Family honors life of Iowa nurse by raising awareness to mental health

Iowa News

DES MOINES, Iowa (WHO-TV) – September is Suicide Prevention Month. For a local family and staff members at the Methodist Emergency Room, this month hits close to home. A year ago, one of their own took her own life.

On Sunday, Crystal Glazebrook’s friends and family had an event honoring her life and bringing awareness to mental health struggles.

“Crystal was a really amazing person, always had a big smile on her face,” Crystal Glazebrook’s sister Angela Bissett said.

“Very outgoing happy, bright, intelligent, smart, professional,” Crystal’s mom Linda Glazebrook said.

But 36-year-old Crystal Glazebrook was silently struggling with her mental health and took her own life in September of 2019.

“We got no warning signs. Nothing that she was even considering suicide. I would have bet all the money in the world that this would have never happened to her or our family,” Bissett said.

Crystal was an emergency room supervisor and nurse at Methodist Medical Center for 15 years.

“They see death, they see accidents, they see abuse, they see all these things, all day every day, especially in emergency departments. That can be so taxing on their mental health and on what they have to take home with them every day,” said Nicole Martinson, an Iowa chapter board member for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

Bissett wants other medical providers to remember to take care of their own mental health.

“Their jobs are so incredibly hard. I hope that what we’re doing today can help nurses and doctors realize that it is so important to take care of their mental health, not just their patients’ mental health and physical health,” Bissett said.

With balloons, multi-colored beads and a plaque that will hang forever in the emergency room, Sunday’s event acts as a reminder that even the brightest people can go through the darkest times.

“If only we could get that message out to people who are struggling quietly and never lead on and you think they’re the most educated well-off person handling life beautifully as it comes and dealing with everything and not even seeing what’s happening,” Linda Glazebrook said.

Crystal’s family wants to remind people to check in on their loved ones, even if they seem alright. If you or someone you know needs help, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1800-273-8255.

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