Letter to the Editor of the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel
I would like to apologize to your readers for the article featuring my work printed on the front page of your paper on Wednesday. Not only did the reported embellish my story and report inaccurately, she also did not follow safe reporting guidelines, edited out the important pieces of what I said about prevention, and did not use any resources I supplied for her regarding statistics.
My son read it and said, “You sound like an angry, ill person. This was written horribly and is not even the truth.” Friends who have known me for years were absolutely disgusted by what was printed, I can only imagine the reaction from people who don’t know me personally.
The most important thing I would like your readers to know is: 90% of people who die by suicide have a TREATABLE mental illness. For every person who dies by suicide an estimated 25 to 200 people attempt to end their life. Because of that I said to your reporter, “It is much easier for people to ask for help before attempting. After they attempt they have SO many more problems. They have to look their loved ones in the eye, answer countless questions, rebuild trust, face the fact that they may not be able to get health, life, or car insurance and if they can their rates are raised. They also have to face the medical bills, lack of work if they missed work because of the attempt etc. Their life becomes much more difficult after a suicide attempt and what most people do not realize is how often people attempt to end their life. People in this position want the horrible pain to end, however, if they attempt the pain is amplified and spread all over everyone they know. I want to reach people before an attempt with this message. There is hope and your mental illness or problems are treatable, no matter how hopeless it may seem. Ask for help. Every life matters.
The message Attempted Suicide Help.com, acronym ASH, is Acceptance Strength Healing. After a suicide attempt loved ones feel isolated, anger, rage, fear, guilt etc. The resources I have researched, compiled and published help these people through this complicated grieving process and gives them hope that life will not be the same as it was before but it can be different and it can be better. To do that it takes commitment, honesty, work and a desire to make your relationships and your life healthy. ASH also has resources for friends of loved ones, attempters, professionals, a blog, links to other helpful websites, and a storefront.
P.S. It would be very professional of you to remove this from the Internet so it can never be found by anyone.