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Senior Brice Hays:

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Loyal, dependable, more than just a friendly face

Senior Brice Hays describes himself as a laid back guy who would do anything to help someone in need.

Hays is a son of Brenda Hays and has three brothers: his twin, Kaleb, along with Dusty (32) and Chase (32). Brice plans to attend Fort Hays State University to study business to prepare for his future.

Connor Keller, senior, said Hays is loyal and dependable.

“Brice, no matter what you know, he loves you, and will always have your back no matter what. He’s just a really good friend.”

Senior Richard Johnson agreed with Keller.

“He’s honest and will always have your back no matter what,” said Johnson.

Whenever you see Hays around town he has the biggest smile on his face, whether at school or at his after school job at the grocery store. However, unknown to many, Hays has struggled with depression.

Hays is not alone. In the United States, almost one-fifth of students have reported thinking seriously about attempting suicide.

“Because of what I’ve gone through,” Hays said. “I would do anything to help someone in need. I wouldn’t want anybody at all to go through the stuff that I did. And I don’t care who it was, if I don’t know them or I do. I would be okay with talking with them. I would help anybody out with that.”

On Christmas Eve in 2016, Hays said he drove out to a field and texted his brothers and his mom that he loved them. He pushed a shotgun to his head with a shell in the barrel and pulled the trigger. The shell was a dud. Hays survived. His brother Kaleb deciphered his text message as a cry for help and found him in the field and took him home.

In April 2017, he was sent to the ER because of a drug overdose. After getting dismissed from the hospital, Hays checked into a mental hospital.

Hays sought out professional help and was clinically diagnosed with bipolar, severe depression and anxiety. While he said he didn’t want to discourage anybody suffering from getting professional help since it helps lots of people, he hasn’t found the right professional help yet.

“Professional help was just pushing me pills and sending me to therapists and it was just tearing me apart,” Hays said. He said he stopped taking the pills because he didn’t feel like the same person. “I couldn’t be the same person they twisted my head around. If I couldn’t fight the battle myself, I thought why is this a battle I should be fighting?”

However, Hays found healing and support in his family, particularly his mom.

“My mom,” Brice said. “She’s everything to me. She’s very strong. Whatever she’s going through, she’ll always help you.”

Brice said he realized life was worth living after he realized how much he was hurting his family and how much they cared about him.

“When you finally notice that it hurts your family almost as much as yourself, it really makes you question why you would even let them go through that,” Hays said. “I had a few family members talk to me after that and it hit me that there were a lot of people out there who cared about me and loved me and there’s always help. I’ll always struggle with depression at times but I learned how to control it a lot more.”

Brice advised anybody struggling with depression or suicidal thoughts to tell someone and be real with yourself.

“If you’re going through stuff, don’t put on a mask and stuff it down,” said Hays. “Always be real with yourself and the people around you. Otherwise, the more you cover it up with your mask, the more it will tear you down.”

Given the fact that I have experienced similar dark roads, I know how hard it is to talk about this kind of stuff. As Brice’s cousin, when I found out that he had tried to overdose, it got me down but I was just more happy knowing the fact that I still had him in my life.

Brice has been there for me a lot but that’s not the main thing I’m trying to get across. It’s the fact that, no matter what’s going on, if you’re thinking suicidal thoughts, reach out to anyone. It doesn’t matter if it’s family or your friend just seek out help. There is always a bigger positive at the end of that negative. If you ever say to yourself I can just push the feelings down and go on from there, you’re wrong. The more you shove it down the more it’ll hurt. So, never shove those feelings down. Talk about them as soon as possible. Suicide is never the option. There are so many good things to life that you haven't discovered yet and most of the times they are worth pushing through for. If you are ever thinking suicidal thoughts, keep in mind there are always people who love and care for you.

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St. Francis 100 College Street St. Francis, KS  67756

Superintendent's Office: 785-332-8182 High School Office: 785-332-8153 Elementary Office: 785-332-8143

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