Today is World Mental Health Day and we have reason to celebrate in Ottawa. The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre has just received an endowment from the Do It For Daron campaign to create a chair in suicide prevention research.
We’re moving along nicely from that place where no one talked about depression. I am so proud and amazed watching the Richardsons – the pain they must still feel and the strength they show to make sure that others don’t have to go through what they did.
“The assumption was that because Daron died of suicide due to mental illness, we should feel her life is in some way diminished, unworthy of a memorial. Unworthy of publicly memorializing our daughter. We refuse to rewrite her story to allow shame, ignorance and stigma to shroud our daughter’s life, which ended too soon.” – Stephanie Richardson (as quoted in the Ottawa Citizen).
When I thought about suicide as a teenager I thought that it would be a relief for everyone, not having to deal with my crap anymore. Now that I have a daughter I have a much better idea of the hole I would have left behind.
Daron left such a hole that her friends created a campaign in her memory and have raised over $4 million to try to help others like her. The people who loved her have taken the opportunity to create a legacy for Daron that they feel she deserves.