GLENBURN, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A family who lost their teenage son to suicide last fall hosted a balloon launch Friday afternoon in Glenburn to raise awareness of suicide prevention.
At 4 o'clock, a large group of family and friends gathered at the home of Jayden Hustus, to celebrate his birthday and do a balloon release in his honor.
"He was funny very funny that he was sensitive and that may have been that were hard for him because he couldn't just shrug off a rude comment that somebody may have said to him," his mother Jamie Emerson said, choking back tears.
Jayden would have been 14. According to his family, He took his own life on October 20th, last year by gunshot wound.
"Jayden was a happy, hilarious kid, loved by many, many people, although he did struggle with depression. He was seeing a counselor, and had a great support system in his friends and family. But it evidently was still too much for him to bear. We still ask ourselves why, every day," said Crista Emerson Jakacky who's son was Jayden's stepbrother.
Dozens of people gathered at the families home, each one holding a red balloon. Some shaped like hearts, and stars.
"It's just more or less to celebrate his life and his birthday and let him know that we all love him and we're never going to forget about him," Jamie added.
"There is always warning signs and sometimes they are really subtle signs that you as a parent miss until you face something like this and just hope that no parent has to go through what I've had to go through."
If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, there are a number of places statewide that you can turn to for help. NAMI Maine has a suicide prevention program. There's more information on their website. You could also call the Maine Suicide Prevention hotline at 1-888-568-1112 or visit the state suicide prevention program website.