September 23, 2016
"My nephew was a sweet, good-hearted kid, but he was sad and angry after the Army sent him home early with an honorary discharge because of issues revolving around a suicide attempt," Arnold, 57, tells PEOPLE exclusively.
Now Spencer's uncle, actor and comedian Tom Arnold, is speaking out about the tragedy during National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, hoping to rally people to get behind tighter gun control laws and prevent those with mental illness from purchasing firearms.
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This is the part that really gets me upset. "Where I come from, mental illness is shameful and a choice" WTF? Did he really say that? Mental illness is not a choice but as long as people like him are this uninformed it will remain something to be ashamed of instead of treated. Want to know why the stigma is so strong? Read the rest of the article.
Arnold's brother did not respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.
"He and the rest of my family are outraged at me for speaking out about this," Arnold tells PEOPLE, "because in their minds, suicide is something that you don't discuss publicly. Where I come from, mental illness is shameful and a choice."