With Singapore soon to exit Circuit Breaker mode, parents can expect the gradual easing of their child back into school. However, that is not the case for other countries such as in America where the COVID-19 situation is still volatile.
While the coronavirus infection has claimed the lives of many over the world, it also took along Hayden, a 12-year-old boy based in Texas.
“My son died from the coronavirus… but not in the way you think.”
Hayden’s father, Brad, believes that the coronavirus indirectly led to his son’s death which happened three days before his 13th birthday.
According to a video posted on Facebook, the dad shared that his son committed suicide during isolation by hanging himself.
Staying in isolation for 3 months meant that his 12-year-old did not have the “emotional outlets and normality” he was used to, according to Brad.
“He was a normal, healthy and happy kid who was unprepared for social isolation.”
He also shared that Hayden was not depressed and had no history of mental health issues—and neither was he a victim of bullying.
Just like other kids out there, releasing their excess energy can be more difficult especially during the lockdown.
“You have kids [who] can’t go run off their energy at PE class. They can’t get that one hug from their teacher that they needed,” said Brad.
“There’s social and emotional challenges beyond comprehension.”
Photo: Hayden’s Corner/Facebook
Suicide During Isolation: How it all Started
“A big time gamer” was how Brad described his son, who loved playing online video game, Fortnite.
According to him, Hayden would turn to activities such as playing Fortnite and using Facetime to interact with his friends during isolation.
But there was a time when Hayden was said to have gotten mad while playing Fortnite. He proceeded to throw the controller over his head and it broke the monitor.
To make up for it, Hayden even helped with chores around the house as well as “treat [his] sister nicer”. Upon witnessing his development, Brad said they got his son a new monitor.
In addition, Hayden was also looking forward to his birthday as he was told that he would receive a new controller that was going to enhance his Fortnite experience.
Pictured above is 12-year-old Hayden who committed suicide during isolation. | Photo: Hayden’s Corner/Facebook
The Trigger to His Death
Hayden was found by his 8-year-old sister with “blood coming out of his nose” and called for their dad’s attention. Brad attempted to save Hayden through Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) but to no avail.
It was said that Hayden had broken his monitor yet again.
Trying to make sense of Hayden’s actions, Brad explained that his son made a horrible decision while acting on impulsive emotions.
“Just a rash of emotion and probably anger at himself and maybe scared to get in trouble, embarrassed and all these emotions.”
“When he broke his monitor, I believe he felt like he ruined his party, his birthday”, Brad added. That was apart from not being able to see his friends due to isolation.
“He went into his closet and he did something I know he regrets.”
A Reminder for Parents
Brad said that he believes that his son would be alive today if he was in school.
“I know my son would be alive today if he had been in school, around friends, in soccer. The human condition is not total and complete isolation.”
In the heartbreaking video, he seeks to remind parents that social isolation for kids is more real than thought.
“Social isolation is hard enough for adults, it’s even harder for our kids,” said Brad.
“Kids don’t have the skills to deal with [these emotions]. We as a society, me as a parent, we haven’t given them all the tools to properly handle it.”
Where to Seek Help
But at least, what parents can do is help their kids in transitioning back into a social environment, and providing them with the necessary support.
In Singapore, suicide is found to be the leading cause of death for those aged between 10 years old and 29 years old according to the Samaritans of Singapore.
And with younger people having “limited problem-solving and self-help skills”, according to Dr Ong Say How in news reports, senior consultant and chief of the department of developmental psychiatry at the Institute of Mental Health (IMH), they might think of radical solutions for their problems, including suicide.
If you are having suicidal thoughts, or you know someone who is, help is available.
Samaritans Of Singapore: 1800-221-4444
Singapore Association For Mental Health: 1800-283-7019
Institute Of Mental Health’s Mobile Crisis Service: 6389-2222
Care Corner Counselling Centre (Mandarin): 1800-353-5800
Silver Ribbon: 6386-1928
Tinkle Friend: 1800-274-4788
Here at theAsianparent, we send our condolences to Hayden who left the world a little too soon.
You can watch the full video here:
Lead image via Hayden’s Corner/Facebook and video screengrab.