Rep. Susan Wild said it was “a huge struggle” for her to reveal that her partner’s recent death was a suicide.
“It was really right up to the last minute I wasn’t certain I could do it,” the Pennsylvania Democrat told CNN’s Kate Bolduan on “At This Hour” Friday.
In an emotional speech on the House floor Wednesday night, Wild shared that it was the one-month anniversary of the death of her life partner, Kerry Acker.
“What most people don’t know is that Kerry’s death was a suicide,” Wild said, adding that she was sharing her story because “I do not want anyone else to suffer.”
Wild told CNN she felt the need to speak out because her “personal way of dealing with crisis and grief is to try to do something of action.”
Wild said she recently began researching and reading about suicide in hopes of understanding more about the issue — and came to realize the prevalence of suicide.
“I hadn’t realized how much it had affected people who shouldn’t necessarily have a care in the world,” Wild told CNN. “And that was what made me speak out because I want to be an educator. I want to learn as much as I can about this subject and help others understand, especially the people around someone who may be feeling suicidal.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide is a leading cause of death in the US, and suicide rates have increased in nearly every state from 1999 through 2016.