Melissa Gilbert talks candidly about her father’s suicide

Melissa Gilbert’s father died when she was 11. She always thought he died from complications of a stroke. She didn’t discover, until just a few years ago, that her father committed suicide. She tells Oprah Winfrey that she had to hire investigators to find this out. That’s how much of a family secret it was. If mental illness is stigmatized, it’s no surprise that suicide is, as well. That’s why I think Melissa deserves a lot of credit for opening up about this. If I could talk to her personally, I would tell her not to blame herself, or wonder about what more she could have done. But I give her credit for using her celebrity in a powerful way. Thank you, Melissa.

 

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