Master Chef Star Joshua Marks’ Suicide Ended Long Struggle

Joshua Marks did not receive the necessary treatment, his family says

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The family of a runner-up in the MasterChef TV show said Sunday that he was fighting a long battle with mental illness and was not given access to appropriate treatment before he killed himself Friday.

Joshua Marks, 26, died Friday in Illinois from a gunshot wound to the head in an incident that has been ruled a suicide. Marks, who lost to Christine Ha in the Fox reality cooking competition, was diagnosed with bipolar disorder last year and, more recently, with schizophrenia. In February he spoke up about mental illness for the nonprofit suicide awareness group Make a Sound Project.

But his family said he did not receive the necessary support, CNN reports, in part because of a lack of full-time mental health facilities in Illinois that would accept his insurance. In July, he was imprisoned after scuffling with police responding to the scene, where he had suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, but the mother says that incident was a call for help.

“I think people look at mental illness as if it is a crime instead of treating the illness,” Gabriel Mitchell said. “They knew of his mental illness, yet they throw him in jail with no treatment?”