I recently learned that a much-loved local citizen attempted suicide. This was hushed up, and reported as a heart attack. Not only is this dishonest, but it sends a devastating message to those suffering from depression or other mental illness.

We need to bring mental illness out of the shadows. Why is it OK to talk about physical injury, but not about emotional hurt? The stigma attached to mental illness harms us all, shaming the victim and making it hard to provide help. How we can help someone if society tells them not to talk about it?

This is not the first hushed-up suicide attempt in our community. I know of several recent deaths here that could quite possibly be self-inflicted. It’s time to break the silence. It could save lives.

I know something about this. My son, suffering severe depression, killed himself 13 years ago. I will never believe that he had to die at age 24.

Steve Cartwright
Tenants Harbor

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