Your Health: 4-5-13 Fighting depression, suicide

Depression is an illness that should be taken seriously.

Mental Health experts say severe depression can lead to a person taking his or her own life.

ABC 33/40's Linda Mays shows us how one local family found a new purpose while in the midst of pain and grief.

A hunting enthusiast, best friend, and giving,

That is how family and friends describe Todd Parsons.

They remember... good days and tough days, living with anxiety and depression.

{}Todd's father, Tommy Parsons says, "Todd has a disease or had a disease just like cancer that just ate away his mind to where he couldn't function on a daily basis."

Todd Parsons ended his life in August 2012 at age 28.

Now, raising awareness about severe depression and suicide is part of Tommy and Nancy parsons new mission.


Parsons says, they heard how he had let them down, but he didn't let them down. Todd was his dad's best friend. He struggle with that . That hurts to go to bed every night thinking that. We're so proud of Todd. It's tough.

A proud father and mother are keeping their son's memory alive .

To help others having a tough time battling depression last August the Parsons started The Todd Michael Parsons Memorial fund.

The funds go to the psychiatric unit at Brookwood Medical Center where Todd spent three days, receiving therapy twice a day.

Plus, there he got his anti depressant medications in check.

Tommy Parson says, "When I picked him up it was like old Todd again. He was for the next couple of days he talked about he wanted to get back into the mission."


Todd's Mother, Nancy says, "When Todd came out from Brookwood, he was like the old Todd. We went shopping, took the kids swimming and to the zoo."


"I appreciate what they did for Todd and giving me a week and a half may be."

His mother also cherishes a bracelet, her son made while at Brookwood.

Nancy says. "I put the charms on it."

The psych unit patients' would also make purposeful artwork like this painting created by six patients there. There's a meaning behind each of them.


The Parsons hope to help provide art supplies and other needed items for the patients.

Now, they are planning their second fundraiser, called the Allie Walk involving their furry family member, seven year old Allie who was Todd's dog ..that gives the Parsons much comfort.

Tommy Parsons says, "She's been our rock through this."

"She'd keep him company when he was laid up. She was such an important part of Todd's life."

A life they say was all about giving. In fact, the Todd Michael Parsons Memorial Fund is already making a difference .

They (Brookwood) had a patient that had been there a few weeks. The patient didn't have anyone to pick him up or a way to get home . So, the money came from the Todd's memorial fund.


Tommy Parsons looked up and said, "Well, son you took care of that one for him."

Dr. Armand Schachter, a local psychiatrist says, "Depression is a deadly disease, even with treatment."

And suicide is a leading cause of death in the U.S.

The donations will actually go to the Brookwood Medical Auxiliary which is a non-profit organization of volunteers, and are earmarked for psychiatric services.

The Allie Walk is this Sunday, April 7th at 1:00p.m. at Veterans Park in Hoover. There will be activities until 5:00pm.


The Parsons have a website where people can get more information, the warning signs, sign up for the walk, make a donation or read about Todd.

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