Tackling a Taboo – How a Brandon Family Removes the Stigma of a Suicide Attempt
It's the call you hope to never receive. A friend on the phone was asking people to pray for Brayden, an 8th grader because he attempted suicide. This is a young man who went to camp and youth group with my son and his friends. So many people know Brayden. He's that kid who's just a ball of fire - #12 on the football team.
Honesty Opens the Door:
When a suicide attempt happens it seems people want to be respectful of the family and not talk about it. Maybe there's a few hushed tones and close friends and family know what happened. Other families try to hide it, and I understand why they do.
What Brayden's family did totally blew the doors open. They became open, honest and real when they created the Facebook page Pray for Bray, which now has over 2,500 followers. Over 23,000 have viewed this post alone:
Community Cares for the Family:
Because of the family's candid approach, everyone in the community is allowed to talk about it, support each other, and in turn provide a flood of support and love for Brayden and his family. "Pray for Bray" t-shirts are now available. Businesses are delivering food to the family holding vigil at the hospital, and words of support and comfort are coming from surprising places. In my opinion, they are receiving so much support because they didn't hide what happened. Whenever we can safely share a life struggle with others, suddenly we're not alone:
“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: “What! You too? I thought I was the only one.” -C.S. Lewis
Update on Brayden:
After being unconscious and on a ventilator for a number of days Brayden is opening his eyes, trying to move and is attempting to remove his ventilator.
Swelling on the brain and the extent of brain damage was a serious concern. According to family, an MRI Saturday revealed the "thinking part" of his brain and brain stem are not damaged. The part that controls weakness and movement has some damage (basal ganglia). He will likely need physical rehab of some sort to recover completely.
What to do if you or someone you care about is contemplating suicide:
The Helpline is ready to connect 24/7 on the phone at 1-800-273-8255