Guy Sebastian and Dolly Everett’s parents support Lauren Rafferty’s family after her death

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Lauren Rafferty (pictured) died tragically on Mother’s Day after struggling with her mental health

Dolly Everett’s parents have urged the state government to do more to nurture and prioritize a young person’s mental health as they support to the family of a 12-year-old girl who tragically committed suicide.

Tick ​​and Kate Everett know the pain of losing a child all too well, following the death of 14-year-old Dolly in 2018 following a campaign of relentless bullying at her boarding school.

They have spent the past three years campaigning for a more holistic approach to mental health and begging the government to pump more resources into regional and remote communities.

The death of Lauren Rafferty on May 9, Mother’s Day, in the regional town of Wagga Wagga showed that there was more work to be done, the Everett’s said.

‘Governments have made significant investments to improve mental health services in regional, rural and remote Australia’ [but] there is still a long way to go,” they told Daily Mail Australia.

Australian pop star and The Voice judge Guy Sebastian agreed.

He has vowed to fund a mental health program in 20 schools in the Riverina electorate through his charity, The Sebastian Foundation.

Tick ​​and Kate Everett know the pain of losing a child all too well, following the death of 14-year-old Dolly (pictured) in 2018 following a campaign of relentless bullying at her boarding school

Tick ​​and Kate Everett know the pain of losing a child all too well, following the death of 14-year-old Dolly (pictured) in 2018 following a campaign of relentless bullying at her boarding school

Beautiful photos of Lauren were scattered throughout the Botanic Gardens during her funeral last Thursday, including this one showing her as a young girl

Beautiful photos of Lauren were scattered throughout the Botanic Gardens during her funeral last Thursday, including this one showing her as a young girl

Australian pop star and The Voice judge Guy Sebastian has vowed to fund a mental health program at 20 schools in the Riverina electorate through his charity The Sebastian Foundation.

Australian pop star and The Voice judge Guy Sebastian has vowed to fund a mental health program at 20 schools in the Riverina electorate through his charity The Sebastian Foundation.

The program will address topics such as social media use, bullying and addiction and make an effort to destigmatize mental health problems among young people in these vulnerable communities.

Several schools have already taken up the offer, confirmed state MP for Murray Helen Dalton.

Locals have also donated money or time, with the owner of a nearby Anytime Fitness volunteering to have trainers come to the schools regularly to host fun workouts.

Mr and Mrs Everett founded the anti-bullying organization Dolly’s Dream after her death and now work to help parents recognize the warning signs that their child may be struggling.

Her heartbroken mother Rachelle told Daily Mail Australia that numerous attempts have been made to help Lauren (pictured), but the family struggled to find the support they desperately needed

Her heartbroken mother Rachelle told Daily Mail Australia that numerous attempts have been made to help Lauren (pictured), but the family struggled to find the support they desperately needed

Dolly died tragically in 2018 after being bullied in her high school.  Her parents devoted their lives to helping other young people and families recognize the warning signs

Dolly died tragically in 2018 after being bullied in her high school. Her parents devoted their lives to helping other young people and families recognize the warning signs

“Lauren Rafferty’s death at just 12 years of age is an absolute tragedy and signals an ongoing national conversation about the importance of prioritizing mental health, especially among young people,” the Everett’s said.

“We must prioritize nurturing and strengthening mental health, especially among young people.”

As part of the Dolly’s Dream initiative, the family has launched a free support service available to children, teens and adults.

The phone number is monitored by trained mental health professionals seven days a week, daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Tuesdays until 9 p.m.

Mr. and Mrs. Everett hope to encourage more people to use the service when they feel alone or want to talk to someone about their emotions.

Lauren is pictured visiting the elderly at Christmas

Lauren is pictured picking strawberries during a family day out

Lauren is pictured visiting the elderly at Christmas in 2020 (left) and picking strawberries with her brother (right)

Mr and Mrs Everett have spent the past three years campaigning for a more holistic approach to mental health and begging the government to pump more resources into regional and remote communities.

Mr and Mrs Everett have spent the past three years campaigning for a more holistic approach to mental health and begging the government to pump more resources into regional and remote communities.

Lauren's tragic death is just one of three recent examples of a teenager appearing to commit suicide in the largely agricultural area by the Murray River

Lauren’s tragic death is just one of three recent examples of a teenager appearing to commit suicide in the largely agricultural area by the Murray River

When Lauren was buried last Thursday, her heartbroken parents begged the hundreds of young people present to shut up when they were having a hard time.

Her mother Rachelle previously told Daily Mail Australia that numerous attempts have been made to help Lauren, who was living with “a greater grief than any of us can comprehend”, but the family struggled to find the support they desperately needed.

“There have been countless attempts to help Lauren over the past two years,” she said. “We struggled to navigate and access mental health support for children, especially in regional areas.”

Local MP Ms Dalton responded by pleading with the state government to give families a chance to help their loved ones.

As part of the Dolly's Dream initiative, the family has launched a free support service available to children, teens and adults.

As part of the Dolly’s Dream initiative, the family has launched a free support service available to children, teens and adults.

She kept her head low and clutched the priest's hand

Mrs Rafferty sobbed as she led the procession back to the hearse after Lauren's funeral begrafenis

Mrs. Rafferty sobbed as she led the procession back to the hearse after Lauren’s funeral. She kept her head low and clutched the priest’s hand

She said that although the Murrumbidgee region has nearly three times as many suicides as Sydney, no nearby hospital has a dedicated mental health department.

‘I have written to a number of ministers asking for funding for programs and more support, but they keep replying that they have no money,’ said Mrs Dalton.

“I’ve invited the Secretary of Mental Health to the Riverina to learn more about the problem… She has yet to come back to me with a date.”

A week after Lauren’s death, 14-year-old Requel ‘Rocky’ Cavanagh, also of Wagga Wagga, tragically took his own life.

A 17-year-old girl – a star student of the 12th year at her school – was found dead in nearby Griffith on May 24.

Lifeline: 13 11 14

Dolly’s Dream Mental Health Care: 0488 881 033 (daily 9am-5pm and Tuesday 9am-9pm)

Beyondblue: 1300 22 4636

Helpline for children: 1800 551 800

Hundreds of mourners gathered to say goodbye to Lauren, braved frigid temperatures and many still arrived in school uniforms

Hundreds of mourners gathered to say goodbye to Lauren, braved frigid temperatures and many still arrived in school uniforms

Her coffin was turquoise, her favorite color, and covered with purple butterflies.  Lovers spoke of her sense of adventure and love for Doctor Who

Her coffin was turquoise, her favorite color, and covered with purple butterflies. Lovers spoke of her sense of adventure and love for Doctor Who

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