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Rep. Kivela Remembered; Doctors Urge You To Check on Friends

state lawmaker
Michigan House of Representatives
State Rep. John Kivela

Michigan lawmakers are remembering Rep. John Kivela, who died from an apparent suicide this week. Meanwhile, doctors remind all of us to take care of extra friends who may need treatment.  

Friends and family of State Representative John Kivela paid tribute to him via social media in the wake of his apparent suicide.

Kivela was found dead in his home in Lansing one day after his second drunk driving arrest in two years.

In an emotional Facebook post, 5th District Senator David Knezek wrote a letter for his colleague and roommate.  Knezek detailed his close friendship with Kivela.

After being arrested in 2015 for drunk driving, Rep. Kivela vowed to get treatment for substance abuse issues.

Dr. Mark Reinstein is the President and CEO of the Mental Health Association of Michigan.

"The vast majority of suicides are committed by people with psychiatrist disorders, and make no mistake about it, substance use disorder is a pyschiatric disorder."

Reinstein urged people to check up on their friends if something seems wrong.

"If you know someone who expresses a suicidal ideation, you need to take it seriously," said 

Karel Vega served as radio news managing editor at WKAR from 2020 to 2023.
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