Afghan War vet ends bid for Kansas City mayor, citing PTSD and depression
STARS AND STRIPES
By NIKKI WENTLING
Published: October 2, 2018
“I wish I would have sought help sooner, so if me going public with my struggle makes just one person seek assistance, doing this publicly is worth it to me,” he wrote.
WASHINGTON — Jason Kander, an Afghanistan War veteran widely praised as a rising star in the Democratic party, withdrew Tuesday from the Kansas City, Mo., mayoral race to seek help for depression and symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.
Jason Kander, pictured here during a 2013 visit to Fort Leonard Wood, withdrew Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2018, from the Kansas City, Mo., mayoral race in order to seek help for depression and symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. ANGELINA BETRAN/FORT LEONARD WOODLast week, Kander called the Veterans Crisis Line and told a crisis responder that he had suicidal thoughts. On Monday, he went to the Kansas City VA Medical Center, where he’s planning to receive regular treatment.
“To allow me to concentrate on my mental health, I’ve decided that I will not be running for mayor of Kansas City,” Kander wrote Tuesday.
Kander posted a letter on his campaign website and Facebook page explaining his mental health struggles. He hopes that being forthcoming will help veterans and others who are working through mental health issues, he said.
“Last Tuesday, I found out that we were going to raise more money than any Kansas City mayoral campaign ever has in a single quarter,” he wrote. “But instead of celebrating that accomplishment, I found myself on the phone with the VA’s Veterans Crisis Line, tearfully conceding that, yes, I have had suicidal thoughts. And it wasn’t the first time.”
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