It was a Wednesday morning, May 18th, 2016. I left my house fully intending to take my own life. I knew where I was going to go, and how I was going to do it. On my way there, I passed the Retreat. I pulled into the parking lot, locked my gun in the glove compartment, and then locked my keys in the car so I couldn’t leave. I walked through the doors and said, “I need help.”


I’d battled depression for decades. It got to the point where once the suicidal thoughts started I couldn’t turn them off. I felt like I was the only person in the world going through this. The stigma associated with mental illness was a HUGE obstacle to overcome—What will people think? I am the sheriff; a veteran; a husband, father, and grandfather.

“I’m fine!” I had said it so often … all while composing suicide notes to family members in my mind. What would I say to my 6-year-old grandson, Hunter?

Once at the Retreat, I learned that mental illness is indeed an illness, and effective treatments are available to help people take their lives back. There’s HOPE! Every time I look at my wife, my kids, grandchildren—Thank you!

Please take this opportunity to offer your support. The Retreat’s work is life-changing and life-saving. Know that when you give to the Brattleboro Retreat, you are helping real people like me. And we are so grateful.

Warm regards,

Sheriff Keith Clark, ret.