Richard Sherman’s situation shows that lives can be saved, with help from family and others

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Last month’s incident involving veteran cornerback Richard Sherman arose by all appearances from mental-health challenges with which he has been dealing. As reported by Patrick Malone of the Seattle Times, the issues date back to at least December 2020.

In the middle of that month, Sherman’s family removed four handguns and a semiautomatic rifle from the home. In late January, however, Sherman sent text messages to his wife suggesting that he intended to take his own life. At the same time, he tried to acquire another gun.

Sherman’s wife contacted a friend at the King County Sheriff’s office, seeking the issuance of an Extreme Risk Protection Order. By February, such an order was issued, and it successfully deescalated the crisis.

“Time is one of our most effective tools,” King County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Sgt. Tim Meyer explained to Malone. “When we can slow things down, delay delivery of a firearm, we can harness the resources we have to get someone in crisis the services they need. It is a team effort in these cases to do that, and it takes families coming forward to allow us to help them with this work.”

The ability in King County to obtain a Extreme Risk Protection Order became law in 2016, via a voter-approved initiative. It’s something that hopefully will be copied in other jurisdictions. In Sherman’s case, it may have saved his life.

Millions of Americans struggle with mental health issues. The longstanding stigma has greatly subsided. If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts or if you have concerns about someone who could be, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.

That’s a number that should be in everyone’s phone contacts. I just put it in mine. You should put it in yours.

We wish Sherman and his family the best as he works through these issues. And we hope that others who are dealing with similar issues will find inspiration in Sherman’s experiences to get the assistance they need. No temporary struggles should ever result in a permanent solution. Things can and will get better, and resources are readily available to help anyone dealing with such struggles to get through a moment of crisis.

So whether it’s you or a family member or a friend or a colleague or someone you just happen to stumble across wherever you may be, it’s important to have immediate access to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Put the number in your phone now.


8 responses to “Richard Sherman’s situation shows that lives can be saved, with help from family and others

  1. In this ONE instance, the red flag law worked.
    However, they have the potential to be massively abused.

  2. Great message.

    I hope everybody out there gets the help they need. Talk to your friends and family and tell them you are glad tp have them in your life and are proud of them. Simple words with meaning and feelings behind them go a long way.

  3. I can understand why his family is upset that this information was released by King County Sherriff’s Office and became public, but this story could save lives.

    I wish Richard Sherman the best and I hope he and his family get the help they need

  4. Of course the point of “red flag laws” or in this case “extreme risk protection order” is to make the authorities aware someone may intend to harm themselves or others. If it prevents even one person from harming themselves or others, then it was worth it. Again, your rights end where their exercise effects others negatively, that includes yourself.

  5. “In this ONE instance, the red flag law worked.
    However, they have the potential to be massively abused.”

    It only kept him from buying a new gun which would be the end result of any abuses you are worried about. The family took his existing guns away.

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