Why I built a memorial to my youngest brother who committed suicide

Justin Thompson

Why I built a memorial to my youngest brother who committed suicide.   I heard today for the first time, by a rival in-law, that he believes that I created my brother’s website to make a bunch of money.   It inspired me to make this video to talk about it more;  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uGMIkq7LdXA

But it is an important subject.  My brother, like many of my classmates from Utah, choose to end their own lives.  Suicide, and especially teen suicide in Utah is epidemic worthy.  So is prescription drug use/abuse.  Ref;  Utah No. 1 for Prescription Drugs – Deseret News

I only ever wanted my brother’s death to mean something, to not just be completely meaningless.  Most of the website is pictures of him, with other members of my family.
But there are a few articles about prescription drug abuse and teen suicide in Utah.   See more at  www.Justin-Thompson.com

The problem in Utah as newspaper articles have rightly coined, is that this is a “Silent Epidemic” in Utah.  One that most people sweep under the rug.  People don’t want to be associated with mental health problems, or rebellious teens, so most people do as my parents did and say “it was an accident with his prescriptions”.   Rather than fessing up and saying “he committed suicide”.

When my friend Katie Packard died in Utah, she had made her parents aware that she needed others to know about this terrible vise and darkness of addiction.   So instead of sweeping it under the rug, Katie’s parents bravely made a case for paying attention to the mental health needs of teens and young adults.

You can reference Katie’s obituary right here;   http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/saltlaketribune/obituary.aspx?pid=117845214

I praise her parents for being so brave and so honest, I am sure that their bravery has helped many kids and young adults since.

My brother was one of the most important people in my life and one of my best friends in the world, and I miss him with all of my heart.

~Ryan Richard Thompson


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