Who was Erin Gilmer? Disability rights advocate dies by suicide after posting cryptic tweet

Erin Gilmer wrote an emotional message dedicated to someone close to her just hours before her death on Thursday

                            Who was Erin Gilmer? Disability rights advocate dies by suicide after posting cryptic tweet
Erin M Gilmer death by suicide came as a shock to many (Gilmer Health Law)

A prominent mental health and disability rights advocate tragically ended her life on Thursday, July 8, 2021, after posting a rather cryptic message on social media. Her suicide caused quite a stir online, with empathizers saying the healthcare "system she sought to improve failed her."

Erin Gilmer, whose age was unclear, wrote an emotional message dedicated to someone close to her just hours before she died on Thursday. Her death came as a shock to many, considering she herself was on a pursuit to revolutionize health and patient policies in the country. 


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Who was Erin Gilmer?

Erin M Gilmer was a reputed health policy attorney and patient advocate who traveled across the country to fight for those who struggled with health and economic issues. Graduating with a law degree from the University of Colorado Law School, Gilmer was admitted to the State Bar of Texas in 2008. She graduated summa cum laude in 2005 with degrees in psychology and economics with an international emphasis and a minor in political science, according to her bio.

Gilmer is known to have previously served as an ePatient Scholar for Stanford University’s MedicineX conferences in 2012 and 2014. Aside from that, she has also served as a patient reviewer for the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). The attorney was known to frequently feature on patient panels across the country, including for the DiabetesMine Innovation Summit and Partnerships With Patients. 

Gilmer, as an attorney, was involved in the 2009 and 2011 legislative sessions focusing on issues such as expanding Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program in Texas. She had also worked with a number of non-profit organizations including Disability Rights Texas, Texas Legal Services Center, Alliance for Healthcare Representation, and Rocky Mountain Children’s Law Center. Meanwhile, she had also contributed to several publications such as Health Law and Bioethics: Cases in Context and articles in the Journal of Experimental Psychology; Virginia Journal of Social Policy and Law; Journal of Medicine and Ethics; the Texas Bar Journal; and IBM developerWorks.

Before ending her life, Gilmer wrote a heartbreaking message for someone she loved on Twitter, albeit that person hasn't been identified. "I loved you more than you could know. I'm sorry for all the ways I failed. I'm safe now," she tweeted, just hours before the news of her death was confirmed.


Gilmer's demise sparked an outpouring of love and condolences from fans and mental health advocates online. "Heartbroken to hear that Erin Gilmer, a fierce advocate for disability rights, has died by suicide after suffering for too too long under a healthcare system that couldn't/wouldn't provide her with relief. This was her last tweet. We failed her, not the other way around," one Twitter user wrote.

"I did not know Erin Gilmer, but hearing that a disability rights activist died by suicide to end the suffering caused by a broken system is absolutely tragic. Our country fails chronically ill people in the way few abled folks can understand, and it doesn’t need to be this way," another added.

"I'm devastated to hear of the suicide of Erin Gilmer (@GilmerHealthLaw), a fierce disability advocate. While I didn't know Erin personally, I did admire her work and her openness regarding chronic pain. The system failed her, and this is a huge loss," a third chimed in.

"Erin Gilmer ended her life yesterday after being unable to tolerate the pain she was in. I learned a lot from her, about myself and about how not to be because she was willing to yell at you and say why, to engage if you were willing to learn. But the same system she sought to improve failed her. She had been saying the pain was unbearable for weeks now. She had made a decision. If you've never read her blog, in particular, her writings on Trauma Informed Healthcare, please honor her memory by doing so now," another fan wrote.








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