‘I’m urging you to reach out’: Lawmaker shares ‘very personal story’ of partner’s recent suicide

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In an effort to raise suicide awareness, U.S. Rep. Susan Wild, D-Penn., took to the House floor this week to recount a recent personal tragedy in her life.

“What most people don’t know is that Kerry’s death was a suicide,” she said of her partner, 63-year-old Kerry Acker, who died last month.

She described him as apparently fulfilled with an active social life, loving family and financial security.

“Why am I sharing this very personal story?” Wild asked. “Because we all need to recognize that mental health issues know no boundaries. I do not want anyone else to suffer as he suffered, nor for any family to suffer as mine has over the past month.”

Her message went on to include advice for others in a similar situation.

“To anyone out there who is struggling: I’m urging you to reach out,” Wild said. “There are people who love you and who will suffer more than you know if they lose you.”