StigmaBlog: a query for sheriff candidates, 2nd response

Today earlier I received a response from candidate for sheriff, Chip Kem. I apologize for addressing him as sheriff as his title is Undersheriff Charles “Chip” Kem, which is my error and I recognized my error from his signature on the email. This is one reason why I truly prefer being a reporter which entails having an editor. I do not like to make mistakes and not have them caught before publishing. If I do here, I promise to correct them. So, here is my question again and his response:

Do you support having psychological autopsies for every suicide in the coroner’s office, as Suicide Prevention Specialist for the State of Montana Karl Rosston recommends?

His response by email, verbatim:


Our office currently conducts quite extensive investigations into all of our suicides. Much of what is involved in a “psychological autopsy” is covered during this time. This includes interviewing family, friends, and coworkers of a suicide victim and researching a victim’s recent journals and social media posts. The thing that separates our current practice from a true “psychological autopsy” is having a qualified, trained professional review our file. My hope is that the state medical examiner’s office will eventually have a resource available to review our files so that the needed information can be obtained and recorded for appropriate research.

I am sorry for what you went through emotionally in regards to the Dunakin incident. I will pass your kind words on to Sergeant Smith.




Thank you for your response! I will not elaborate at this time upon my interest in this matter as it I cannot do it justice now and must be treated with upmost care. A top reporter did extensive work on this matter and did not bring it to print because he did not feel he could ethically, for his own reasons. I have spoken with him personally about my perspective. I also have ethical boundaries I must not cross and did not and will not.

My blog on stigma was originally anonymous because another journalist, who has won many awards for her coverage of mental health issues, recommended to me that I not blog on this topic of stigma because it could be held against me in the small town where I live. She has reported on mental health issues throughout this State. For now, this is strictly information from both candidates so voters may decide for themselves.


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