Over a decade ago, a young YouTuber named Stevie Ryan rose in the ranks while making videos under a character known as Little Loca. Just a year after she started uploading, she was already making headlines with infamous celeb blogger Perez Hilton. Her channel boasted over 50,000 subscribers and countless more hits. She even earned her own VH1 sketch comedy show called Stevie TV from 2012-2013, and also co-hosted the reality show Sex with Brody. But the actress also struggled with depression, and this past weekend, she lost the battle. Stevie Ryan had died at the age of 33 after an apparent suicide.
According to PEOPLE, the L.A. Coroner’s office has now confirmed that the young YouTuber took her life via hanging. The tragedy occurred just days after Ryan had co-hosted Mentally Ch(ill), a podcast centered around depression. In the most recent episode, the actress had revealed struggling with the recent death of her grandfather.
The man of my dreams will now only be in my dreams. I'll miss you everyday, forever. I love you my Pa. pic.twitter.com/nQ6hPPD3cC
— Stevie Ryan (@StevieRyan) June 30, 2017
“I’m just worried that this is going to send me into a deeper depression,” Ryan told her co-host, Kristen Carney. Sadly, this was a warning sign of things to come.
Carney tweeted this just a couple of days after Ryan’s suicide.
RIP @StevieRyan 💔❤️💔The coolest girl I've ever known.
— Kristen Carney (@KristenCarney) July 3, 2017
It seems that the mention during the podcast wasn’t the only time she hinted at how much she had been struggling.
— Tyler Baltierra (@TylerBaltierra) July 3, 2017
Ryan’s fans have also taken to Twitter to discuss how affected they are by the loss of their favorite internet personality:
I can't stop thinking about @StevieRyan. My heart is shattered, broken, stomped on. This isn't fair.
— Smash. (@imASHBO) July 4, 2017
Damn, RIP @StevieRyan. Depression Is Real. 😩
— Brown Mamba 🇪🇨 (@BigMeech908) July 4, 2017
YOOO Stevie Ryan died 🙇🏿💔😭😭😭😭😭
— Jay😈 (@Jmouzon10) July 4, 2017
It's been 3 days. Still not ok. #StevieRyan
— Allie of the Dolls✨ (@allieofthedollz) July 4, 2017
I'm so sad. @StevieRyan passed away today 😢😢😢
— Sabastan (@suckit2m3) July 4, 2017
Some fans even went to express their concern about what would happen to Ryan’s pets now that she’s no longer here:
Very few of us make arrangements for our pets if the worst case scenario happens. Many end up in shelters scared and confused.
— Jacer Galloway (@JaceLGalloway) July 4, 2017
Actor Drake Bell, Ryan’s ex-boyfriend, also publicly disclosed his devastation at finding out about her death:
— Drake Bell (@DrakeBell) July 3, 2017
While it’s not known whether Ryan actively sought help for her depression and thoughts of suicide, this serves as a grim reminder that not enough is done for those struggling with mental illness. Stigma often keeps people from seeking help in the first place. Many don’t want to be perceived as “weak” when in reality, it has nothing to do with strength. Others finally do seek out help, only to be met with hoops to jump through.
While some areas offer free or sliding scale counseling, others lack any real resources within their communities. Cost is an issue, even with health insurance, and many are currently fearing they’ll be losing their healthcare if the new AHCA passes. My thoughts are with Ryan’s family and loved ones.
If you or someone you know is struggling with depression or considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), the National Hopeline Network at 1-800-SUICIDE (784-2433), or the National Alliance on Mental Illness at 1-800-950-6264 to find the help you need. Please hold on. It can get better.
(Image: Facebook / Stevie Ryan)