'The pattern needs to stop,' stepsister of Woodstock teen suicide victim says
Woodstock, Ont., teen Jada Downing lost her 17-year-old stepsister to suicide last month. Today, she will take part in a walkout of students from five high schools in hopes she can dissuade others from making the same choice.
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"It kinda felt like I was being stabbed in the heart a thousand times," said Downing about the moment she heard of Kristi Wilkinson's death on May 28.
"I do believe that if she had reached out to someone, someone would have been able to help her."
Jada said she had no idea her stepsister was in such a serious state of distress, and knows other teens are facing similar struggles.
"Even the day of, she was happy, she was smiling," Jada said in an interview with CBC's News Network on Tuesday morning.
"Kristi was my best friend and I feel like this is something I have to do," she said about taking part in the walkout, where she also plans to share her family's story. "I want people to feel like they are worthy because Kristi was, but obviously didn't think she was. The pattern needs to stop."
- An earlier version of this story said Kristi had sought help for mental health illness but family members dispute this.Jun 07, 2016 8:38 PM ET