RICHMOND – Thirty-five years ago, John and Cynthia Duncan opened a small farm stand on Kingstown Road in Richmond. They were three years into their marriage and optimistic about the future.

The Duncans went on to have children, and their small enterprise of fruit and berries, vegetables and trees proved so successful, they opened a much larger farm establishment across the street.

Then, the day after Christmas of 2005, the unthinkable happened. John and Cynthia’s 14-year-old daughter Cassandra committed suicide. A tenth-grader at Chariho High School, and a member of the National Honor Society, the teen had provided her parents with no clues about the demons tormenting her mind. It was during the aftermath of this tragedy that, Cynthia says, “We realized what a mess the mental health system is.”

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