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Suicides of two mental health advocates in a week serve as a grim reminder

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Psychotherapist Stacey Freedenthal had helped many people overcome suicidal thoughts before she attempted to take her own life.

Freedenthal, in her 20s at the time and pursuing her master’s degree in social work, had been a volunteer at a suicide prevention hotline. When callers phoned her in crisis, she used her training and education to help.

Stacey Freedenthal

Stacey Freedenthal.Salvador Armendariz

But at the same time, the depression she had struggled with herself on-and-off for more than a decade was worsening. The advice she gave to others contemplating ending their lives didn’t seem applicable to her. One night in January 1996, six months after she finished her volunteer position at the hotline, she tried to kill herself.

“Nobody is immune from suicide,” including mental health professionals, said Freedenthal, who is now an associate professor at the University of Denver graduate school of social work and the creator of SpeakingofSuicide.com, a suicide prevention website.

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Image: Gregory Eells, head of counseling and psychological services at University of Pennsylvania, and Jarrid Wilson, a megachurch pastor who promoted mental health, died by suicide this week.Gregory Eells, head of counseling and psychological services at University of Pennsylvania, and Jarrid Wilson, a megachurch pastor who promoted mental health, died by suicide this week.Chelsea Stahl / NBC News; Alec Druggan; Harvest Christian Fellowship

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Click the link below for article:

https://www.nbcnews.com/health/mental-health/suicides-two-mental-health-advocates-week-serve-grim-reminder-n1052461

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