Kudos to Fox 4 for using Don’s death to talk about depression

December 1, 2011

Public relations



I have to admit I had mixed feelings when I heard the news about Don Harman’s death. No doubt Don was a great guy who did a ton in the community and for the people who lived there. The stories are incredible. There was the man going through chemo who wanted a Fox4 hat to keep his head warm. There wasn’t a store where he could buy a hat, so Don brought his own hat to the hospital and gave it to the man.

I saw Don’s devotion to the community each year at the annual Camps for Kids Campout charity auction. Maggie was on the board for six years and we got to know Don and his wife, Monica. We were just talking with them the other night at this year’s event after Don finished his emcee duties and helped raise thousands of dollars so kids could go to camp next summer.

He was obviously a great man. A man whose life was worth remembering. But in my opinion, the local media outlets were ignoring part of their responsibility over the past 24 hours. A responsibility to use Don’s death and the platform they have to talk about the part of this story that’s no fun to talk about — depression.

Multiple people in my family suffer or have suffered from depression. It’s a scary disease. One that can be tough to treat. But it’s one that can be treated. And with the taboo around mental illness in this country, we need to use Don’s death to talk about how important it is for those who have depression to never stop trying to get help. Never.

Kudos to Fox 4′s morning news team who took the time in between laughs and tears remembering Don to talk about the part of this story no one wants to talk about. Just like Penn State and Syracuse can use their situations to start a larger conversation about sexual abuse of children, local Kansas City media can use Don’s passing to start a larger conversation about depression. Fox 4 has taken the lead. I hope they’ll continue the conversation and the rest of the media in this community will follow.

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fergusonsarah 45 pts

They are using Don Harman's death to tackle depression. I think this is not a good topic.

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