James Tera, 51, social worker — (The Philadelphia Inquirer)

SSRI Ed note: Social worker on antidepressants shoots and kills himself.

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The Philadelphia Inquirer

Posted on Fri, Oct. 3, 2008

James V. Tera, 51, a clinical social worker, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound Sept. 25 at home in Ambler. He had battled depression all his life, and was being treated with medication and therapy, said his son, Jason.

Mr. Tera was support programs manager at the Northern Home for Children in Philadelphia’s Wissahickon neighborhood, where he taught a parenting program he had designed and coordinated training for social-work interns.

After graduating from Wissahickon High School, Mr. Tera sold cars and newspaper advertising, and worked for a graphic-design firm. In 1990, he cofounded an advertising firm, Tera-Seka. Several years later, he sold the business and enrolled in college.

He earned a bachelor’s degree from Cabrini College in 1997 and later a master’s degree in social work from Widener University. He was a caseworker for the Department of Human Services in Philadelphia before joining the staff of Northern Home eight years ago.

Mr. Tera, who was divorced, raised his son as a single father. He doted on his three grandchildren, and often visited them in Virginia, where his son, an Air Force staff sergeant, is stationed.

He enjoyed travel, walking his dog, debating politics and religion with his neighbors, and bragging about his son, who is deployed in Afghanistan.

Mr. Tera is survived by his son and grandchildren. He was predeceased by his former wife, Patricia Esmonde.

A celebration of his life will begin at 1 p.m. today at the Kirk & Nice Funeral Home, 80 Stenton Ave., Plymouth Meeting. Burial will be in George Washington Memorial Park, Plymouth Meeting.