As reported by New Jersey 101.5 this weekend, a North Jersey family is sharing the story of its daughter's fight with depression — hoping to keep others from taking the desperate step she did.

Eva Smith, 15, died when she fell from an overpass in Nutley Friday night and was struck by a car, according to State Police. Bloomfield High School's website also identified her as Eva Smith. A tweet by the school called her death a suicide.

Eva Smith's father, Ronstin Smith, posted a heartfelt video breaking the news about Eva's death and said she ran away from home on Friday night.

Eva Smith (RLS Media)
Eva Smith (RLS Media)

"I am doing this for one reason, because when I was younger I suffered from depression and I almost killed myself," Eva Smith's father, Ronstin Smith, said in a heartfelt video about his daughter's death. "Tonight, my daughter killed herself. Someone in your life is hurting. Someone in your life is going through something and needs help. Help them. Don't ignore whatever is going on in that person's life."

Nearly 5,300 U.S. residents younger than 24 took their own lives in 2013, according to the American Association of Suicidology. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, that year, suicide was the second leading cause of death among persons aged 15-24 years, and the second among persons aged 25-34 years.

The incidence declines with age — as other causes of death increase — but remains the 10th leading cause of death across all ages.

Also according to the CDC: 90 percent or more of all people who die by suicide have a diagnosable psychiatric disorder at the time of their death.  More than 60 percent of all people who die by suicide suffer from major depression, the CDC says.

New Jersey 101.5 reminds residents that even in the most desperate times, there are avenues to find help.


NJ Hopeline is New Jersey's 24/7 Peer Support & Suicide Prevention Hotline, at 1-855-654-6735. It can be reached 24/7 by text or email to Its specialists are available at any time for confidential telephone counseling.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is at 1-800-273 TALK (8255). The lifeline also offers online chat, as well as speciality help for veterans, young adults and victims of bullying.

Crisis centers are available in several areas of New Jersey. See here for a list and contact information.

ALSO: The National Alliance for Mental Illness HelpLine can connect you with resources in your community for longer-term help. The Helpline is 800-950-NAMI (6264)

Attitudes in Reverse aims to save young people's lives through education about mental health and suicide prevention, working with partner organizations and schools. It is not a counseling program. It can be reached on Twitter or online.


According to the New Jersey Hopeline, warning signs of suicide include:

  • Talking about wanting to die, “wishing” one were dead or making statements about killing oneself.
  • Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live.
  • Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain.
  • Talking about being a burden to others.
  • Talking about feeling worthless.
  • Increasing one’s use of alcohol or drugs.
  • Appearing anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly with little regard to one’s future safety.
  • Exploring ways to kill oneself, such as searching for methods online or buying a gun.
  • Changes in one’s sleeping habits.
  • Becoming withdrawn, reserved or isolated.
  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge.
  • Displaying extreme mood swings.

— With prior reporting by Dan Alexander and Louis C. Hochman

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