GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - A sister torn apart by a family suicide is choosing to help others as she tries to heal.
Sarah Mickelson knows healing can only come from helping others, because that's what her brother, Brian Tucker, would've wanted her to do.
"I guess there's always the why, but that's not something we'll get an answer for,” Sarah Mickelson said. "Brian was a compassionate person.
From the stories I hear from his students, he was the kind of teacher that would jump up on his desk to get people to get excited about lessons."
To his students at Iola-Scandinavia High School, Tucker was a father figure.
To his family, Sarah said, he was a jokester.
Suicide is a word no sister ever wants to say, but Sarah believes talking about it is the best way to spare others from the hurt she feels today.
"People can have diabetes or cancer or heart and lung disease and we see that as something we can support, but when it comes to something to do with mental illness, it's not something that people feel comfortable yet sharing,” Mickelson said.
Mickelson said the family knew Tucker had struggles, but there was never a way to predict this would happen.
"I don't think there's necessarily signs and that's what's so devastating about suicide is that you look back and you think back and you wonder, what did I miss?” said Mickelson.
Experts said loved ones can help a family member struggling with mental health by being a listening ear and attending counseling sessions with them.
Wisconsin Suicide Hotlines: http://www.suicide.org/hotlines/wisconsin-suicide-hotlines.html
Wisconsin Suicide Prevention: https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/injury-prevention/suicideprevention.htm
Family Services Crisis Center: https://www.familyservicesnew.org/crisis-center
Brown County Community Treatment Center: https://www.co.brown.wi.us/departments/?department=9f137b00db43
National Institute of Mental Health: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/suicide-prevention/index.shtml
Brown County Coalition for Suicide Prevention: https://www.familyservicesnew.org/crisis-center
Prevent Suicide Fox Cities: https://www.preventsuicidefoxcities.org/
Bellin Health Psychiatric Center: https://www.bellin.org/locations/hospital_surgery-locations/bellin-health-psychiatric-center
Willow Creek Behavioral Health: https://www.willowcreekbh.com
Parents' guide to suicide prevention: https://www.accreditedschoolsonline.org/resources/suicide-prevention
Project Semicolon: https://projectsemicolon.com