A 12-year-old Texas boy took his own life days before his 13th birthday as he struggled with Coronavirus lockdown. His grieving father, Brad Hunstable, said that the boy wasn't a depressed boy or "someone who moped around" before the lockdown.
As per Brad, his son complained of not being able to meet his friends and was missing the classes. But, before the incident, things got worse for him when Hayden accidentally broke his game monitor which was his only way of distraction.
The father who lost his son
Brad made a YouTube video in which he talked about his loss during this Coronavirus pandemic. Even though many people claimed that the COVID-19 lockdown is just like a summer holiday for children, Brad said, "It's not like summer. We have a social and emotional bubble that's about to burst. I hope nobody ever feels this way, to see what I saw, and to feel this pain."
Hayden was found hanging in his bedroom by his younger sister on April 17, three days away from his 13th birthday. In the video, which has been uploaded after the tragedy and gone viral on social media recently, the father of the deceased boy, also recalled how his son struggled without the routine of school and seeing his friends.
In the video, the Brad said, "I don't want my son and his memory to be the last mistake he ever made. Nobody wants that."
In loving memory of Hayden
The distraught father recently started a Facebook page and launched a website, both named Hayden's Corner, with an aim to raise money for a mental health campaign. The Facebook page states that it aims to "Begin the journey to fund and provide K-12 Schools, students, parents, and school systems learning content focused on the social and emotional development of our youth," and "Create a PSA (Public Service Announcement) campaign aimed at educating both kids and parents on responsible gaming and oversight from the parents and the gaming corporations."
Understanding mental health
At this time when lockdown, social distancing, and self-quarantine is becoming normal to many, there are several families, workers, citizens, and young people like Hayden who are continuously struggling to deal with mental stress.
In fact, the Mental Health Awareness Month is observed in May every year but this time, the theme holds immense relevance as many people are suffering from mental health disorders, alcohol addiction, loneliness and despair during the pandemic.
Early this month, a high performing 17-year-old teen, Matthew Mackell killed himself as he feared for his future amid lockdown. His dead body was found on May 7 in Dunorlan Park in Tunbridge Wells, Kent.
From his notebook, which was found after his death, it was revealed that he was worried about how lockdown would affect his school results. After the incident, his family has been motivating other students to speak out about the pressure of education during the Coronavirus crisis.
Matthew's brother Chris Mackell was upset as his brother was among the bright students in his class. He penned down his feelings: "It was quite dark. It wasn't nice to read. But I wasn't aware of any problems at all. If anything I thought he was doing more than well with it."
Chris further mentioned, "No one really thought that Matt was worried about that. Matt was stupidly successful at school. I was speaking to a couple of his friends and they were saying he was 100 percent the brightest one out of the whole year."