Gay New Brunswick teen pleads for bullying to stop
A gay New Brunswick teen hospitalized after a suicide attempt is speaking about being bullied to the point of no return.
Adam Roberts says things got so bad he didn’t want to live anymore.
“I think the words that they say to me are worse than the physical aspects of this," says the 16-year-old Salisbury boy. “It just makes me feel so worthless and unsafe.”
Roberts has been hospitalized for five weeks for observation and treatment.
“Fear. Paralyzing fear that he’s not going to make it,” says his mother, Melanie Campbell.
Child psychologist Charles Emmrys says schools can be a part of the solution.
“I think the school has to communicate a very strong message of gay acceptance,” says Emmrys. “If they can, they should be highlighting role models in the community.”
The Anglophone East School District says bullying is being taken seriously, with support from the province and individual schools.
“We have teacher committees at those schools, we have student committees at those schools,” says Superintendent Gregg Ingersoll. “We have a district level committee that oversees that work and does the training for all of our staff members.”
“He (Roberts) is seeking help, but there simply is no help for him at the present time,” says Sebastien Bezeau, an advocate for the LGBT community. “This is a crisis in itself and our elected officials are the ones who need to stand up to this.”
Campbell says other parents have an important role to play too.
“I think kids live what they learn and I think they model and they role what’s going on in the house,” she says.
Roberts recently wrote an open letter describing what he is going through, and a Facebook page has been set up with people from across the country sharing their stories.
Roberts says despite the outpouring of support he has felt this week, he still struggles to see a positive future. He says he is hopeful, however, that the therapy he is receiving will help him improve his self-image.
“It will get better eventually, but what scares me is the eventually part. How much more do I have to go through in order to get better?”
With files from CTV Atlantic's David Bell