A gut-wrenching PSA shows a gay teen's final texts before saying goodbye.

"I'm sorry."

"I wish I could have been different. I won't disappoint you anymore."

"I wish I could've been better..."


"I love you."

If those were the very last texts you read from a family member or friend — a loved one who didn't feel as though they could truly be themselves — how would that make you feel?

That's one question posed in a new PSA from nonprofit Mythic Bridge, a group that uses filmmaking to empower at-risk youth. The organization's "Change the Script" campaign aims to shed light on the issue of LGBTQ youth suicide — a silent crisis that's taking far too many young lives, even amid the growing acceptance of queer people and relationships.

In the powerful new video, we see the moment a desperate young man decides to jump off a rooftop (before learning that, fortunately, it wasn't the end to his story):

In the PSA, Mythic Bridge highlights a vital stat anyone concerned with youth suicide needs to understand:

Young LGBTQ people are four times more likely to attempt suicide than their straight, cisgender peers, with young transgender people being particularly vulnerable.

That's why the nonprofit is raising funds on Crowdrise to help LGBTQ youth express themselves through creative storytelling in an accepting, loving environment — so they can help change the script when it comes to things like suicide, bullying, and depression.

Photo via Mythic Bridge, used with permission.

“Everyone has their version of how scary coming out was," Mythic Bridge co-founder Donald Klein said in a statement. "Maybe they didn’t have that safe space to lean on."

"I hope they see the Change the Script campaign and learn that Mythic Bridge is an open door. They should understand that we’re here, and we make no judgment.”

To learn more about the Change the Script campaign, visit its page on Crowdrise.

Simon & Garfunkel's song "Bridge Over Troubled Water" has been covered by more than 50 different musical artists, from Aretha Franklin to Elvis Presley to Willie Nelson. It's a timeless classic that taps into the universal struggle of feeling down and the comfort of having someone to lift us up. It's beloved for its soothing melody and cathartic lyrics, and after a year of pandemic challenges, it's perhaps more poignant now than ever.

A few years a go, American singer-songwriter Yebba Smith shared a solo a capella version of a part of "Bridge Over Troubled Water," in which she just casually sits and sings it on a bed. It's an impressive rendition on its own, highlighting Yebba's soulful, effortless voice.

But British singer Jacob Collier recently added his own layered harmony tracks to it, taking the performance to a whole other level.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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