The Ryan Bartel Foundation

About The Ryan Bartel Foundation:  

Ryan was our oldest son who took his own life on October 15th, 2014, just 3 months shy of his 18th birthday. As we have struggled to come to terms with our family’s tragedy, we have learned all too painfully that youth suicide is not uncommon and the statistics are alarming.

Suicide is now the 2nd leading cause of death in ages 15-19 and rose 56% between 2007-2017 reaching a 40 year high. In that time period the suicide rate for 10-14 year olds also tripled.* While every tragic story behind these statistics is unique, many will include depression and feelings of low self-esteem and self-worth. Ryan belonged to that group, and we owe it to him to do whatever we can to try and prevent others from going through the same terrible experience. Our goal is to create something positive out of his unimaginable tragedy.

Ryan had a passion from an early age for history and all things military. He was loved and respected by his family and his diverse groups of friends, yet he struggled with low self-esteem, having grown up with his own personal challenges and generally feeling like he did not ‘fit in’, often experiencing the brutal attacks of bullying. He loved nature and often sought its refuge, enjoying the tranquility, beauty and purity of an environment that supports all living things.

Ryan’s experiences led him to believe that no one should be labeled or judged at face value because every person is unique, has value and deserves respect. In his quiet, kind, often humorous and very unique way, he spent the last few years of his life reaching out to those who felt different or were going through personal struggles like himself, because as he aptly said many times, ‘in the end we’re all human”.




PO Box 184, Waterford, VA 20197







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