Bridgeport woman says pandemic prompted her 11-year-old son to try to take his own life

A Bridgeport woman says depression caused by the pandemic led her 11-year-old son to try to take his own life.

News 12 Staff

Mar 28, 2021, 10:41 PM

Updated 1,173 days ago

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A Bridgeport woman says depression caused by the pandemic led her 11-year-old son to try to take his own life.
Joziah Torres, at first glance, looks like any other fifth grader hanging out with his mom and playing video games on a rainy Sunday.
But stay and talk to the family for a while and one might be surprised by what they learn.
Torres' mother, Minerva Roman said he tried to take his own life four months into the pandemic.
"I grabbed him, and I held him, and I cried," Roman explains.
Her middle child, who has autism and is famous for his big smile, tried to commit suicide, she says, and very nearly succeeded.
"I couldn't go out, I couldn't see my friends, I couldn't go to my friends anymore," Torres says. "I just couldn't do anything."
"When I saw him so much in pain, I just, I didn't know what to do," Roman says. "I cried for maybe two weeks, just I would go in the room at nighttime and look at him just to make sure he's ok. I hid everything in this house that he could harm himself with. Everything was just gone."
Roman says that eight months later, her son has never been happier - thanks to aggressive intervention from the family, church and community that recently kicked off an initiative called "Joziah's Helping Hands." It prepares and passes out care packages for people who are homeless.
"Just stay positive and try to live your best life," Torres says.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal met with the family to talk about the growing phenomenon of depression among kids caused by the pandemic.
"I so admire Minerva Roman and her son Joziah for sharing this powerful story that will help a lot of other people," Blumenthal says.
Roman says she's learned a powerful lesson, even though it is one that nearly cost her son his life.
"My hope for all this is for other kids to open up to their parents and if they're feeling a certain way, depressed, sad, just speak to someone because sometimes having that extra ear to listen to really makes a difference," Roman says.
Blumenthal says depression among kids caused by the pandemic is a growing problem that requires professional intervention on a case-by-case basis.


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