Father discusses mental health after son's death

Father discusses mental health after son's death

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- A somber and gloomy October day as friends and family gather with heavy hearts.

“I was one of the first people to find out and it really affected me. It's still affecting me,” said Ian Curtis, friend. Curtis worked with 27-year-old Nate Walker. 

On Friday, Nate took his own life.  Nate lost his mother to pancreatic cancer in March.  A month later his sister Savannah Walker was shot and killed during a concert at the Tim Faulkner Art Gallery.  Both losses weighed heavy on Nate.

“He had a very hard time dealing with it and he just couldn't rebound from it,” Curtis said.

Nate left behind his father Dean Walker, already reeling from the unsolved murder of his daughter and the death of his wife not even a year earlier.

“I would say it's the hardest thing that any family could ever imagine going through,” said Chris Walker, Nate’s cousin.

But Dean stood tall--using these tragedies to start discussions on mental illness--saying his son Nate battled mental illness for years.  Many coming to pay their respects to Nate and support a father dealing with unimaginable loss.

“He's just such a giving person and as a community, we want to be here to support him,” said John Reams, family friend.

The rain fell as dozens remembered Nate and many comforted Dean, vowing to not give up hope.

“One was an act of violence and one is reaching out for help.  All you can do is communicate and the more we communicate the more we love each other and really talk to each other the better it will be,” Chris said.

Here in Kentuckiana, there are resources if you are dealing with mental illness or have suicidal thoughts. There is a national 24/7 hotline you can call at 1-800-273-8255.  If you don't feel comfortable calling, you can text TALK to 741741.  You can also visit kentuckysuicideprevention.org to learn more about Kentucky's Suicide Prevention Group.

© 2017 WHAS-TV


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