This post was submitted by Melina Acosta, Member of Active Minds Student Advisory Committee and President of Active Minds at UT-San Antonio.
In November 2013, I knew little about mental health aside from the fact that my dad was battling depression. I avoided the topic of suicide on that autumn night when my dad mentioned it because I did not know how to respond. Sensing that it made me uncomfortable, my dad made that the first and last time he ever brought it up.
He died by suicide less than a week later.
I was nearly done with my first semester of college at the time of my dad’s death. That fall, I had gone home every so often to visit my dad, whose second bout of depression had grown increasingly worse over the semester. The man I had known all of my life to be a silly, ambitious, and energetic businessman was suddenly a taciturn, lethargic, and sad stranger.