9 years ago October 16, 2001 I received a knock at my door, officers telling me that my little brother who was 2 months shy of his 21st birthday had passed away. My brother would seem to any normal person that he was healthy. He was hiding his problems from everyone. He was doing drugs, he was suffering very badly of depression and no one would ever know.

My brother had tried going to our local mental health hospital to receive help, but was told that they would call him and let him know if he QUALIFIES. QUALIFIES, really how do you question someone seeking help if they need help or not. So the mental health place called my house the day of my brother’s death to notify him that he DIDN’T qualify. I asked them what they go off of to determine if you qualify or not, and they said you have to be a danger to yourself or to others. I said really so how much of a danger to yourself do you need to be, and they said suicidal. I said of I’m glad you clarified that because my brother KILLED himself this morning. They were speechless!!!

I was mortified to lose my little brother to his depression; it took me a while to be able to not cry daily over it. I found a web site called AFSP American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. They do a walk every year they are 18 mile walks thru the night into the morning to bring awareness from the dark. This year it will be held in New York and I will be attending. Getting involved has really helped me to not only understand depression but to cope with my loss of my brother.