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Allen Murder-Suicide Puts Spotlight On Depression, Mental Health

ALLEN, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) - In Collin County, the city of Allen is shaken by a murder-suicide that took the lives of an entire family Monday morning.

After posting a lengthy suicide note to Instagram, police said 19-year-old Farhan Towhid and his older brother, Tanvir, killed their parents, sister and grandmother before turning the gun on themselves.

In Towhid's note, he said he had been battling depression since ninth grade and his older brother suffered from depression, as well. Towhid wrote his brother came to him in February of this year proposing they die by suicide if things don't get better and kill the rest of their family to not cause them any pain.

"In the 21 years I've been here we've never had an incident like this," Sgt. Jon Felty, of Allen police, said. " I think you know the lockdown in general and the lack of communication it's been hard, it's been hard on folks who suffer from depression or other mental health related issues."

The CDC reports the number of people dealing with depression continues to rise and estimates around 3% of children ages 3 to 17 have regular feelings of depression. That percentage increases to almost 5% percent for adults 18 and over.

The chief clinical officer at Dallas Children's Advocacy Center said in children, teens and young adults a change in interests, irritability and isolation can indicate they're depressed.

She encourages parents who are witnessing these signs to check in and don't be afraid to ask questions.

"It's always okay to say 'hey it seems like you're spending more time in your room lately, what's going on with that?'" Kelly Slaven said.

She said, if needed, seek professional help and stresses mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of.

"I think what stands out to me as it sounds in this case is it sounds like the family did a lot of things right, they sought mental health treatment, he was sounds like on medication for some time," she said.

At this point, what are your options?

"So I think don't give up," she said. "In the same way that we don't walk into our kindergarten class and are friends with every single person - we meet one friend - gosh, this isn't a great fit and we move on to somebody else, don't be afraid to find a therapist that's a great fit for you."

For those struggling with suicidal thoughts, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline operates 24/7 at the phone number 1-800-273-8255. It offers free and confidential support. There's also an online text option.

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