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Teen Girls Die in Bush Suicide Pact

Society & Culture  (tags: suicide, risks, australia, warning, teens )

- 4076 days ago -
FRIENDS of two teenage girls who apparently committed suicide together in bushland outside Melbourne are also at "huge risk" of harming themselves, a psychologist said today

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Ali Hirst (286)
Sunday April 22, 2007, 6:41 pm
The bodies of friends Stephanie Gestier and Jodie Gater, both 16-year-old students from Belgrave in Melbourne's east, were found yesterday in the Dandenong Ranges National Park.

The girls, who were friends for only six months, are believed to have been found hanging from a tree branch.

The girls had not been seen since they told their parents they were going shopping in Ringwood on Sunday last week.

Their parents had pleaded for the girls to return home, but their worst fears became a reality when a man found the two bodies on his property at about 2.45pm.

Friends at risk

As their friends placed tributes on the girls' personal websites, Dr Michael Carr-Greg, an ambassador for the national depression awareness group beyondblue, said their deaths would now put their friends at increased risk of suicide.

"We know that having someone close to you commit suicide is a risk factor in and of itself, and I imagine that Upwey High School (where the girls attended) is full of counsellors at the moment.

"I'm sure there's people working out there with the young people to make sure they understand that suicide is not a solution," he said.

MySpace profile

Jodie Gater had a Myspace website called Hoodlum with a profile that read: "Let Steph n me b free".

Cyber friends left tributes on the site yesterday.

One contributor, Matt, said: "R.I.P girl. Goanna miss you lots. I love you and i'll never forget you".

Another said: "if it's true R.I.P. ill miss you and all the memories from primary skool. xoxo".

A third said Jodie would be forever missed. "Peace out, n take care. Will be thinking of you.xXx."

Shock over deaths

Those who knew Jodie expressed their shock at her disappearance last Sunday.

"dude where r ya i saw ur pic in the paper," one concerned friend said on the website. "u beta be at work on satday other wise itl be no fun wit out u."

Another friend pleaded for Jodie to return.

"where the f*** are you people are worry about you. please tell us where you are."

Jodie's MySpace page included an image of a glass full of absinthe and the words "let us blow your mind".

The last message she posted on the site was dedicated to her boyfriend, Allan.

"I luv you sooo soo much Allan, Miss u heaps and heaps xoxoxo I will always remember u," the teenager wrote.

A picture of Jodie and Allan kissing was posted next to the message.

Jodie last updated her page on April 14, a day before she and Stephanie went missing.

The page features a flashing message that says "f*** this world/everything that you stand for/don't accept/don't give a shit/don't ever judge me".

Suicide pact "rare"

Dr Carr-Greg said a joint suicide pact between girls was rare.

"It's very, very unusual to have girls kill themselves and particularly kill themselves in this way," he said.

"So my only conclusion is that they must have been depressed."

Police will prepare a report for the coroner.

Available counselling

Counselling for troubled young people is available on the following numbers:

*Lifeline - 131 114 (cost of a local call)

*Kids Help Line - 1800 55 1800 (free call)

*Suicide Prevention Crisis Line - (02) 9331 2000.)

Ali Hirst (286)
Sunday April 22, 2007, 6:42 pm
Gosh I hope this isn't going to be a copycat suicide. Media printing this annoys me. This is what starts off these copycat crimes and incidents

Jaclin S (230)
Sunday April 22, 2007, 8:29 pm
It is obvious that something was wrong - what I feel is - that it is a shocking waste of two young lives and why did they feel that they only had each other - what happened to understanding, listening and trying to find solutions for our children - a lot of parents these days a too busy with work and one thing and another -Children, especially teens need untold time, patience and understanding and most of all unconditional love.
A young family member many years ago - was top of his Form at College, First XV Rugby, excelled at just about everything he took on and was certainly Mister Popular with everyone - no- one knew there was anything amiss - but he took his life on his mother's birthday. Teenagers have as we all know have many problems, everything seems to be happening at once and a lot of the times not going the way they want them to - everybody talking at them, but, no one is listening - that's just a sad fact of life - of course they are at risk - too many things happening all at once for some of them - just can't cope. I feel great sorrow for those girls - and greater sorrow for their parents.
Love & Light & Peace
Jacqueline O

Stephanie C (329)
Monday April 23, 2007, 10:01 am
Actually, Helen, not talking about suicide will not solve anything. Raising awareness about mental illness is the only way to prevent suicide. Thousands of people take their own lives every day, regardless of what the news media happens to be covering.

Past Member (0)
Monday April 23, 2007, 1:23 pm
It really saddens me when someones only concern is if this is going to end up being a copycat suicide. This is a story of two young girls who had very strong emotional problems and no one noticed until after they were dead. Instead of criticizing try being sympathetic to the parents who lost their child. Pray for the souls of the girls that took their own lives. But for heaven sake have some empathy.

Jennifer Heyes (15)
Monday April 23, 2007, 4:02 pm
my heart goe sout to their families.. this happened only down the road from me.. so shocking ..

Pauline F (16)
Monday April 23, 2007, 8:51 pm
My heart goes out to the parents of those two girls. Did they realise when they ended their lives what they would leave behind. Their parents hearts are broken, their friends are saddened by their actions and all wondering why they did it. They had a God given gift of life which like all of us is until old age, a life to hold, to love, to hug, to smell, to see the beauties of this earth and the wonders of the world. To travel, to get married, to have children of their own, all the things God intended them to have. My sympathies to the parents, don't blame yourselves, you did the best you could.

Past Member (0)
Tuesday April 24, 2007, 8:46 am
Thanks Helen. I feel like that about incidents too, hope there won't be any copycats out there. May they rest in peace. +

Britta Froehling (9)
Tuesday April 24, 2007, 9:00 am
I feel sad that these girls did not get the help they needed. I used to be at that point, many years ago but I got help and now have a life and can't understand anymore, how much I wanted to die back then. It was a long and tough recovery (years) but it is possible. Don't give up and listen to each other. Create an environment where things can be talked about and don't be scared to get help. It's worth it, because life is GREAT!
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