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Friday, November 13, 2009

Speaker Glenn Richardson recently attempted suicide

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From the AJC minutes ago:

Richardson, in a statement to the media, said he has been suffering from depression for the past two-and-a-half years since separating and subsequently divorcing his wife.

“While depression often seems to be resolved on occasion, when personal trials or tribulations arise, it flares back up,” Richardson said in the statement. “That is what occurred with me. My depression became so severe that I took substantial steps to do harm to myself and to take my own life. I am thankful that because of medical intervention that because of medical intervention I have instead been able to now receive help and support.”

And the reactions are already forthcoming. From the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention:

“We are encouraged by Speaker of the House Glenn Richardson’s willingness to speak out about his battle with depression.  We hope his courage will bring much needed awareness to this public health crisis,” said Christina Owens, area director for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Metro Atlanta.

“Unfortunately, suicide and mental disorders such as depression are surrounded by stigma and misconceptions which prevent many people from seeking the help they  desperately need.”

And from Richardson himself, via the AJC's Galloway:

“As you know, in an effort to protect my family, I have and will continue to have a practice that I do not discuss my personal and private life. However, in this situation, I feel compelled to speak out in order to possibly help others. For the past two and a half years, ever since my separation and divorce, I have struggled with the disease of depression. Depression is a disease which affects millions of people everyday in this country. Like most people who suffer from depression, I regularly see a physician and take prescription medications."

(Photo by Joeff Davis)

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