By Bryan Boggiano
Mayor Scott Brook is here to tell residents that it is okay not to be okay.
The city uploaded a video Monday for Suicide Prevention Month with Mayor Brook. In it, he talked about the importance of seeking help for mental health issues. He also talked about his mom, Marcia, who died as a result of suicide.
In the video, Brook said his mom was the matriarch of his family that included his father, Seymour, and his three younger sisters.
Brook graduated from Tulane University in 1987. That is when he noticed that something was different about his mom. At the graduation ceremony, she was quiet, and he described her as not acting herself.
“What I later learned, and did not recognize then, was that my mom was struggling with depression,” he said in the video.
Shortly after his graduation, Marcia died from suicide. She was 58. Brooke was only 23. His sisters were 16, 19, and 21 years old.
“It was the worst time of my life,” he said. “Our world as a family was shattered. Our hearts were broken. Losing someone you love so tragically leaves a hole.”
Brook said it was difficult dealing with her death, but between counseling, friends, and family, he was able to move on by remembering the life she lived and the unconditional love she offered.
He said that mental health is not something to feel embarrassed about, and no one should feel bad about reaching out for help.
“What I wish my mom knew then, and what I want others to know now, is that feeling depressed is nothing to be ashamed of,” he said. “A person does not choose to suffer from depression, or anxiety, or any other mental illness, and there are resources available.”
Suicide prevention and mental health are important issues to talk about since they do not discriminate against anybody. Because of this, mental illness should not be taboo, he said.
“Seek help if you are suffering. Seek assistance if you see a loved one struggling.”
If you, a friend, or a loved one are struggling with mental health issues, reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. For 211 Broward, dial 2-1-1 or call 954-537-0211, or text your zip code to 898211.
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