These numbers are staggering and have been exasperated with the current COVID pandemic forcing people into isolation, many of which have no outside support system or treatment in place to help them cope. Basically locked away with nothing but their thoughts which has led to a drastic increase in suicide.
My name is Allison Lyeki (Braddock) and my 16-year-old son Hayden is one of the millions suffering from mental illness and learning disabilities and has been for most of his life. Over the years he has been diagnosed with anxiety, ADHD, and Aspergers, and although his step-father, Greg Lyeki, his father John Braddock, and I have tried everything imaginable to help him, the system is completely failing him and I fear he is on a dark path that will lead to an unimaginable end.
If you had the pleasure of meeting Hayden, you’d see a hilarious, quick-witted, insightful, and compassionate young man, so you can imagine my heartbreak when he came to me at only 8 years old asking for help because he thought he was stupid for being unable to focus on his schoolwork. This crushed me to see our son in pain and suffering because as a parent, you want your children to be happy and confident so they can chase their dreams.
I remember he used to worry about starting school the entire summer and when it was time to go back, he would lose control and burst into tears due to full-blown anxiety. I had to basically drag him to school in the fall because he was so afraid of starting something new or having to change classrooms for a new grade.
We needed to help our son and after approaching the school, they started him on the 504 plan, which is not considered special education as it is mainly for when a student is able to function well in a regular education environment with only minor accommodations. The school board felt he did not qualify for the Individualized Education Programs (IEP) which is a better option for students with a disability that is adversely impacting education.
This environment was not enough support for him as he would still come home with his shirt collar soaking wet from chewing on it all day long due to anxiety. So we paid to have him privately tested for disabilities and he was put on ADHD medications.
He continued on medication and received some help which included individual therapy and tutoring yet he continued to struggle for years to come. No medications ever worked for him and we continued to fight the school district to get him more help and an IEP but they kept telling me he didn't qualify.
While Hayden FINALLY was granted his IEP just 2 months ago during his Junior Year, it's a bit too late at this point. Hayden gave up trying a long time ago, notably when he reached Freshman year. That was when things got really bad, really quickly, on all levels due to lack of support.
Today, Hayden continues to struggle yet no one, especially our insurance, understands the importance of getting him help before it is too late. We have tried and exhausted many options such as Individual Therapy, IOPs, PHPs, RTC, ER visits, and Intensive In-Home Treatment. Last year, our insurance finally approved him to be admitted to a residential treatment center for mental health and substance use, which brought a lot of hope into our home. Unfortunately 2.5 weeks later...insurance cut him off. Leaving him hopeless and without help yet again.
We were left to fly out to CA last minute on Christmas Eve 2019 to pick up a very angry son, only to spend our Holiday in a hotel room with our son who was very unstable and confused as to why he couldn't get the help he needed and was still very mad that we had even sent him there. We spent the next two weeks out there battling insurance, trying to appeal their decision for that level of treatment. We had already tried everything to that point necessary to qualify. He needed to be away and needed to learn the skills necessary to deal with all of the stressors that caused him his pain and anxiety. Needless to say, when he returned home, he fell immediately back into the same negative patterns of isolation, homework avoidance, self-medicating, and risky behaviors, only to be amplified by Covid hitting.
We as parents are not able to give Hayden the support he needs here at home, which has led us down this path for Mental Health treatment away from home.
We had to get him out of his environment in order to do so. After years of taking medication to control his moods and him self medicating, you lose track as to what is causing what. On top of that, sitting at home all year completely isolated due to Covid just made things worse. He has learning issues and can not get the help he needs at school, let alone remotely.
How You Can Help
Mental illness needs to stop being looked down upon by society and the severity of symptoms, that can lead to suicide, and self-medicating needs to stop being ignored! Hayden deserves the best chance at life yet over and over again the system has continued to fail him. Insurance will not cover his needs and I fear without proper support... we will lose our son the same way as he has already lost many of his friends.
We are not the type of people who normally asks for help, but he is and will always be our little boy and we must do everything we can to ensure he not only survives...but thrives in life!
100% of your generous donation will go directly to helping Hayden get the help he deserves. He just began treatment at Blue Ridge Wilderness Therapy on DEC, 2 2020 which is not covered by our insurance. Therefore we are seeking your support for the following:
• Educational Therapeutic Consultant - Cornerstone Therapeutic and Educational Consulting LLC . Otherwise known as a devoted advocate for Hayden and our family who assists in finding him the correct treatment and specific therapist to work with for the year. Cost will be $4400 first placement (Paid for already) and $3500 for second placement for his RTC or TBS =$7900
• Transport services from Right Direction - This helped Hayden get to his new facility safely to Blue Ridge Wilderness Therapy on 12-2-2020. Cost was $3500
• Blue Ridge Wilderness Therapy - 8-12 week program depending on his need. He will receive group, individual, and family therapy as well as schooling (if he gets regulated to do so). We worked with Blue Ridge to get some scholarship money upfront helping to cut costs. Approximate Cost $35,000 - $49,800. (A small amount of therapy will hopefully be covered by insurance).
• Therapeutic Boarding School or a Long Term Residential Treatment - TBD based on the outcome and need of Wilderness Therapy and testing. This will be determined by our Educational Consultant once they can asses him further based on needs. Approximate cost $10,000 -$14,000 per month for 12-15 months. This should not only help him with his mental health but also get him caught back up with his schooling. (Therapy part should be covered by insurance)
• Psychological/Learning Testing - Once Hayden is regulated and healthy to see if there is an further underlying issue besides depression and anxiety and ASD. Approximate Cost $3000 - $5000
• Insurance Advocate - to advocate assisting with partial payments and insurance advocates. Approximate Cost $2500+
We opened a bank account dedicated to this.
We have slowly watched our son disappear before our eyes with the feeling of loss because we cannot get him the help he so needs. He has begged us to find him help for his pain and for his anxiety at times but nothing seems to work locally, or with the resources we have through insurance or school. We have watched a scared little boy start to turn into an angry teen, full of emotional disregulation and behaviors that are too much for us to handle on our own. This has led us to put everything on the line to get him the treatment he needs. We are about to lose him for good if we don't.
We cannot thank you enough for your support as it means we can get the help needed for Hayden to get back on track and be the amazing person he truly is. Please also share our campaign with your family, friends, and coworkers to help this amazing boy get the help he deserves!
WE WILL CONTINUE TO POST UPDATES TO KEEP EVERYONE IN THE LOOP ON HOW HAYDEN IS MAKING PROGRESS ALONG THE WAY AND HOW YOUR CONTRIBUTIONS ARE HELPING SAVE HIS LIFE!!!
- Carlos Leon
- Jennifer Stotler
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