Hayden Hunstable suicide: 12 year old Aledo, Texas boy hangs self after struggling with coronavirus lockdown. How the pandemic has led to an escalation in depression and mental health woes.
‘This is a kid who loved life, was the life of the party,’ Brad Hunstable said of his son Hayden Hunstable according to a report via NBCDFW.
Hunstable said his son seemed happy and showed no previous signs of depression, but was affected by being separated from his friends and his routine.
‘I know this. My son would be alive if he was in school,’ Hunstable told the media outlet. ‘He didn’t like the isolation. He didn’t like being at home.’
Just three days before his 13th birthday, Hayden died by hanging in his bedroom.
Mental health as a taboo topic
Experts said depression among young people is always a serious issue, and even more so these days.
‘We’re actually seeing the numbers start to spike,’ said Dr. Kia Carter, a psychiatrist at Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth.
Carter said parents should watch for sudden changes in their children’s behavior.
‘When you notice a change in your kid’s appetite or their energy level is different, they’re not sleeping as well — whether it’s lack of sleep or increased sleep — those are key signs to look out for,’ she said.
Hunstable said he believed sharing his personal tragedy would help focus attention on a topic that is usually taboo.
‘It can happen to everybody. And with this social isolation for the virus, any little thing becomes even more amplified,’ the father said.
Days after his son died on April 17, Hunstable posted a video online that has been viewed millions of times.
Brooks Gibbs, emotional and social resilience educator, reached out to us and created this video for Hayden’s Corner. He’s helping support our cause to raise awareness about the need for social and emotional resources for children, and we appreciate and applaud his continuous efforts to help parents and educators raise emotionally resilient kids. Hayden’s Corner was created by our friend and business partner, Brad Hunstable, who lost his son as a result of the pandemic this past month. We ask that you join us in memory of Hayden and for all the children that deserve a fighting chance against all odds. 🥊 Join the movement: https://www.gofundme.com/f/haydens-corner Unite4OurFight: www.unite4ourfight.org#THATSmile #HaydensCorner #Unite4OurFight
Posted by Evander Holyfield on Friday, May 1, 2020
Increased incidence of mental health woes during COVID-19 lockdown
‘My son died from the coronavirus as I mentioned, but not in the way you think,’ Hunstable said in the video.
Hunstable said he also is making a documentary that hasn’t yet been released.
‘Now I know, I’ve been saying, ‘When Hayden’s eyes closed, my eyes opened.’ I know what my calling is,’ Hunstable said.
Hayden’s suicide follows a study earlier this week which told of more Americans reporting signs of clinical anxiety or depression during the coronavirus pandemic than they were at the same time last year, according to data from both the Census Bureau and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Household Pulse survey.