Fundraiser for Beloved Dover, NH Cheerleader Nets Over $22K
A three-day-old GoFundMe account created to raise money for the mother of a beloved Dover High School varsity cheerleader had raised a total of $22,345 by 4 p.m. on Wednesday.
Andre Schaeffer, 16, died on June 12 at Boston Children's Hospital in Massachusetts after a suicide attempt.
On Tuesday, GoFundMe Communications Manager Kelsi Grant confirmed the account was verified and that the funds were going directly to Schaeffer's mother.
Members of the Dover community have been heartbroken by the tragedy.
"He will be loved and missed by all who knew him, by all who didn’t get the chance and by all who will learn his name as he changes the world in so many ways," family friend Cathy Cline wrote on the GoFundMe page.
Cline wrote that Schaeffer passed away after a 6-day battle to live.
"His organs were donated to others in need so he can continue to give to others as he always did," Cline wrote.
People, including Cline, are sharing their stories about Schaeffer on Facebook using #andresarmy. They are also using this as an opportunity to talk about teen mental health.
On June 3, Gov. Chris Sununu announced a $100 million mental health investment in New Hampshire.
When asked about what will be done to help preteens and teens affected by the pandemic, Sununu said that kids have endured a lot.
The governor said his top goal is creating a system that parents can turn to if their child is experiencing a mental health issue.
"It’s about that mom. It’s about that dad that sees their kid in crisis and says, 'I know what to do. I’ve never dealt with this before, but I know there’s a system there that can provide those supports for my kid,'" Sununu said.
The state is also making sure kids are treated the right way in a setting appropriate for children.
"How you deal with mental health issues or anxiety and crisis issues with a child
is so very different than with an adult and you have to have that right expertise," Sununu said.
Patrick Ho, immediate past president of the New Hampshire Psychiatric Society, recommends talking with teens about mental health.
Ho said pediatricians are cross-trained to help parents and children find the resources they need.
If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, visit the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline website. Resource information is provided for free as well as a chat message service. To speak directly to a professional, call 1-800-273-8255. You are not alone and help is available. Every life is important.
Contact Managing News Editor Kimberley Haas at Kimberley.Haas@townsquaremedia.com.
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