An anonymous donor has paid for a headstone for a teenage girl who took her own life last St Patrick’s Day.
Grainne Gault’s daughter Elisha died on March 17 and her body was recovered from the River Suir on March 25, near her home of Carrick-on-Suir, Co Tipperary after she went missing eight days previously.
The body of the missing teenager was found about 8km from where she was last seen on a bridge in the town.
Elisha’s mother Grainne has kept her daughter’s Facebook page as both a memorial to Elisha and for young people and adults who suffer with mental health difficulties to help guide them through their despair.
On her late daughter’s official Facebook page, Ms Gault posted: “Our baby girl’s headstone arrived.
“Firstly we (the family) want to take the opportunity to sincerely thank the generosity of the anonymous donor who took a huge financial burden from us.”
She added that she hoped the benefactor would she the headstone. “I hope you get to see what a beautiful piece of art that lies at her head, thank you so much.
“Secondly a huge thank you to Caroline and crew at O'Brien Marble and Granite in Carrick-on- Suir for doing an amazing job.”
Ms Gault, who has been an outspoken mental health advocate since her daughter’s death, once again pleaded with teenagers and young adults not to do what Elisha did in taking her own life.
“Lastly, I make a plea to everyone struggling with your mental health, as beautiful as this headstone is, please seek out every other solution and don't pick this one.
“We are nearly one year to the day when we last heard Elisha’s laugh, saw her smile and held her close, our hearts remain broken.
It may feel like your current pain will never ease but with the right help and support, I genuinely believe every problem has a solution, you just haven't thought of it yet and that's why reaching out and accepting help is extremely important. You are worth it.
“We would not be where we are today had it not been for the love, help and support of our family, friends, community and strangers from far and wide.”
Ms Gault’s post drew scores of people to react with one posting, “ Great person who helped financially,” while another added, “She was a beautiful girl and what a beautiful tribute. I'm thinking about everyone who knew her.”
Ms Gault said she will continue to plead with the Government for additional funding to be pumped into helping young people with psychological issues.
She pointed out that she believes that mental health supports are still relatively in their infancy.
“There’s no one shoe fits all approach. Not all solutions exist in Ireland but I do know this, together we can learn a better way.
“We can reach out and pull others close and the reality is, as parents and carers, we too need support, we need to learn a different approach, to ultimately offer a brighter outcome," she said.