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9-year-old took his own life after being bullied in school, family says

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OREGON CITY, OR (KATU) — Happy, loving, caring and funny.

Those are just some of the words family uses to describe Elijah Hauff.

“Elijah was a very good boy. He was very loving, very caring. He cared about people. He’s just an amazing little boy and his life was taken too short,” said Salina Martinez.

Earlier this week at just 9-years-old, Elijah took his own life.

“Still shocked. I want it to believe it’s a dream. I can’t get that image out of my head of him. It’s very sad,” said Martinez.

Salina Martinez is Elijah’s aunt. She says Elijah was bullied and before this happened, he opened up to his mom and the school.

“That he hated himself, that he did not feel loved,” said Martinez.

Even about his suicidal ideations.

Since then the district sent out a letter to parents letting them know what happened and providing services to kids at school.

Martinez says she’s glad counselors are available, but she can’t help but think what if.

“You should have had it before. You should have had it for the kids that needed it. And that could have helped them. I am glad that they have it here. I’m glad but it’s too late,” said Martinez.

She says she hopes going forward all parents and schools will talk to their children.

“Suicide is real. And we think that it’s not and that people want attention and it’s not,” said Martinez.

In fact, specialists in the field of suicide prevention agree these conversations need to be happening much earlier in life, and that they could truly save lives.

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, contact the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) . The free, 24/7 service offers support, information, and local resources.

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