Adults who have been concussed are at an increased risk of suicide, a recently released study in Canada has found.
Dave Duerson (2011) and Junior Seau (2012), both Pro Bowl defenders and legendary tough men, shot themselves in the chest so their brains, on request, could be evaluated. Both came back positive for CTE.
Most shockingly, Kansas City Chief linebacker Jovan Belcher in 2012 shot his girlfriend Kasandra Perkins and them drove himself to the Chiefs training facility where he shot himself in front of coaches and staff. His body was later exhumed and he was discovered to have been also suffering from CTE.
In 2012 also Ray Easterling, an Atlanta Falcon in the 1970s who was suffering from dementia, killed himself.
Last year, Adrian Robinson, just 25, hanged himself. His family later announced that a posthumous diagnosis of CTE.
Rugby has not been untouched by this type of tragedy either.
Taranaki and Waikato rugby player Ryan Wheeler committed suicide in Sydney aged just 27 in 2000.
His family and friends believe Wheeler was depressed following a horrific head injury in a Ranfurly Shield match against Otago the year before, when he was accidentally kneed in the side of the head and had to be stretchered from the field.
His life had become a series of migraine headaches and he had difficulty concentrating.
Where to get help:
• Lifeline: 0800 543 354 (available 24/7)
• Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO) (available 24/7)
• Youth services: (06) 3555 906
• Youthline: 0800 376 633
• Kidsline: 0800 543 754 (available 24/7)
• Whatsup: 0800 942 8787 (1pm to 11pm)
• The Word
• Depression helpline: 0800 111 757 (available 24/7)
• Rainbow Youth: (09) 376 4155
• CASPER Suicide Prevention
If it is an emergency and you feel like you or someone else is at risk, call 111.