Did Belcher's family and friends recognize the downward spiral he was in?

It is unbelievably sad that Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher killed his girlfriend and then himself ("The tragedy of Jovan Belcher," Dec. 4).

The couple had a 3-month-old baby, and it's heart-wrenching when something like this happens. It brings me to tears every time I think of it because it didn't have to end this way.

Severe mental illness does not have to end in suicide and murder for the victims and pain for those left behind. Sadly, men are more likely to use lethal weapons like guns when they attempt suicide. They are also less likely than women to seek counseling.

Sometimes it may seem as if life is hopeless and there is nothing left to live for. But there is help available. People just have to ask. They can go to the emergency room, tell their family or call a friend.

There are usually signs when someone is in a downward spiral. People need to be mindful of those they love. It is always better to ask them if they plan to hurt themselves or others and be wrong than it is to say nothing and be right.

Karen Wood

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