To the editor:
The Range Suicide Prevention Council would like to publicly thank the Danny B Dream Team for all its help in our mission of reducing suicides here on the Gogebic Range.
Over the past three years, these dedicated young people have raised more than $7,500 by putting on the Danny B Jack & Jill Softball Tournament in memory of Danny Baross, who died Feb. 10, 2009, at the age of 31 as a result of suicide.
Just as important as the funds they have raised is the fact they, along with the Baross family, are helping tear down the shroud of shame, stigma and silence surrounding suicide and and its primary cause, untreated or under-treated mental illness.
No one needs to be ashamed of having lost a loved one to suicide any more than someone needs to be ashamed of having lost a loved one to cancer. Victims of suicide just don’t pop out of bed one morning and decide to end it all. In most cases, they struggle for weeks, months, years or in some cases decades before the impulse finally overpowers them. Their battle with depression is just as courageous as those who have fought cancer and lost. Suicides occur when pain exceeds the resources to deal with it and the mental anguish they were fighting is excruciating.
Most suicides can be prevented by early recognition of the risk factors, the symptoms and knowing how to intervene. Part of our mission is to educate the public, pressure our government to direct more resources toward suicide prevention and restricting access to lethal means of suicide.
Besides the Danny B Dream Team, we thank all the sponsors, fans and teams that help make this tournament possible. As National Suicide Prevention Week winds down, we want to remind everyone that we lose about 105 Americans to suicide every day. Please join in our efforts to help end this scourge by educating yourselves on the causes and how to prevent suicide. You can contact us by calling 906-932-5718.
—Pat Gallinagh, President Range Suicide Prevention Council, Ironwood