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  • Susan Fletcher, Ph.D.

Do Ask and Do Tell by Susan Fletcher, Ph.D.

Life gets busy for each of us. Time goes by. Then we get some kind of news that stops us in our tracks and reminds us how precious life is.

Two weeks ago I got some very sad news from my friend Don from high school. Don emailed me to tell me that our high school friend, Eric (pictured left), had been found dead in New York the day before.

Don began his email like this: "I don't know if you have seen this yet. Not sure there is a good way to tell you. I stumbled across this while surfing the web this morning."

Eric Wishnie was an Emmy award winning television news producer. Click here to see NBC Nightly News coverage. Very accomplished, very charming, and unforgettable. He was in the group Don and I hung around with in high school. We talked infrequently in the past 25 years and reconnected about two years ago and communicated by email. He talked to me about his marriage, his dog, what he loved about his job, and how he kept in touch with few people from home. I teased him for being designated as a distinguished alumni from the University of Florida. He sent me the article with his picture. The same picture I saw as I read about his death.

I hadn't heard from Eric in the last 6 months. I didn't know the trouble he was in. I didn't ask and he didn't tell.

For this month's eNewsletter, we had an article prepared about depression. Somehow, after learning more about Eric's death, the article wasn't enough to do the job of educating people about what to look for in people they care about. Instead, read an article about my friend Eric (click here) and look for the signs in people you care about. Do ask and do tell.

For more information about depression, please read the original article entitled "Depression is Treatable" that was planned for this month. You can also learn more about substance abuse and depression through

And Don, thanks for sending me the email.

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