Overwhelming support for grieving family in Alliston
Published Sunday, April 14, 2019 8:04PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, April 15, 2019 3:11PM EDT
There wasn’t a dry eye in the Alliston Memorial Arena on Sunday as the community came together to support the family of 14-year-old Alisha Wilson of Everett, who took her own life in November.
Her friends and family described her as a jokester with a huge heart; someone who would help out anyone in their time of need; which is precisely what she needed said her father Simon Wilson.
“She just didn’t know how to reach out,” said Wilson.”[But] as you can see from the people here, there are lots of people that would have helped, it’s just we didn’t know how to. It wasn’t available. Adults think they know. They still need the help as well to understand when [the kids are] looking for help.”
Alisha started grade 9 at Banting Memorial High School in September. Her mom says she was bullied and struggled.
Two months later; she made the tragic decision to take her own life.
“She was the last person you would expect this from,” said Alisha’s uncle, Dan Reynolds. “Kids these days have a lot more pressure than generations before them had, and they need help. They need support, and sometimes the schools aren’t enough for them.”
That support came on Sunday after one of Alisha’s friends organized a ball hockey tournament to raise awareness for mental health.
Pink shirts filled the stands decorated with hearts and Alisha’s name written across the front at the Alliston Memorial Arena.
“It’s an amazing feeling,” said Reynolds. “It’s been way bigger than any of us thought it was gonna be. I’m just happy to do something for her.”
The goal of the event was to raise money for New Path Youth and Family Services; an organization with eight offices across Simcoe County providing mental support for children, teens and their families.
“It’s great. We’re here to do one job, to raise awareness and the kids need our support; they need us to understand, to see things that other people we haven’t in the past,” said Wilson.
“We haven’t been able to notice. They’re screaming out for help, and we just want to make sure people are there to listen."