I read that 1st District Congressman Jim Hagedorn at his recent town hall in Winona stated his belief that those who die by suicide go to hell.

He concluded, “It’s a bad thing.”

We are asking members of the military to put their lives on the line every day. Many of those who return are burdened with physical and/or mental disabilities for which the supports provided by the government they served are inadequate.

That’s a bad thing. And veterans are dying by suicide at twice the rate of civilians.

Smaller farmers are being squeezed out of business due in part to the Trump tariffs. This also impacts related agribusinesses.

That’s a bad thing. And the rate of death by suicide among farmers is rising.

Youth suicides are also on the rise. Far too few individuals suffering from mental illnesses receive the help they need. As a psychologist (now retired), I was fortunate to be able to help many along the road to wellness, while being aware of the fact that many lack access to the care they need.

Hagedorn’s full support of the Republican plan to gut health insurance hurts us all. Imagine having PTSD — or cancer, back injury, or heart disease — and being denied coverage for pre-existing conditions.

If Hagedorn’s agenda prevails, this is where it will take us. That’s a bad thing.

PTSD is an illness. Depression is an illness. Cancer is an illness. Would God consign to hell our loved ones who died by suicide from mental illnesses? I don’t believe it, not for one minute.

For Hagedorn to say such a thing stigmatizes the deceased and inflicts pain on their loved ones. That’s a bad thing.

Do a good thing. Vote him out in 2020.

Theressa Hanson

Blue Earth

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