POWELL— The family of Thomas “TG” Howard wanted to make sure they didn’t hide his mental illness and depression, listing it as his cause of death in his obituaries. It was important to find a positive in the unthinkably hard reality of how he died.
Howard took his own life Christmas day, 2015. The popular athlete at Cody High School who joined the Navy after graduation had first turned to alcohol and then opiates in an effort to deal with his mental illness.
“A lot of people that struggle with mental illness also struggle with addiction,” said Howard’s sister Heather Lang, of Powell. Howard was hooked on heroin. “If you have an addiction to hard drugs like he was, you’re gonna go to jail eventually,” she continued.
Howard had seen his fair share of trouble with law enforcement.
They had talked on the phone Christmas Eve. He said something to Lang that she misunderstood.
“They’re coming to get me,” he told her.
She would later find out her beloved brother attempted to end his life that night. The following day he hung himself.
Source: Stopping the stigma: After losing a loved one to suicide, Powell resident aims to help those suffering from mental illness