NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) - A retired Fort Worth police officer is hoping to encourage conversations about mental health using a medium that many people relate to – music.
Tegan Broadwater is a former undercover police officer who has always had a passion for music. After leaving police work, he started pursing his musical career but still wanted to do something that was impactful within his community, so he wrote a song called 'BLAME,' under his musician name 'Tee Cad,' which tackles the many questions that arise after a tragedy occurs.
"I got to a point where I wanted to start making a difference again – because with police work you are able to go out every day and feel like you are making a difference," Broadwater says. "So, I started reigniting my musical endeavors."
The music video for 'BLAME' features up-and-coming rapper "Lou Charle$" and follows the true-life story of a Southlake teen named Reed Bartosh.
Broadwater says he knew the family well and witnessed first-hand Bartosh's battle with anxiety, depression and eventually addiction.
Before Bartosh's parents could recognize it, Broadwater says the teen started taking drugs from the family's medicine cabinet, which eventually digressed to street drug use including heroin.
Once the addiction was uncovered, Broadwater says the teen's parents got Bartosh into multiple rehabs, but unfortunately just after his 19thbirthday—the teen took his own life in 2018.
In the music video, Bartosh's struggles are depicted with his antagonist purposely presented as faceless, representing his addiction, his anxiety, and his drug dealer.
Bartosh's real-life dealer ended up receiving 28 years in federal prison for drug trafficking and was given partial responsibility for the teen's death.
The music video ends with a call to action, encouraging anyone who needs help, or knows someone who needs help, to reach out and get help.
"We are trying to get a message across where we inspire [the viewer] to have those conversations that are typically so uncomfortable to have," Broadwater says.
"The video has a call to action for people who are struggling or know someone who is struggling, so that someone will pick up the phone and take some action so we can get ahead of some of these issues that so many kids sit on until it is too late."
Broadwater admits, the question of "who's to blame" for Bartosh's death is a question we may never really know the answer to, but he thinks simply asking the question, will go a long way in helping people think through the important topic of mental health.
If you know someone struggling with anxiety, depression or addiction call the national helpline for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration at 1-800-662-HELP.
MORE FROM CBSDFW
for more features.