by Gazette Staff
HARDWICK – Hazen Union Athletic Director Jared Cushing died this past weekend. He was 21.
In a message to the Hazen community, Hazen Union Principal Jason di Giulio wrote:
“We have learned today that our athletic director, Jared Cushing, took his own life over the weekend. Everyone who knew Jared knew that he often looked like he was full of joy and life. He seemed to always have a big smile and a bounce to his walk. But clearly inside he was struggling.”
Cushing was named the Hazen Athletic Director in June of this year, replacing John Sperry and becoming the youngest athletic director in Vermont. A New Hampshire native, Cushing was a multi-sport athlete at Blue Mountain Union High School and played baseball for Husson University in Bangor, Me.
Principal di Guilio’s message continued:
“I know this news can be hard and that it will land differently for each one of us. It may activate some previous traumas, some related experiences or difficulties in our own lives. There are people and places where we know we can get help and if not reach out to a staff member.
We have crisis team members on-site for those that need additional support. Please remember, too, that the crisis team can be reached at (802) 888-8888.”
If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, help is also available by calling or texting 988. According to the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline website, “988 has been designated as the new three-digit dialing code that will route callers to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (now known as the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline), and is now active across the United States.
When people call, text, or chat 988, they will be connected to trained counselors that are part of the existing Lifeline network. These trained counselors will listen, understand how their problems are affecting them, provide support, and connect them to resources if necessary.”