One person who has struggled with depression and suicidal
thoughts is a U-S Army veteran from La Crosse.
News 8's Sarah Thamer is here with a more personal
Donleigh Gaunky is no stranger to the topic of suicide.
He served in the U.S.
Army for a total of seven years.
but he says his deployment is not exaclty what triggered
his attempt at suicide.
oooh boy this is bad.
Those were Donleigh Gaunky's exact thoughts, moments
before he attempted to commit suicide in 2009.
Screw it I'm gonna walk out in front the biggest vehicle
that comes down that way.
Donleigh says his first attempt at suicide happened
without giving it too much thought, but it was the
two times after, when he was planning his suicide,
that put things into perspective:
None of these were related ironically enough to any
of my time in service most of them were kind of the
transitional period of what it's like to try to be
in a world where you dont feel like you fit in anymore,
to the civilian kind of things because of the things
And he says it was the reason, his suicidal thoughts,
were easily triggered.
When you have kind of a down day or a down week or
kind of just a bad interaction with somebody, it's
pretty easy to kind of go 'this isnt working, where
do I go from here? there is nothing else that kind
of seems work.
But one of the things that always held him back, was
his younger brother, who was killed in Iraq 11 years
I don't need to subject my brothers to another brother
being dead or my parents having another son killed
Behavioral health specialists say suicide, is not
just a one-person battle:
It affects family members, teachers, employers friends,
you know it isnt just a one single act, that only
affects the person, so it really takes a community
to help people heal and to help people access services
so that they can recover.
And Donleigh may still be on the road to recovery,
but he says facing his realities, helped him discover
In helping other people I'm finding a way to kind
of help my own self, deal with my own isues, it's
Donleigh just published a book in april titled End
of Hope: A Tale of a Veteran's Suicide.
The book highlights a military veteran who takes his
own life and the signs his family may have missed.
There will be a suicide prevention summit tomorrow
at the La Crosse Center from to .
The event aims to raise awareness and start conversations
about suicides in our community.