On July 12th, 2014, the life of 18-year-old Conrad Roy was changed forever when he committed suicide. Unfortunately, suicides happen every day, so under normal circumstances, many would have never heard the story of Mr. Roy. It's not his actions that are causing such a stir, but rather, the actions of his 20-year-old girlfriend Michelle Carter. Throughout their relationship, Carter continuously encouraged Roy to commit suicide, and was the one who convinced Roy to carry out his plan.

Carter and her lawyers claim she had nothing to do with his death for more than one reason

1. She was over 300 miles away at the time of his death.

2. His death was ruled a suicide, not a homicide, so there is no reason to investigate.

3. Her judgement was clouded by her own mental health issues and subsequent medication, which caused her to become delusional.

4. She thought she was helping Roy by telling him to go through with it.

Judge Moniz saw through this, and Carter was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter. This is so important for the mental health community because, for once, the correct ruling in a mental health case occurred. So often we hear lawyers using mental health as an excuse for their defendants, and sentencing is often not as heavy as a result, but the truth is that the chances of mental illness causing one to act out and harm others is slim.

Millions of Americans live their everyday lives suffering from mental illness, and Roy is a perfect example of that. From the outside he lived an average life, with a supportive girlfriend, but the reality of the situation is that people suffering from mental illness need a stronger and more active support system than just their neurotypical counterparts, and a failed support system can have fatal consequences.

What about Carter?

Yes, she may have legitimate mental health issues, but antidepressants don't cause you to become delusional. Furthermore, anyone who has wanted to kill themselves before knows how horrible it feels to be in such a low place. Why would you want to encourage anyone to go there, especially someone you love? If she truly suffered the way she claims, she would have tried to save Roy, not encourage him.

The moral of the story? Words can kill, and there are consequences. This is such an important message to get across to the public, because we are only now realizing how powerful words can be. Suicide is 100% preventable, and suicide is not one-sided. Keep mental health an open topic with your loved ones, and continue to keep an eye out for those around you who may be suffering, because, while it only takes one negative message to end a life, if only takes one positive one to save it.