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Our Mission

Founded in 2023, The B#4 Foundation strives to promote mental health awareness and suicide prevention through education, outreach initiatives, advocacy, and community service.​


On January 27, 2023, Braden Scott ("Brady") Hessbrook, age 20, of Ithaca, MI, took his own life. 


A talented and dedicated athlete, Brady grew up playing all kinds of sports with his sister, Kelsey, and he spent much of his life in the Ithaca football program, where his father, Terry, was the coach. Growing from the team waterboy to its quarterback, Brady was a four-year letter winner, earned First Team Division 7 All-State recognition from the Detroit Free Press, and was selected as the 2020 Associated Press Division 7-8 Player of the Year. After graduating from Ithaca High School in 2021, Brady attended Wayne State University, where he was a member of the football team. 


Brady had an infectious smile and a strong faith in God. He could light up a room. Still – despite all of his success, his popularity, his faith, and his loving family, friends, and girlfriend – Brady struggled with his mental health. A leader and a positive role model for many, Brady was beloved in his community and respected by his peers and adults alike, yet he suffered through his own depression and anxiety in silence. Though he was known for helping others in any way he could, including supporting friends who experienced anxiety and depression, Brady didn’t reach out for help when he needed it most. 


Unfortunately, struggles like Brady’s are all too common. In its 2021 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, the CDC reported that 22 percent of high school students had seriously considered suicide in the last year, and 42 percent had experienced persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness. In 2021, suicide was the second leading cause of death for people ages 10-14 and 20-34.


Although these struggles are common, too many people are afraid to speak about them. Why are we so reluctant to discuss mental health issues? When our bodies are hurting, we access the help we need quickly and without shame, but when our brains aren’t well, there’s a stigma attached. We need to remember that depression and anxiety are physiological problems — brain chemistry problems – and they’re treatable. Too many people suffer in silence, and too often the consequences are deadly.


Mental health problems don’t discriminate, and they’re often invisible. People suffering from these issues aren’t crazy or weak, they can’t just “snap out of it,” and it doesn’t matter if it seems that they have nothing to feel bad about. They might appear to have the perfect life. They might laugh and smile a lot. They might have amazing stats and a football scholarship. They might seem to have it all together. And, tragically, like Brady, they might be gone in a blink. 


We don’t have to accept this – suicide isn’t inevitable. There’s help available, and we need to normalize seeking it out, have honest conversations about mental health, learn to recognize the signs of mental illness, and dismantle the deadly stigma that keeps people silent in their pain and sadness. This is the mission of the B#4 Foundation. We can’t bring Brady back, but we are determined to help prevent others from making the same decision he made. 


Our message for anyone struggling with suicidal ideation: It’s okay to not be okay, and no one should be ashamed of mental health struggles. B4 you give up hope, B4 you hurt yourself and those who love you, please reach out and ask for help. The world is better with you in it. 

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