“We Have to Take the Dark Cloud of Stigma & Fear Away From Mental Illness…”

RICHMOND, R.I. — You would be hard-pressed to find a more welcoming place than Cindy and John Duncan’s home. Bowls of fresh fruit and just-baked blueberry bread await a visitor. Coffee’s on. Laughter and good will abound.

It is here, in this comfortable environment, a farmhouse surrounded by verdant fields, that a terrible tragedy unfolded. And from it, good things have emerged.

This Saturday will bring one of them.

July will bring another.

A life lost will be remembered, and people who live today with mental illness will find empathy and kindness — and tangible help — as they move toward recovery.

Eleven years have passed since the Duncans found their only daughter, Cassandra Grace, dead in her room. Cassie had died of suicide. She was 14. It was Dec. 26, 2005, the day after the family of six celebrated Christmas, unaware of the darkness Cassie had been privately experiencing.

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