In Memory of Bradford Fernandez

December 1, 1996 - January 21, 2011

Bradford's Picture


Let’s take a look at some updated Suicide Statistics:

These are documented statistics. Several organizations that specialize in suicide prevention (Jason Foundation, Hopeline, etc.) believe that these statistics are low in comparison to the true numbers, as some fatalities are not reported as suicides.


Is Suicide preventable?

According to the American Psychological Association, teen suicide IS preventable. The article discusses various risk factors and stressors that can lead a teenager to attempt suicide, with “mental illness being the leading cause” (APA). The article also describes the type of prevention strageties that can be put in place, including mental health screening, education and awareness.

World Health Organization states that “suicide is huge but preventable health problem.”

The National Hopeline writes “Depression is the leading cause of suicide……depression is treatable and as a result, suicide is preventable.”

Bottom line, suicide IS preventable, based on research conducted by health professionals and experts in the field. For prevention to be successful, education and training in detecting the early signs of suicide, along with providing the needed resources for treatment, is required especially within school communities. Bradford was highly intelligent and manipulative in the manner in which he masked his symptoms at home. His brother and sisters never imagined he would commit such an act of taking his life. However, during our own investigation, we found out from several of his friends and after his death that he “occasionally” made statements, in school, about dying. If even one of his friends would have approached us, or talked in private with a school counselor, Bradford would be alive today. If his two friends that texted at length with him the night before he died would have called the police, or us, or a suicide hotline, Bradford would be alive today. Why? Because suicide is preventable, and there is plenty of evidence from experts in the field to support such claim.

We “want to trust” our children; this is the way it “should” be. As parents we want to confide in our child and believe the “I’m fine, mom” statements, and we should. However, Ronald Regan once said, “Trust, but verify.” Suicide education and training should be made a part of every school curriculum on a routine basis and a regular family topic of discussion. We teach our children to read, do math, and write. We need to teach our children consistently about how to save a life, possibly theirs. Prevention begins with each of us. Visit our Resources page to find out how you can learn about Suicide Prevention Education and the resources available to you, your family and our schools.

Oath of Guardianship©

"My friend, I love you. I promise to always watch over you even during your darkest moments; if you need help, I will make sure to find help for you, even if you ask me not to. I promise to not honor any bonds that will ultimately hurt you in any way; it's for your own good. Understand, as a loving friend, it is my responsibility to watch over you. I promise not to let you think that your life is worthless and to dishonor you. YOU MATTER TO ME AND TO THE WORLD; YOU ARE WORTHY OF GOD'S LOVE AND LIFE."

Bradford and Dog Picturebutterflies
Bradford's Pledge, written by Ana Fernandez
January 21, 2011

Follow Bradford on Follow InMemoryofBrad on Twitter

The Bradford Foundation
Make a Difference
Parent Resource

National Suicide Hotline

QPR Institute
Suicide The Forever Decision by Dr. Paul G. Quinnett

Call 211 For Help

A Personal Message from Ana Fernandez:

The death of my beloved son, Bradford, shattered my life and tore my heart into pieces. I will never be the same. Bradford's sisters and brother will never be the same; they carry a hole in their heart as a result of his absence. Bradford's friends, also, will never be the same; they have a permanent scar in their hearts. Bradford probably believed no one would miss him, including his family. He was wrong. He was loved beyond understanding. His life and death touched the hearts of many. Suicide is NEVER the answer. It is a permanent destructive solution to a temporary problem. If you've ever thought about suicide and think no one will miss you - you are wrong. If you think the world is "better off without you," - you are wrong. If you think your family, your parents, your siblings won't miss you, you are wrong. No matter how insignificant you feel you are, you matter and are loved. Your suicide will only leave pain, intense suffering, and storms of tears for the people you love. Don't destroy the lives of your loved ones, along with yours. There is always a choice; there is help. You are not alone. All you have to do is to reach out for help.