Public memorial for teen whose life ended in tragedy
A public memorial service for the 14-year-old daughter of Ottawa Senators assistant coach and former NHL player Luke Richardson will be held Wednesday.
Daron Richardson attempted to take her own life on Friday. She was rushed to hospital, and died of her injuries on Saturday.
The Richardson family has taken the somewhat unusual move of identifying Daron's death as a suicide, in hopes of spreading awareness that could prevent others from taking their own lives.
Those who knew the Ashbury College student say she was a vibrant young teen, who loved sports and was involved in the community.
"People are distraught . . . taken aback by tragedy," said Emile Therien, whose son played hockey for the Philadelphia Flyers with Daron's father.
The Ottawa Senators are also offering their support, reorganizing their schedule so the team can attend Daron's memorial.
"Hockey is just a game. We do it for our jobs, but there are more important things and it is more important for us to be there tomorrow and the service on Wednesday," said Ottawa Senators Coach Cory Clouston.
In lieu of flowers, Daron's family has asked donations be made to a new youth program at the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre that will promote mental health awareness in schools and help identify youth who need help.
Dr. Rob Milin, who will help implement the program, says parents can help by talking to their kids about mental health.
"You have to be open in your discussion and you have to be available to discuss issues with your children -- education is important," he said.
Daron's organs have been donated. So far, four recipients have been identified. The public memorial is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m.
If you need help or know someone who does, the following services are available:
- Kids' Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868
- Youth Services Bureau's 24/7 Crisis Line (Eastern Ontario): 1-877-377-7775 Email: email@example.com
- Ottawa Crisis Line: 1-866-996-0991
- Quebec Crisis Centre: 1-866-277-3553
With a report from CTV Ottawa's Natalie Pierosara