Q: Is it possible that something that happened 20 years ago could contribute to a person’s suicide?
A: I think “contribute” is the key word here. It is unlikely that something that occurred so long ago would lead to suicide unless ensuing events or obstacles had happened more recently. A serious loss 20 years prior might so weaken an individual that they might eventually give up in the face of new losses. That is why it is so important for friends and family to be on the lookout for signs of increasing depression or behavioral changes in their loved ones. It’s always OK to ask if you suspect suicidal thinking is going on. It is always OK to suggest they get help.