FILE – In this Nov. 14, 2014 file photo, Jeremy Richman, the father of the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting victim Avielle Richman, the addresses of the Sandy Hook Advisory Commission in Newtown, Connecticut. Richman was found dead early Monday, March 25, 2019, at the town hall in Newtown, where he had an office. The chief medical examiner’s office is performing an autopsy on Monday. Richman’s death comes as officials in the Park,, Florida, publishing, counseling services, after two survivors of a high school massacre there killed themselves. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill, File)
NEWTOWN, Connecticut. – On the day of his 6-year-old daughter’s funeral, as Jeremy Richman and his wife gathered with loved ones, an idea for a way to channel their grief: a foundation to promote research into the brain pathologies that lead to violence.
Within a few months after the death of their curly hair, first grader Avielle in 2012 at the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, the couple launched The Avielle Foundation with the goal of trying to prevent others from suffering such tragedies.
Richman is dedicated to the cause has become known locally and nationally for his advocacy on mental health problems, until his death on Monday. He was found dead in an apparent suicide in a Newtown community event center, where he had an office, police said. He was 49.
“Jeremy made enormous progress in brain health and suicide prevention,” said Stephanie Cinque, the executive director of the Resiliency Center of Newtown, was set up as a place for people to gather and talk after a socially isolated gunman killed 20 children and six teachers on Dec. 14, 2012.
“It is a pity, this is a great example of how complicated it is. Jeremy’s legacy now is also to create the space for the conversation,” she said.
Richman and his wife Jennifer Hensel, both scientists, made from the foundation to promote research into how a tendency to violence is shown. Richman, a neuroscientist, in the end he left his work as a researcher at a pharmaceutical company to focus on the foundation.
“The brain is just another organ, and you don’t have to be a neuroscientist to recognize that it can be healthy, unhealthy, and that you need to feel comfortable standing up for your own brain and the brain health of your loved ones,” Richman said in 2016 interview. “We feel that it is not to do that led in large part to the tragedy in Sandy Hook.”
Richman has developed a national profile as a teacher and advocate. He had a meeting of the mental health of the former President of the usa, Barack Obama. In 2015, he received an appointment as lecturer in psychiatry at the Yale medical school.
Richman also provided “brain health” first aid for children and others on the Resilience of the Centre of Newtown.
“He referred to it as ‘brain’, because it is not the stigma that came with it say of ‘mental health,'” said Cinque. She said Richman also a lot of work with suicide prevention.
“He always said, ‘the question.’ Because, in general, people do not like to say that they plan to commit suicide,” she said.
The governor of Connecticut, two U.S. senators and other local leaders shared baffled compassion.
“Jeremy Richman is a loving husband, father and friend to many,” Newtown First Selectman Dan Rosenthal said. “I am proud to say that he was my friend. I don’t want to speculate about the reason why Jeremy took his life, except to say that none of us can fathom the enormity of the damage that he carried with him after the death of his beautiful daughter, Avielle.”
The foundation said her work to continue.
“Jeremy’ s mission will be carried out by the many who love him, including many who are sharing the grief and the trauma he has suffered since December 14, 2012,” the foundation says in a written statement. “We are broken to pieces, but this important work will continue, because, as Jeremy would say, we must.”
A resident of Boulder, Colorado, Richman earned his bachelor’s degree and a doctorate at the University of Arizona.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by two children.
Melia reported from Hartford, Connecticut.