The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a terrifying increase in suicide due to job loss and isolation, and early data shows that suicide may be the number one cause of death for youth this year. In 10-14-year-old children, suicide is already the second leading cause of death.
Ustream founder Brad Hunstable lost his 12-year-old son to suicide in April 2020. Two days after he buried his son, he posted a video online about the importance of having conversations with children that garnered over 110 million views, and it helped launch a film project, Almost Thirteen, to raise awareness about pre-teen suicide. The film features suicidology experts to help the audience work through this preventable illness. The full-length documentary is set to be released in the Spring of this year. He spoke with D CEO about his hopes for the project.
“This year has taught me the value of community and having places of congregation for our mental health. Most importantly that conversations matter.
“In April my sweet son, Hayden, tragically took his own life just days before his 13th birthday. I’ve learned a lot about resilience and the importance of business and political leaders doing the right thing and stepping up to support sensible approaches to online gaming, social isolation caused by COVID-19, and other mental health issues that are hurting our kids.
“I can’t stress enough the importance of learning how to have authentic conversations at home and office to support our loved ones.
“We created HaydensCorner.org to address two critical issues. The first is 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. The second is to create a public service announcement campaign aimed at educating both kids and parents on responsible gaming and oversight from the parents and the gaming corporations.”