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Family speaks out after losing son to mental health issues; reminds others help is available

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Published: Nov. 18, 2021 at 7:15 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 18, 2021 at 7:16 PM EST
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Rosalynn Thyseen knows the heartache from losing a child. Now, two years later after burying her 13-year-old son, she wants to prevent other families from going through the same pain.

“Every day since Traeh’s death, I just kept saying I wish I had the opportunity. I wish I had one more opportunity and that’s when I learned the difference between a wish and a hope,” said Thyseen.

Traeh was a model, an artist and someone who always wanted to be included. His family didn’t know the weight of emotional pain he was carrying after being bullied. As a result, he took his life.

“What I didn’t know was that Traeh was having thoughts of taking his life, and I think that’s a part we have to look at to those risk factors. Those signs aren’t the same anymore. Kids are so resilient, and they don’t realize how resilient they are,” adds Thyseen.

It’s why she started the “Traeh Thyseen Have A Heart Foundation,” to educate people about the effects of bullying on kids’ mental health. The foundation puts on events that connect families with resources and professional help to aim to save kids’ lives.

“So, we have the 13 minute challenge where we just challenge adults to talk to kids for 13 uninterrupted minutes. Put the phones down, just put everything down, and just talk to them. Hear what they are saying or what they are not saying,” explained Thyseen.

Talking and asking the tough questions could make a difference.

Baton Rouge Clinic Pediatrician Susan Banks said it’s important for parents who suspect something is going on to talk and listen, giving children a chance to open up.

“It’s okay for the parents to say every day ‘how is your day, what did you do,’” said Dr. Bankston.

Bankston said starting at age 12, doctors now ask children if they’re depressed, worried or if they are being bullied.

“Suicide though, I going to be honest with you that is an end result. It’s a terrible one, but there’s a whole lot of in-between results. There’s a whole lot of loss of self-esteem, doing poorly in school, just feeling bad and nobody wants to feel bad all the time, every time they go to school,” added Bankston.

It’s better to speak up, than to remain silent, and it’s what Thyseen hopes every parent will do for their child.

“Not just to be aware, but to do something about it because no other child has die,” added Thyseen.

Dr. Bankston said some of the first signs that your child may be having a hard time is a change in personality, loss of appetite and mood swings. Parents, if you are looking for guidance to have those conversations with your kids, there is support waiting to help you. You can go to the Traeh Thyseen Have A Heart Foundation.

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