Thank you, Tribune, for bringing Detective Brent Jex’s story to light. Both his story, and the related story of teens choosing violence, calls needed attention to the mental health and emotional fragility of every one of us. The policeman’s story shows how even the strongest and bravest of us can be defeated by recurrent trauma on the job. The teen’s story shows how even a mild-mannered, introverted person can turn to violence. Not to excuse their choices, both of these individuals were victims of their own emotional trauma. Often that trauma begins in childhood, with the loss of a parent or exposure to violence or abuse, called Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs).

May is National Mental Health Awareness Month (#EmotionalSafety) to shine some light and understanding on the mental and emotional issues that plague so many of our neighbors and family members. They do not need shame or isolation. They need our empathy, compassion, support and understanding.

William E. Cosgrove, Cottonwood Heights