Youth Suicide: The Other Public Health Crisis | The 74

Brad Hunstable believes his 12-year-old son died of the coronavirus — just not in the way one might expect.

As the virus shuttered campuses nationwide and put students’ social lives on pause, the Texas father lost his son Hayden to suicide just days before his 13th birthday. In an emotional video posted online, Hunstable blamed pandemic-induced social isolation — and a fit of rage — for his son’s death earlier this year.

“Social isolation is hard enough for adults. It’s even more hard for our kids,” Hunstable said in the video, which noted that students’ interactions with their peers had been reduced to Fortnite and FaceTime. “I believe my son would be alive today if he was in school, and that’s not to discount massive suffering around the world around this virus.”

Youth Suicide: The Other Public Health Crisis | The 74