Michelle Carter’s Conviction Opens Up Conversations for Mental Health Awareness
The Supreme Court of Massachusetts upheld the conviction of Michelle Carter, who at the age of 17 coerced her boyfriend, Conrad Roy, into committing suicide through text messages. Carter, now 22, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to serve 15 months in prison in 2017.
With her conviction making national headlines, conversations about mental illness are increasing. The CDC warned in 2018 that suicide rates are rising all across America. According to the CDC, “Suicide is a leading cause of death in the US. Suicide rates increased in nearly every state from 1999 through 2016.”
On July 13, 2014, Roy drove to a deserted K-Mart parking lot where he killed himself by poisoning himself with carbon monoxide fumes from his truck. While contemplating the suicide, Roy texted Carter, “I’m in the worst pain right now. like it’s unbearable.”
Carter further encouraged him to commit suicide by responding, “I think it’s time to do it now then.”
With Carter’s encouragement, Roy went through with the suicide even though many text messages show his discomfort. For example, he told Carter he was “freaking out again” about killing himself.
According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP),
“In 2017, 47,173 Americans died by suicide.”
Also, the AFSP states, “1,400,000 Americans attempted suicide.”
With these statistics, many health professionals are advising families to reach out to loved ones to ensure they have a healthy state of mind. The CDC urges communities to educate themselves on the 12 suicide warning signs and to “promote safe and supportive environments.”
If you need help for yourself or someone else, please contact the
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Talk: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)