Army Veteran’s Tragic Mental Health Struggle: How Mental Health Support Programs Can Still Fall Short.

Plantation Father Sought Mental Health Help One Year Before Murders – NBC 6 South Florida

Forty-year-old Jean Carlos Aponte, a Plantation man who recently reached out for help with his mental health, is in critical condition at the hospital after an apparent self-induced drug overdose. On Tuesday, his wife Sara Ashley Gama, 38, and 2-year-old son Ethan were found dead inside their home.

Army veteran and Purple Heart honoree Chris Haley told NBC6 on Wednesday that Aponte reached out to Catch A Lift Fund, a group that provides former service members mental health support through working out. Haley accepted Aponte to the program. “It’s a bummer because that is the whole reason why our organization exists,” Haley said. “It’s to kind of stop this. So when it does happen, it’s pretty shocking because that’s kinda what we’re trying to avoid.”

Chris Haley recalls that Aponte had a strong desire to make things right for his family and was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury. He wanted to be a positive example for his family and improve his mental health. Police have not released how or why Aponte allegedly killed his wife and child.

The investigation into this tragic event is still very active, and no charges have been filed yet. On Wednesday, police spent their time looking for what neighbors believe was a cellphone in the canal near where the home was located. If you or someone you know is in crisis, call or text 988 to reach the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline or chat live at You can also visit SpeakingOfSuicide

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