CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — It's a call no mother wants to receive: finding out something tragic happened to your child.
For a Calallen mom, her worst nightmare came true — it's been a year since she had to say goodbye to her baby boy.
"We're all hurting, and if he would have just known that a split-second decision," said Stacie Hutchins-Lamb, trailing off. "But now it's too late."
Christian Hutchins took his own life on May 19, 2021, with a self inflicted gunshot. The 25-year-old had plenty of friends and was well-liked, his mother said.
Most who knew him had no idea he was fighting mental illness.
As a child, Hutchins was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, but as he got older, things got worse.
In 2017 he was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder. It would cause him to have episodes where he felt everyone hated him, and the world would be a better place without him.
In 2021, Hutchins was playing an online video game with friends when he decided to shoot himself. In a split second, Hutchins-Lamb's life, and countless others, changed forever.
By the time she and her husband arrived, it was too late. Hutchins was her oldest of four kids, and was often her rock, she said. Even though she knows life must go on, some days the pain is just too much.
Many of his friends had no idea what he was dealing with.
Now that Hutchins is gone, family and friends choose to remember the good times. Not a day goes by that Hutchins-lamb doesn't think about or talk about her little boy. She just wishes there would have been she could do.
"We want to bring as much awareness, even if we reach one person we've done our job," she said.
A person can be involuntarily committed to a hospital if they are a danger to themselves, or a danger to others.
Sadly, Hutchins was not alone. According to state data, 4.3 million Texans are dealing with some form of mental illness.
Even worse, since 2000 the Texas suicide rate has risen by 36 percent.
Mental illness also affects 1.2 million children.