Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Anne of Green Gables author suicide highlights mental illness

FREDERICTON– The revelation that beloved author Lucy Maud Montgomery, who wrote the Anne of Green Gables books, committed suicide in 1942 is being lauded for helping generate public discussion on mental health issues.

Montgomery's battle with mental illness was known for many years, but confirmation of her death by a drug overdose at the age of 67 only came this weekend in an article written by her granddaughter, Kate Macdonald Butler, in the Globe and Mail newspaper.

In the article, Macdonald Butler said it's hoped that writing about the issue will result in less secrecy and more awareness of the suffering of people with depression.

"I have come to feel very strongly that the stigma surrounding mental illness will be forever upon us as a society until we sweep away the misconception that depression happens to other people, not to us – and most certainly not to our heroes and icons," she wrote.

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