We are again supporting Baylin’s Gift in 2018.

A Mother’s Words

In April 2016 our son Baylin Hoskins lost his 4 year battle with depression. I say that because suicide did not kill him. His depression did.

Baylin wrote letters to all his good friends and family, we were lucky. In mine he said the reason he made it to this point was that he could not come to terms with who he was. He had come out as bi-sexual when he was 17.

As a mother it breaks my heart that he did not see value in himself. That he did not feel worthy of love from someone else. That he honestly felt we would all be better off without him. That he had nothing to contribute to this world and the people around him. And while I understand that depression does this to people, I believe it became so bad because of how he viewed who he was, from remarks within our society.

The way depression has had such a massive impact on our young people in the last 5-10 years devastates me. I cannot fathom 14-15-16-17 year olds with such darkness and pain inside them that suicide is their way out of it. It is simply not acceptable.

We started The Baylin Hoskins Foundation the day after Baylin left, and have since changed the name to Baylin’ Gift. Because honestly I cannot just sit at home and do nothing when our young people are suffering in such high numbers.

I do not have the answer. I do not have a magic pill. But I know what it feels like to have a child suffer and lose his battle with this disease.

So Baylin’s Gift is a community organisation committed to educating and supporting young people in the area of mental health and diversity within the Macleay Valley. We focus specifically on depression and anxiety, suicide awareness and LGBTI issues.

We aim to provide education and support to promote resilience and a mentally healthy mind, and to promote diversity and acceptance through the celebration of everyone’s unique qualities. No child should grow up feeling that they are not accepted as they are, or they do not fit in with everyone else. We should all grow up believing we are a welcomed part of the community.

We believe that by providing avenues for young people to speak about our target issues, we in turn encourage a peer support network that gives each member a voice- a platform to freely express themselves amongst likeminded youth. Without fear of judgement. A safe place.

We do believe that it is much harder to help our young people at 16-17-18 when depression has moved to a point where it’s so much more difficult to believe you can come through it. We are starting at 10 years of age. Because if we can recognise early signs of depression and anxiety, and teach the strategies they can use to lessen their attacks, then we are minimising the risk of major depression and anxiety and mediation in later teenage years.

Currently we have 2 programs running, CHECKUP FROM THE NECKUP and COMFORT BOXES, we attend markets regularly and hold events, all to raise awareness of our target issues.

To find out more about these programs and our goals you may go to fb/ Baylin’s Gift, or None of us have all the answers, but we all have a passion to help our young people grow up healthy and happy and believing that they are perfect just as they are.