quintero.

Lily Quintero hopes parents and kids will know there is help before it is too late. "I just want to let them know, you know, love your children, know them," she added.

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