Strongsville mom inspires COVID impact on mental health bill
STRONGSVILLE, Ohio – Tara Gray of Strongsville has said she and her family will never be the same after losing their son, Brycen Gray, 17, in her battle with COVID-19 in April.
Gray and his family are now asking for more federal research dollars into the link between COVID-19 and mental health and neurological disorders after his son committed suicide at the family home just five days after his battle with the virus began .
She believes her son, who was a student at St. Edward High School, suffered a mental health impact from the effects of COVID-19 on his brain that caused psychiatric illness, not her. much more common isolation depression caused during quarantine.
“I absolutely believe COVID has an impact on the brain,” Gray said. “I absolutely believe we should be doing research on the virus and its effects on the brain.”
“We need to do better, it’s something I firmly believe we can watch for and hopefully get treatment before it’s too late for another family. COVID affects the brain and crosses the brain barrier and causes psychiatric problems. There is no way he is depressed or having these effects of isolation. “
Rocky River U.S. Representative Anthony Gonzalez (right) quickly responded to the Gray family, drafting legislation that would allow the National Science Foundation to provide grants to support research into neurological and psychiatric illnesses related to the COVID-19 infection.
The bill is titled “Brycen Gray and Ben Price COVID-19 Neurological Impact Act”, introduced last week, it was named in honor of Brycen and Ben Price of Illinois, both of whom committed suicide in COVID-19 fighter.
Representative Gonzalez issued the following statement in response to our story:
Brycen Gray was a gifted young man with a bright future ahead of him. While he was taken away too soon from his family, friends and community, his story offers a glimpse into the indelible mark COVID-19 leaves on the human body and brain. Although he had no history of mental illness, Brycen suffered severe neurological effects as a result of his COVID-19 infection that drastically altered his behavior. I introduced the Brycen Gray and Ben Price COVID-19 Neurological Impact Act so we can accelerate research into the effect of COVID-19 on the brain and begin to discover treatments that will protect others at risk. I will do everything in my power to move this bill forward and gain additional bipartisan support.
Beth Zietlow-DeJesus, director of external affairs for the Cuyahoga County Addiction and Mental Health Services Council, told News 5 that the ADAMHS board applauds efforts to find federal funding to fund crucial research on COVID-19, the connection to neurological impact.
“This is definitely information we would like to see through research,” Zietlow-DeJesus said. “This is a great opportunity to use funds for this purpose.”
“This virus affects the brain of some people to the point of having neurological effects. We already know that there is some, loss of taste and smell, it is neurological. Having this knowledge would help guide our practices. .
“If someone experiences these side effects while having COVID-19, they shouldn’t feel like they can only stay at home, they should still seek mental health care, what that it happens. “
Zietlow-DeJesus has indicated resources on the ADAMHS Board of Directors website for those dealing with the mental health impact of COVID-19.
Meanwhile, Tara Gray urged families to closely monitor loved ones who are in quarantine and trying to recover from COVID-19.
“Our goal is to raise awareness and try to save someone else,” Gray said. “If we save at least one person, it’s not something I would wish on anyone.”
“You want to make sure that someone is watching them, that someone is with them, I wouldn’t leave them alone. Our lives will never be the same again. I will be Brycen’s voice until the day I die.