Letter of love
When in March of 2013 Kevin, our oldest son, took his life at the age of 41, we were shocked and devastated. We, his brothers, his life partner Deanna Quinn, his aunts, cousins and friends were not prepared for his death. There were and are so many unanswered questions.
In the aftermath of Kevin’s death, you reached out to express your sympathy, love, and support. We remain thankful and truly believe that it is because of you and the many others who have been there for us that we have managed to get through this tragic loss of our son.
To help alleviate some of the pain of Kevin’s death, we began to research and learn what we could about suicide. The facts were astounding:
- Suicide is an epidemic. One person takes their own life in the United States every 13 minutes.
- One person in the world takes his or her own life every 40 seconds.
- Suicide for people ages 35-64 is the fourth leading cause of death for that age group.
We also had no idea of the numbers of books and articles that have been written on the subject nor did we know of the many local, state and national organizations that exist to deal with suicide and the mental illnesses that often accompany it. We learned of groups that exist solely to support survivors of suicide. We are not sure, but, of course, will always wonder, had we known more about suicide, its causes and possible methods of prevention, might we have been able to help Kevin?
We will never know the answer to that question. We do know, however, that there is a great need to spread the word that suicide occurs among men and women of all ages, that it crosses all racial, ethnic and religious lines, and that it occurs at all economic levels of society. We also know that the general public needs to be more aware of the facts about suicide and mental illness. The stigma surrounding them must be erased so that individuals and families are comfortable seeking help just as they would for a physical illness.
We have founded Kevin’s Song, a nonprofit 501c3 organization, to provide a place where the individuals, groups and organizations that devote their energy to studying the problems of mental illness and suicide can come together in the Metropolitan Detroit area to share information and ideas with each other, with interested professionals, with the public and with the media. A website, conferences, beginning with one scheduled for April 2016 at The Inn at St. John’s in Plymouth, Michigan and a documentary film on suicide by award winning documentary film director and producer Keith Famie will be part of an ongoing forum designed to help us achieve our mission.
Please join with us to accomplish our mission of spreading the word that suicide is an epidemic and that we must do whatever we can to eradicate the stigma associated with mental illness and suicide by making a donation to Kevin’s Song.
Gail and John
Cofounders, Kevin’s Song