The apparent suicide of a Yarmouth middle school student this week has prompted an outpouring of generosity for her grieving family and community reflection on mental health and suicide.

On Monday evening, a 13-year-old girl was found unresponsive at her Yarmouth home by family members and rushed to Maine Medical Center in Portland, where she died shortly after arrival, Maine State Police said. The girl was a seventh-grade student at Harrison Middle School.

The state is withholding an official cause of death until it completes further studies, including a toxicology screen, said Mark Belserene, administrator for the Office of Chief Medical Examiner in Augusta. It may by two weeks before the case is completed, he said in an email.

Support for the mourning family was immediate and substantial. A GoFundMe page set up for donations to the family neared its $30,000 goal within two days, raising more than $25,400 by Friday night.

According to the memorial fund request, the money will pay funeral costs and help one of the parents, who recently started a new job and does not yet have paid time off.

Cindy Bolles, who is listed as the creator of the funding page, did not respond to an interview request sent by email Friday afternoon.


An attempt to reach the family Friday also was unsuccessful.

Almost 30 people have signed up to deliver casseroles, salads, macaroni and cheese, cookies and other food to the family through Mealtrain, a website that organizes community food delivery. Enough people have signed up to give the family a home-cooked meal every other day for two months.

In the aftermath of the tragedy, the Yarmouth School Department is planning a broader discussion about suicide and suicide prevention. A community gathering is planned for 6:30 p.m. Feb. 12 at Yarmouth High School, Superintendent of Schools Andrew Dolloff said in a letter to parents Thursday. It is appropriate for students in grades 6 through 12 to accompany their parents to the meeting, he said.

The meeting will be led by Greg Marley, clinical director at the Maine chapter of the National Alliance of Mental Illness and an expert on suicide prevention and response. Marley will discuss community response to tragedy and the leading causes and signs of suicide to “prepare the community as a resource for suicide prevention for anyone at risk,” Dolloff said.

“This talk is an opportunity for debriefing the loss to our community and increasing awareness for future risk,” he said.


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