Pastor Rick Warren and his wife, Kay, said in their first interview with the media since their son's suicide more than five months ago that they knew all along that the day would come when they would become spokespeople for mental illness.
The Warrens told CNN's Piers Morgan during a taped broadcast of his show that aired Tuesday evening that they kept their son's lifelong struggles with mental disease out of the public eye for the sake of his dignity.
In response to Morgan's question about whether he should have done more as "Rick Warren, America's pastor" about the issue of mental health before their son, Matthew, took his life, Warren replied, "We've always known since Matthew has lived his entire life with mental illness that one day we would be spokespeople for mental illness. Kay and I have known this for years and years.
"The reason we were quiet was primarily to protect Matthew's dignity. It was his story to tell," Warren said. "We were always praying that either A, he would be healed miraculously, or B, will get treatment, therapy, medicine that helps him manage his disease for the rest of his life, and then he can tell this story."