Photo by Jose A.Thompson on Unsplash

A 12-year-old boy from Texas hanged himself after facing depression from the COVID-19 lockdown. 

Hayden Hunstable from Aledo, Texas, was found hanging in his room by his 8-year-old sister April 17, just three days before his 13th birthday.

Hayden’s father, Brad Hunstable, told Metro UK that his son was feeling isolated and depressed after the pandemic caused a nationwide shutdown.

“Covid killed my son,” Hayden’s father told Metro UK. “I think Hayden would still be alive today if Covid had never happened.”

RELATED: New Jersey Psychologists Discuss Mental Health Epidemic During COVID-19

Hunstable spoke out about his son’s death, hoping to help in preventing future youth suicides.

Hunstable had no idea that his son was feeling depressed and lonely and said that “he was such a happy kid and loved his friends and family.”

Hayden was a student at Aledo Middle School and loved going to school and seeing his friends.

When the pandemic shut things down in March, he didn’t like virtual learning and isolated from his friends.

Hayden’s struggles with distance-learning caused him to feel down about himself. 

“On April 17 our water went out at the house and my dad came over, Hayden helped us fix it,” Hunstable told Metro. “It was a beautiful sunny day and I gave him a hug and a kiss on the head.”

“Then when my dad left there was just me, Kinlee and Hayden at home. There was only a 30 minute window, Hayden had gone upstairs.” 

“Then my daughter ran downstairs and said Hayden has hung himself. I ran up there, pulled him down and tried to save him. I performed CPR but I couldn’t save him. He was gone.”

Hunstable created a video about Hayden’s story, called Almost Thirteen

In the video, Hunstable shared what happened to his son.

Before the pandemic, he got a computer monitor for Christmas. Hayden’s father believes his son was scared of him finding out that he broke a new computer monitor he just got. 

He accidentally broke it, and when his father found out, he said that he would have to earn a new one. 

Hayden got a new monitor as a birthday present. 

However, while police were investigating the scene, they found the new monitor broken in his room.

“I don’t know if he was scared about getting into trouble or anxious about not being able to speak to his friends and ruining his birthday,” Hunstable said in the video. “He either did it in impulsive anger or he got himself in a situation he couldn’t get out of.”

Hunstable created an organization in Hayden’s name, Hayden’s Corner, to spread awareness about depression in youths and young adults.

He hopes that Hayden’s story will encourage parents to talk to their children about mental health and teach them how to handle their feelings.

“I am on a mission to solve youth suicide,” Hunstable said. “Parents need to have conversations with their kids about their feelings.”

“We need to talk to kids about suicide and talk to kids about how to deal with depression. Kids get depressed and they need to be taught how to deal with their problems.”

Written ByLauren Akabori

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