Former Manitoba MLA Ted Marcelino attempted suicide 29 years ago. (Ted Marcelino Facebook)
Updated: April 17, 2020, 10:40 AM
“It is Ok for you to cry. It will be alright. ”
Teodoro ‘Ted’ Alcuitas
Editor, Philippine Canadian News.Com
He jokes about it now.
But 29 years ago, Ted Marcelino almost lost his life through the barrel of his own gun.
Despondent because he lost his house by defaulting in his mortgage, he wanted to take his own life.
The gun turned out to be a dud.
He reached out to the Suicide Hotline and cried.
“It is Ok for you to cry. It will be alright,” said the woman at the other end of the line.
Today, Marcelino is alive – a devoted husband and grandfather.
He is enjoying his retirement after serving two terms as the NDP Member of the Legislature (MLA) for the Riding of Tyndall from 2011 to 2019.
Here, in his own words posted in his Facebook page is how he recalled that fateful day.
“Back in 1991, October 20, I had a 12-gauge gun, single shot, Canadian Tire supplied ammo, loaded and in my mouth. I obviously wanted to kill myself. Why? Because I lost my home at 27 Oakhurst Crescent when I was unable to make my monthly mortgage payments. Mental depression took over my life, and almost took it.
One phone number that I called was the Suicide Hotline, answered by an angelic voice of a woman who waited for me to talk and then she said: “It is Ok for you to cry. It will be alright”. And I did. Like what I am doing now while writing this.
Friends, relatives, family: “It is OK for you to cry. It will be alright.”
In case you are wondering if I pressed the trigger: Yes, I did. Canadian Tire ammo I bought back in 1980 did not fire. Thank you, Canadian Tire.”
Asked why he shared his story he said “it is to provide hope in the current context of hopelessness and despair among those who are struggling.”
“There is no substitute for a live human voice, at the other end of a conversation, attuned to the need for compassion, empathy and camaraderie of the human race. Technology and our reliance in its instant delivery of answers will be and should be a thing of the past as a substitute to the angelic voice of concern and care that only a human voice can deliver, unequivocally and with certitude,” he adds.
“It’s normal for situations like Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) to affect your mental health. Everyone will experience these events in their own way. It is completely natural to feel stress and concern during these times and so it is important to practice positive coping strategies,” a Ottawa Public Health website states.
Ottawa Public Health Graphic
On March 27, 2020, Manitoba launched a free online counselling program to help people struggling with anxiety caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The program will pair people with therapists free of charge.
In British Columbia, registered psychologists are offering their services for free to people who need it.
It include everyone — all you have to do is call 604-827-0847 or go online to the BCPA’s website and fill out a form.
“You sign up, you tell us when you want to be called, we will call you back that day,” said psychologist Beverley Kort.
The federal government as with other provinces have launched a portal for mental health support.