A heartbroken mother has made a desperate plea for kindness after her daughter took her own life when she disappeared on Mother's Day.
Lauren Rafferty, 12, went missing from Mount Austin, a suburb in Wagga Wagga in NSW's Riverina region, on May 9.
Police were notified after the young girl failed to return home from a walk on Mother's Day.
It was that day Lauren made a tragic decision to take her own life.
Her mother Rachelle said in a statement to media following her death her daughter "had a greater sadness than any of us could fathom, which spiralled and deepened" and urged people to be kinder to one another.
“Lauren’s sweet, strong, kind, quick-witted, creative and beautiful soul struggled to shine in this world that is ever increasingly cruel and relentless,” she said in a letter seen by Yahoo News Australia.
“It is our wish that the world could have more peace, kindness and generosity towards one another – starting with our own community.
"Lauren suffered the same level of bullying that any girl of her age does – which is still unacceptable.
“It’s our responsibility to improve the human race mentally and environmentally, so that we all can shine instead of suffer.”
Ms Rafferty added her daughter had been struggling for two years but battled to get her help.
“As parents, we thought we were doing everything right by our children, and tried daily to do our best,” she said,
“Since Lauren’s death on Mother’s Day, and subsequent thorough investigation, we now know how far the cumulative effect of systematic failure contributed.
“Numerous attempts over the last two years were made to help Lauren. We had difficulty navigating and accessing mental health support for children, especially in regional areas.”
Three children die in past month
The parents' statement comes after three children in the Riverina area, including Lauren, took their lives in the past month.
A 14-year-old boy died on May 17 and the body of a 17-year-old girl was found in Griffith on May 23.
A post circulating on social media is desperately pleading with people to be aware of how their actions can have dire consequences.
"Teach your kids that their words can cut deeper than a knife can," the post says.
"Teach your kids that bullying is not acceptable, not at school, not in public and not online.
"Teach your kids that it is impossible to know what other people are going through in their lives, so always be kind to everyone."
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The post goes on to urge people to instil in their children compassion, empathy and understanding.
"Teach your kids about solidarity, teach them about what can happen if people come together and work together for the greater good," the post continues.
"Teach your children to come to you, to reach out to you, to confide in you if they are struggling and teach them to be confident in the fact that you will always be there.
"Hold your children a little bit tighter, hug them a little bit longer and remind them that they are never alone, make sure they know that they are loved, supported and that the world is a better place because they are in it.
"Three children lost this month is three children too many."
Remembering Lauren Rafferty
A GoFundMe page set up in the wake of Lauren's death has already raised more than $13,000.
The page is raising money to support her "shocked and heartbroken" family as their grieve.
"Lauren was a beautiful, funny and clever young girl, who deserves a beautiful memorial," the page said.
In a touching tribute to the 12-year-old, people are also asked to honour her memory and #LeaveALightOnForLauren every Mother's Day and always be kind to others.
People donating money to Lauren's family also shared stern messages that bullying had to be stopped.
"Such a waste of a young beautiful life. If anyone young is reading this you need to know that school years do not determine the rest of your life, the pain you may feel now will one day be a distant memory," one wrote.
"A beautiful girl should not have died. Bullies need to be stopped," another commented.
Lauren's mother posted on Facebook her daughter would be farewelled in a public service at the botanical gardens in Wagga on May 27 at 12.30pm.
Readers seeking support and information about youth suicide prevention can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14, Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800, ReachOut Australia or the Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467.
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