INFORUM.com | WDAZ.com

WDAY: The News Leader

Published October 09, 2012, 09:19 PM

Tragic death in Moorhead sparks talk on suicide and mental health

Moorhead, MN (WDAY TV) -- The tragic death of a Moorhead woman has sparked a much needed conversation, local mental health experts say,about suicide and mental health issues that face our community.

By: Kevin Wallevand, WDAY

Moorhead, MN (WDAY TV) -- The tragic death of a Moorhead woman has sparked a much needed conversation, local mental health experts say,about suicide and mental health issues that face our community.

55-year old Kristi Garden died Saturday after she jumped from the 34th Street overpass in Moorhead and was struck by a westbound car on Interstate 94.

Garden's loved ones say Kristi, an accomplished opera singer and musician, battled depression and was on a roller-coaster ride of treatment, medication and professional help.

Just imagine what life must have been like for Kristi Garden those moments before she made the decision to die by suicide. You can't. Today, those who loved and surrounded her these past few years wrestle with that today as well. Kristi's sister Julie talked to us about the sister who shared the same crib and bedroom til their high school graduation day. The sudden loss today, still so raw.

After days of treatment here at Sanford, Kristi was released to family. Her sister Julie tells us they picked her up and spent the afternoon with her. Minutes after family left, Kristi went for a walk.

She never returned. Jumping from the 34th street bridge to Interstate 94 below. Mental Health Experts say this case is like many. People who battle the seemingly endless roller coaster of depression, medication protocol, and the series of professionals who try to help them. While a public often keeps mental health conversations in the closet.

Susan Rae Helgaland/Mental Health America of ND: "I hope people will talk about mental illness and depression the same they talk about heart disease and diabetes. There is no blame,no one is responsible, the individual made that decision and it happened."

Of course the family has questions. What more could have been done. Was Kristi sent home too early. Why did a woman who kept her battles with mental illness so private, choose such a public way to end her life.

Susan: "Hopelessness, despair and pain, so intense that the will to live is gone."

In the end, again, the only answer may be, the pain is something none of us will know.

Garden's funeral is set for this Sunday at Gethsemane in south Fargo.

Tags: