Last week, meteorologists all over the country were saddened to hear that a colleague had passed away. Although all death is devastating, this one hit a little too close to home.
Having recently graduated from college, Russell Bird moved hours away from family and friends for his first on-air job as a meteorologist. He struggled with being so far away from home and not making much money.
We can all relate to this.
The meteorology community is pretty small, and we all keep in touch on Facebook. On April 3, he asked for advice and words of encouragement for making it through the tough grind. Even though several people reached out to comfort him, we later learned that he had taken his life the next day.
At times like this, we start to wonder what more we can do to help. Raising awareness is a good start. Suicide is in the top 10 leading causes of death in the United States.
We wore red today not only in remembrance of Bird, but also to start a conversation about an issue that has become too common. It is important to be able to recognize signs of depression and also to know where to go for available resources, education and support.
You never know what someone may be going through and the potential you have to help. Here are some resources:
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255 Reaching out about depression and suicide: http://www.roadshelp.org/mission.php
News 13 meteorologist Mallory Nicholls and chief meteorologist Bryan Karrick wear red for Russell on Tuesday, April 12, 2016.