Nation
Special Report: The FBI sting that tore apart a small town

Topics

Suicide
Time to shine a light on suicide, and banish the shame
Time to shine a light on suicide, and banish the shame

I was 19 when my cousin shot himself to death. He wasn't addicted or mentally ill. He was 20 years old, going nowhere and tired of feeling like a disappointment, to his family and himself. For years I carried a burden of guilt. I believed I could have saved him if only I'd been nicer or paid more attention; that what he'd needed was a hug, a night out, a little encouragement. We understand suicide better now than I did then — but still not well enough to make sense of the death of Robin Williams. The comedy icon had a constellation of conditions that put him at high risk for suicide: a history of depression and addiction, physical ailments, career setbacks and...

Loading