Thousands of people are sharing messages of love, grief, and support after the death of 28-year-old YouTuber Lee MacMillan, from Max and Lee and later, Life With Lee.
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MacMillan, who is originally from Barrie but has spent the past several months in California, died by suicide in Santa Barbara on Friday, March 26, after fighting a "brave battle with depression," according to a statement posted on her Instagram on Monday.
"She was receiving help: from professionals, from family, from friends," the post said. "She had support around her. She was not alone, she was not trying to fight this alone."
"Life is more complex than a single social media post. Things are complicated. Don’t believe what you see online."
The post is filled with tributes from her heartbroken fans, friends, and loved ones, including fellow Ontario-based YouTubers Eamon and Bec, who say she was "the brightest light of [their] lives."
MacMillan was an advocate for mental health
MacMillan had been open about her struggles with mental health, which she detailed in an episode of Eamon and Bec’s podcast Reroot, posted on March 1.
She also used her platforms to discuss her journey, including an Instagram video she posted in December 2020.
"The more we talk about these difficult feelings — especially on this platform, the more we normalize them," she wrote in the caption.
MacMillan's advice to her viewers was to speak out in difficult times. "The second you pull it out of your head, you become lighter," she said.
The hashtag #SpeakUpForLee is now being used in tribute to her and her mental health advocacy.
If you or anyone you know is struggling with depression or mental health issues, please reach out to a trusted peer, parent or health care professional. You can also send a text message to 741741 24 hours a day. Or click here, for additional resources.
If you need immediate assistance please call 9-1-1 or go to your nearest hospital.
Support is available.