On June 13, 2017, I lost my youngest son, Zach, 16 years old, to suicide.
Zach was a sweet, kind, caring kid who always looked out for others. He was a true animal advocate and a young, successful entrepreneur.
A short six months before he took his life, Zach began exhibiting signs of mental illness. While Zach and the rest of us fought hard to save his life, stigma became a road block. We couldn’t find resources, Zach felt alone, and very few people reached out to him, as most felt uncomfortable. The loneliness and isolation became worse.
One thing that made him happy was the business he started. Taking care of animals was a safe haven for Zach and where he felt himself.
Not one psychiatric provider had him long enough to properly diagnose him. He was misdiagnosed and on the wrong medication.
He took his life in a very manic moment, with a gun he found in a client’s house. He’d locked one of her cats behind a door and hadn’t been able to fix the door before she came home.
“Kid in the Corner” was founded after Zach died to shatter the stigma that surrounds mental illness.