Celebrity Families

“My heart was in pieces…” Why every parent NEEDS to read Alex Nation’s message about her bullied autistic sister

“It infuriates me and saddens me that with tragedies such as Dolly [Everett] and having friends who have lost loved ones to suicide that this is still going on.”

By Ellie McDonald

PSA: 164,000-plus Australians are currently living with autism, and 83 per cent of these cases affecting Aussies younger than 25 years old.

This statistic also includes Bachelor alum Alex Nation's little sister, Angie, who proud big sister Alex describes as a "bright, funny, kind and caring" 13-year-old girl.

Alex's little sister, Angie
Alex's little sister, Angie

Like most kids her age, Angie has dreams of life after high school (she aspires to be in the army one day). She loves singing and dancing, hanging with her friends and watching her favourite YouTubers online.

Unlike most kids, Angie also has high-functioning Asperger's Syndrome, anxiety and depression.

"She has been severely bullied for almost three years, and the internal torment that she goes through on a day to day basis is crippling," Alex says in a heartbreakingly revealing, yet important, Instagram post.

"Often, her anxiety is paralysing."

"I'm grateful that this post isn't something that a parent, loved one or friend would have to write if she had chosen to make the ultimate sacrifice by taking her own life last night."

Alex is not only a big sister to Angie, but a mum to young Elijah.
Alex is not only a big sister to Angie, but a mum to young Elijah.

Alex then went on to detail the horrific bullying that led her sister to consider taking her own life.

"Angie had spent the school holidays with our grandparents on their farm. It's a loving, healing place and there, she felt safe," Alex continued.

"She came home two days ago and having barely been on social media for the last five weeks, she thought she would connect with friends online."

"My heart was in pieces when I learnt what followed."

"Angelina has always been very open about her mental health issues. She's brave and bold, and isn't afraid to discuss them."

"She received a message from a girl her age. The message read as this: 'You know what would be better for Zack and I, if you went and killed yourself.' Followed with 'RIP'."

"She pleaded with Lifeline to help make it stop, expressing that she simply didn't want to be here anymore and she wanted to be with her dad (he passed away four years ago)."

"Within minutes an ambulance and police officers were at my mum's house."

"This isn't the first time my sister has found herself in this dark place. A place where her thoughts are troubling, tormenting and deafening."

Youth suicide in Australia

In Australia, researchers claim that one in every 10 kids have been bullied in person, however, statistics are higher for victims of online attacks.

Shockingly, at the end of 2016, youth mental service Orygen reported that suicide rates among young Australians were at their highest in 10 years, with 41,000 young people aged between 12-17 having also attempted to take their own lives.

This is why Alex's Instagram post is so important to this online bullying conversation.

"It infuriates me and saddens me that with tragedies such as Dolly Everett's and having friends who have lost loved ones to suicide that this is still going on! It has to stop, it must!

**If you, or someone you know, needs to talk to someone about how and what they're feeling, call Lifeline immediately on 13 11 14, or visit their website: www.lifeline.org.au.