Yesterday as I was driving my son to his high school, traffic reports advised that a close-by road was closed because of an accident. I avoided it on my way in but had to drive past on my way to work. News crews were everywhere. Hm, I thought. Must be a big accident.
I googled once I got to work and read this:
Earlier this morning, the driver’s mother called 911, according to a recording of the call.
She said he left their home in White Oak in the middle of the night. He has expressed suicidal thoughts and has been depressed, she told a dispatcher.
A tracking device inside her son’s green, 1998 Toyota Avalon showed the vehicle was stopped where the highway ends just before Montgomery Road, she said.
It also indicated the vehicle was going 112 mph, she told the dispatcher.
The mother said she feared her son’s vehicle had crashed, and he was not picking up his phone.
Out of the ordinary. As both my children are in high school, I felt queasy.
Sure enough, later in day I read that the driver was a senior at a local high school and had died. Local outlets report that the crash is under investigation – no references to the early morning report about the mother’s 911 call.
If you find yourself thinking, “Out of respect for the family” or “Now’s not the time” I ask you two questions:
- Is suicide the only cause of death that is withheld out of respect for the family?
- If not now, when?
I’ve argued here before that sticking mental illness into dark, shameful corner respects no one. We have to shine a light on the issue of mental illness and depression before we can begin to understand it.
Here is a list of resources I’ve posted before.