Law.com, Buffalo Law Student Dies From Suicide, Family Establishes Mental Health Fund:
Matthew Benedict, a law student at the University of Buffalo School of Law and a summer associate at local law firm, died Monday from suicide injuries, his family said.
Benedict, 26, on Monday jumped to his death from Buffalo’s Liberty Building, where he was a summer associate at midsize firm Rupp Baase Pfalzgraf Cunningham.
Since his death, his family has established a fund, Matthew Benedict’s One Last Goal, to seek donations for raising awareness of mental health issues.
His mother, Anne Benedict, said Matthew had been struggling with mental health issues, including depression and anxiety, for about five years, since he suffered a concussion from playing football in Middlebury College, where he was a captain of the Vermont college’s football team. Anne said he was diagnosed with post-concussion syndrome and his depression was the result of the injuries.
“A lot of athletes try to become lawyers and they’re dealing with the same thing,” she said. “There are lot of people out there [with these issues] but not a lot try to talk about it.” ...
While he suffered from depression before joining law school, his father, William Benedict, said going to law school initially helped him in guiding him on a career path.
But, “overtime there was an awful lot of stress” during law school, William said. This summer, Matthew was taking two classes at the law school while working the summer associate position, his family said.
“It became extremely stressful for him,” Anne Benedict said, adding she recalls he was worried about taking and passing the bar exam. He was also worried he was not doing a good enough job at the law firm, his mother said, but she later learned from the firm’s partners he “was doing a stellar job.”
His family said Matthew had very supportive professors at University of Buffalo’s law school. ...
Matthew wrote about his own mental health struggles on a blog titled “Start the Conversation Now: Life is Precious” to raise awareness of depression and to inspire more people to help others who suffer from depression. In the blog, Matthew said he suffered “two severe episodes of depression” during a two-year period.