Beginning his career as a child model, Brandis moved on to acting in commercials and subsequently won television and film roles. The character was popular among teenage female viewers, and Brandis regularly appeared in teen magazines. Jonathan Brandis was born in Danbury, Connecticut , the only child of Mary, a teacher and personal manager, and Gregory Brandis, a food distributor and firefighter.
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At the age of two, he began his career as a child model for Buster Brown shoes. He moved to Los Angeles with his family at age nine and made guest appearances on shows such as Blossom ; L. Law ; Who's the Boss? That same year, Brandis played the young "Stuttering Bill" Denbrough in the miniseries Stephen King's It , alongside Tim Curry , based on the epic horror novel of the same name.
Brandis' performance in the film was lauded by critics and audiences. Around the age of 17, Brandis landed one of his best-known roles, as scientific prodigy Lucas Wolenczak in Steven Spielberg 's futuristic science fiction series seaQuest DSV. The role propelled him into teen idol status.
In , he costarred in Bad Girls from Valley High , which, because of distribution problems, was not released until Brandis had a small role in Hart's War The following year, he was cast in Gramercy Park , a pilot for ABC that was not picked up by the network. That film was also released posthumously.
In addition to acting, Brandis directed several independent films and authored screenplays. From to , Brandis dated actress and singer Tatyana Ali. The then-couple appeared in an article in People magazine in July Brandis did not leave a suicide note. After his death, friends reported that he was depressed about his waning career, which had continued to decline in the final years of his life.
He was also reportedly disappointed when his appearance in the war drama Hart's War , a role he had hoped would revive his career, was significantly reduced in the film's final cut. Brandis had begun drinking heavily and had said that he intended to kill himself. Paul Petersen , a former child actor and president of A Minor Consideration , an organization that deals with issues affecting child actors, stated: "Speculations as to the underlying cause of this tragedy are exactly that: speculations.
It serves no purpose to leap to conclusions for none of us will really know what led Jonathan to his decision to take his life. And sometimes life is so traumatic, suicide just seems like the best option for a young person.
Carmen Garner, 40, used to walk across busy streets near his home in Springfield, Mass. November is an especially difficult time in the Adirondack mountains resort town where her family lives, says Laurie Schmid, Tayler's mother. Besides, he got annual physicals at school to compete on the school soccer and track teams. Among the "what ifs" that plague her now is the question of whether the primary care doctor who had treated Tayler all his life would have picked up on cues about possible depression a new doctor missed. More: It's Teen Health Week. Why I care and why you should too.
She had even tried to get Tayler to see a mental health counselor, even though finding one in their area of upstate New York wasn't easy. Once Schmid and husband Hans settled on one, Tayler refused to go. One positive has risen out of the pain. There are far more resources and awareness about mental health and the need for counseling in her area now, thanks in part to the family's advocacy through the "Eskimo Strong" group it started. A local counseling center even has an office at the high school now. Schmid speaks to schools and parents regarding signs of depression, to encourage counseling, and provide information for suicide hotlines and text lines.
Her oft-repeated motto is "Say Something" and "Talk to Someone. Mental illness also needs to be covered by insurance at the same level as physical illness, says psychiatrist Joe Parks, Missouri's former medical director for mental health services. At his community health center in Columbia, Mo. Such "accountable care" was envisioned, but not fully realized, under the Affordable Care Act.
Children and teens who aren't covered by their parents' insurance can at least rely on Medicaid's Children's Health Insurance Program. Nick was a sophomore then. When he was 9 years old, a year-old friend hanged himself from a tree. After Nick created his clothing line, Brought to Reality, he posted an essay on his company website about that boy, Zach.
But the tree stood silent. That visual played in my head over and over again, like a horror movie. My parents never mentioned the word suicide, I think they were trying to protect me, but I figured it out anyway. He had suffered from depression since middle school, and had been seeing a therapist for four years before he died last month.
On the rare occasion that he received an order from out of state, he was pumped. You are loved. The principal canceled classes the day after the Oct. Be sure they are supported and not alone. We will continue to care for each and every one of them here at Arapahoe.
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Teachers and students at Arapahoe, where student Claire Davis was shot in by a fellow student who then killed himself, are emotionally fatigued and on edge. She advises parents, schools and friends to pay close attention to young people who are depressed, not only in the days after a suicide but in the months and years to follow, particularly around holidays and near the anniversary of the death.
Schools should proactively seek out youth who are at risk and ask them how they are coping, Glover said. After a suicide, the community should focus on helping the teens who knew the person who died, but also any kid who exhibits the warning signs of depression, she said.
The number of Colorado teenagers dying by suicide has risen dramatically in the past couple of years, and the ages of kids who take their own lives are younger and younger. Of the 16, referrals last school year, 2, were about suicide. They held his funeral at the Pepsi Center, where Nick and his dad sat together for years to cheer on the Denver Nuggets.
Will Bales and his son had hoped someday to catch Kevin Love, a forward for the Cleveland Cavaliers who talks publicly about his mental health and panic attacks, as he passed by their seats onto the court.
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They also plan to start a scholarship in his honor and work with Littleton Public Schools to strengthen the mental health components of health class. We have to fight, we have to fight for him. His dying is not going to go in vain.