My son Todd was intelligent, handsome, and always looked out for the underdog. He was a prankster, an athlete and a leader, and captain of his HS and college football teams. Todd also had a life-long career serving the mental health needs of at-risk youth and families and was recognized for outstanding achievements and contributions in mental health counseling in 2007.
Todd and his fiancée had two children, and she also had a son from a previous relationship. When problems arose with her ex, Todd felt he needed to purchase his first gun, to protect their family.
Todd began to struggle with personal and mental health issues; we knew and tried to get him help. Hospitals didn’t seem to take it seriously- being a health counselor, Todd probably knew what to say to make people think he was okay. He helped so many people during his life, but ultimately, he could not figure out how to help himself.
I never thought anything like this would happen to my family, but nobody is immune to suicide or gun violence. I went to a counselor, family physician, and attorneys to try to figure out how to help my son before he took his life, but nobody told me about Indiana’s Extreme Risk Protection Order. If I had known it existed, my son may still be here today. He was struggling but means matter and easy access to firearms can determine whether a person at risk for suicide lives or dies. If you or your loved one is struggling, the best thing to do is find a safe place for that gun until they are no longer struggling.