Bringing light to depression: Parents of Severna Park student who took her life start advocacy organization

by: Cindy Huang , Capital Gazette

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Ellie Leikin’s parents didn’t know she was sick.

They didn’t know that her bubbly personality and achievements masked her struggle with depression.

“She played a role of being well,” her father, Larry Leikin said. “She wasn’t well.”

Last November, the 16-year-old Severna Park High School student committed suicide. Her parents, Larry and Sherry Leikin, discovered her mental illness through journal entries they read after she died. The couple has two other children and live in Severna Park.

Suicide was the second-leading cause of death — 15 percent — for young people in the county from 2008 to 2012, according to a 2014 report from the county health department.

Every year, about 200 county young people received medical care for hurting themselves, the report stated.

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