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Letter: A Problem That Needs to Be Discussed

To the Editor:

I was on vacation when “Ashley’s Story” was published June 23, so I’ve just finished reading the article. My heart goes out to Ashley DeMond’s family and to anyone affected by suicide.

I know not everyone was happy with the article. Without question, a family’s decision to go public regarding the nature of a family member’s death is a very private matter. However, suicide is a public health problem that I don’t believe can be adequately addressed unless we can learn to talk about it openly. I applaud Ashley’s family for having the courage to tell their story and I applaud the Valley News for publishing a sensitive article and for placing it on the front page of the Sunday paper.

I encourage anyone concerned about depression and suicide prevention to support next month’s PaddlePower. The event is a two-day camping and paddling trip down the Connecticut River to raise awareness of suicide and suicide prevention while raising money for West Central Behavioral Health’s emergency mental health services. Information on how to participate or support any of PaddlePower’s over 25 teams can be found at www.paddlepower.org.

Karen Anikis



Ashley’s Story: Hartford Family Shares Pain of Daughter’s Struggle, Suicide

Monday, June 17, 2013

Hartford — The music, country and pop, mostly, was almost always playing in the tiny bedroom on the apartment’s second floor. It was as if Garth Brooks, Carrie Underwood and Selena Gomez lived in that room. Or at least, it sounded that way. Occasionally, neighbors in the Northwoods apartment complex, which sits on a hill above downtown White River Junction, …