Tony Fraley posted a video to his Facebook of an attempted suicide
Shortly before Fraley posted another video apologizing to his children
Friends of Fraley say he is in the hospital and doing better
His video has received over 650,000 views and received mixed reactions
In 2016 over 44,000 people died of suicide making it on the CDC’s top ten Leading Causes of Death
56% of Americans struggling with mental health will receive little to no care
Early Monday morning, Tony Fraley posted a disturbing video to his Facebook. In the video, there is a razor blade and a puddle of blood on what appears to be a couch cushion as Fraley is heard saying, “Is this what you all wanted from me?”
In the video, Fraley’s arm is covered in cuts one can only assume was self-inflicted with the razor blade at the beginning of the video. His voice sounds slurred as he shows his arm dripping blood and asks, “Is this what you all fucking wanted?”
Instead of showing the angel that I am, the problems that I have, It’s too late now. I love you all. And fuck everyone who ever fucking doubted me in life, cause I was gonna make it in life. But it doesn’t matter anymore. I’m sorry to my kids. I’m sorry. I love you all.
About a half an hour earlier, Fraley posted a video that appears to have been filmed earlier in the day — the video was posted just before 4:00 am but it is daylight in the video — in a vehicle. In the video, Fraley repeatedly apologizes to his children for not being the father he should have been.
I just want to say this, that… I’m sorry. For everyone that I’ve let down. I’m sorry for the pain that I’ve caused everybody in this life. You can call me an attention seeker, you can call me what you want to call me. It doesn’t matter anymore. I’m not going to hit the top ever. I’m too fucked up to even, ever even think about hitting the top. I love you my boys. I loved our family. Don’t ever forget that, that your daddy does love you, but he’s just hurt. And he’ll never get over that pain inside of him of what he’s been through and I’m sorry that I couldn’t be there the way that I wanted to be. And I love you. I love you all. I love our family. I love your mom. And I’m sorry that I wasn’t the father that I should of been. Goodbye my boys, I love you.
Since being posted, the video has been shared over 9,800 times and received over 688,000 views. While some social media users mocked Fraley, an alarming amount of people understood where he was coming from and even left comments ranging from, “I know this feeling” to “this will be me soon.”
According to friends of Fraley’s, he is in the hospital but is doing better. He was taken off of the ventilator and there has been talks of receiving help once he is released from the hospital. Unfortunately, mental health is not one of America’s strongest suits.
According to the CDC, in 2016 suicides were number ten on the ten leading cause of death chart with 44,695 deaths. According to the CDC, 436 of those suicides were children in the age group of 10-years-old to 14-years-old. The VA claims out of the 41,425 suicides in 2014, “18% (7,403) were identified as Veterans of U.S. military service.”
Mental Health America claims the rate of severe depression in youths increased from 5.9% in 2012 to 8.2% in 2015. Roughly 76% of those will have little to no treatment. As a whole, 56% of Americans will not receive treatment for their mental health issue.
Combining the lack of mental health treatment and the growing obsession with posting personal details on social media, we have seen a growth in people livestreaming their suicides.
In December of 2016, 12-year-old Katelyn Nichole Davis livestreamed her hanging herself outside her home on the social media app live.me. Along with becoming a place to broadcast a suicide, social media users have pushed others to commit suicide.
In late 2016 to early 2017 we witnessed the birth of the “Blue Whale Game.” A game that people claimed successfully pushed people to the point of suicide multiple times.
The story behind the game goes as follows. Once you sign up to play the game, you receive your curator. Your curator then gives you different tasks to do over the next 50 days, with the first task normally coming at 4:20 am. Every time you accomplish a task, you must provide photographic or video proof of completion. After doing this for 50 days, the player is pushed to commit suicide in order to “win the game.”
This year, we saw a spin-off known as the “Momo Game,” which was believed to have been related to a 12-year-old committing suicide. Police believe the girl’s intentions were to upload the video to social media to complete a “challenge” she received in relation to the Momo Game.
In the original game, social media users are dared to message the Momo character on Whatsapp. Momo responds with violent images and begins giving challenges that quickly escalate. If a player does not agree to the challenges, they start receiving threats that include claims of having personal information.
The reality of Fraley’s viral video is that suicide culture is alive and well in America. From shaming to blaming, to not believing the victim, it is becoming painfully clear why we are seeing a growing number of suicides each year. Many carry the stigma that if you are battling with suicide or depression you are weak. Depression is one of the most misunderstood mental health issues in the country and one of the most understaffed when it comes to treatment.
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, you can reach out for help by calling 1-800-273-8255, or by clicking here!