A 12-year-old boy from Aledo, Texas took his own life by hanging just three days before his 13th birthday in April 2020, after reporting feelings of depression and isolation induced by COVID lockdowns to his family. Hayden Hunstable was described his father Brad as a child who “loved football and he loved being around people, he was very social.”
Brad Hunstable told UK publication Metro that he believes his son “would still be alive today” if it were not for COVID lockdown restrictions.
“I ran up there, pulled him down and tried to save him. I performed CPR but I couldn’t save him,” Brad Hunstable recalled. “He was gone. I saw something horrific that day and I don’t wish it upon anybody. I still get nightmares about it.”
Hayden’s school went into lockdown mode in March 2020, stripping the boy of his ability to play sports and see his friends. Brad Hunstable noted that “He loved football and he loved being around people, he was very social.” Virtual learning via Zoom also frustrated Hayden.
Just a few days before his tragic death, Hayden’s parents bought him a computer monitor so that he could play games and talk to his friends on his upcoming birthday.
“Because of Covid he couldn’t have a party so we got him a monitor for that. Then when the police were investigating after April 17, they found out he broke his monitor again, right in the corner,” Brad Hunstable said. “I don’t know if he was scared about getting into trouble of anxious about not being able to speak to his friends and ruining his birthday.”
Brad Hunstable has since launched an organization called Hayden’s Corner that aims to help parents talk to their children about depression and mental health.
“I believe there is a mental health tsunami coming,” Brad Hunstable concluded. We need to save this generation.”
In March 2020, a 19-year-old girl in the U.K. committed suicide after feeling like her “world was closing in” due to the country’s crippling lockdowns.