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Saturday, November 14, 2009 - 6:40am

Speaker Richardson Says He Attempted Suicide and Suffers from Depression

House Speaker Glenn Richardson says he’s suffered from depression in recent years and tried to commit suicide at one point.

Richardson revealed that in a statement from the House communications office yesterday.

The Hiram Republican says he’s struggled with the illness for the past two and a half years since his separation and divorce, and he’s being treated by a physician with prescription medication.

Richardson says he felt compelled to speak out in order to “possibly help others.”

The statement comes after a WSB-TV report that the Paulding County police were called to Richardson’s home last Sunday and he was rushed to the hospital.

Republican leadership in the house rallied behind him immediately after the statement was issued.

The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that Speaker Pro Tem Mark Burkhalter (R-Johns Creek), who typically leads the chamber when Richardson steps away, says Richardson "has always been and will always be a brilliant political leader and dear friend."

"Most importantly," said Burkhalter, "each of us are praying for him and his family."

According to the AJC, Burkhalter said that the House "looks forward to his continued leadership and recovery."

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