Suicide is the second leading cause of death for children aged 10 to 19, and during the pandemic more teenagers appear to be struggling with mental health issues.
An Anaheim family has shared the loss of their 14-year-old son, hoping others will see the warning signs.
“No other parent should have to go through this,” said Adriana Moore, mother of Rodney Moore Jr. “You should never have to say goodbye to your kids. You should leave before your kids.”
Adriana Moore and her husband Rodney Moore Sr. never imagined their 14-year-old son would commit suicide.
“Every time we close our eyes we see how we found it,” the mother said.
Rodney Moore Jr. was a social and active teenager who loved animals and enjoyed playing the saxophone. But when the pandemic hit, her grades started to drop with distance learning — her world changed.
And his parents say Rodney lost hope when he was unable to return to in-person learning this month.
“He kept saying, ‘I don’t see the point. Nothing is going to get better, “he would say,” Adriana Moore said.
Rodney Sr. added, “We felt something was going the other way, but we never knew it to this degree.”
And they are not alone.
The chief psychologist at Children’s Hospital of Orange County says she gets twice as many calls from families worried about their children’s mental health with the same kind of warning signs.
Heather Hustzi, chief psychologist at CHOC, discusses the warning signs of suicide.
Chief Psychologist at CHOC Dr. Heather Huszti, phd. The warning signs listed for parents, “If you have increasing irritability along with other withdrawal signs, such as not engaging in activities they previously enjoyed, having trouble concentrating, seeing changes in eating and sleeping habits.
But start that conversation before you even see the signs, says Huszti.
“Sometimes when you ask kids about friends, about other people, it’s an easier way to slip into the conversation,” Huszti said.
Rodney Moore Sr. said: “Although the coronavirus didn’t take my son’s life directly, it did take it indirectly, that’s how I feel.”
Rodney’s parents are telling other parents not to hesitate to connect your children with a mental health therapist, and they say they’re sharing their story in hopes it could prevent another youngster’s death.