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Luke Richardson discusses daughter’s suicide, promotes ‘Do it for Daron’ campaign

Feb 3, 2011, 10:00 AM EDT

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While the act of suicide seems like a very personal and sad decision, such a choice can have a huge impact on that person’s family. Former NHL defenseman Luke Richardson’s family was devastated by the death of 14-year-old daughter Daron in November, but they are trying to raise awareness regarding the issue by running a “Do it for Daron” campaign.

Next Tuesday, February 8th will mark a big day for that campaign, as Alan Adams of NHL Fanhouse reports that the group’s first annual Do it For Daron Purple Pledge day will take place. Adams writes that Richardson hopes to raise money and awareness to treat mental health issues that might lead to suicides.

Richardson himself donated $100,000 to the cause, matching the impressive amount reportedly generated by Daron’s high school friends.

“At that very tragic time in November we made the decision to speak publicly about suicide because we wanted to make a difference in other people’s lives,” Richardson told reporters. “We want to be honest in the hopes we can help another family avoid the loss of someone special to them.”

Richardson said his family’s own lack of knowledge “put us in this path of disbelief, sorrow and despair.”

Richardson also appealed to parents, coaches, teachers and friends to reach out to someone on Feb. 8 and talk about depression, mental health and suicide.

“We have an opportunity to be a model for other cities and communities,” Richardson said. “We need to change the culture of this topic and make it OK to speak about mental health and suicide.”

To learn more about the “D.I.F.D.” campaign, visit the Web site.

(Photo via NHL Fanhouse and Getty Images.)

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