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Published January 30, 2013, 09:27 PM

After Losing Son, Parents Hope to Help Others Struggling with Mental Illness

Police have confirmed that a body found Monday was that of 27-year-old Colter Dallman, and now his parents are hoping their tragedy may help others struggling with mental illness.

By: Kevin Wallevand, WDAZ

Police have confirmed that a body found Monday was that of 27-year-old Colter Dallman, and now his parents are hoping their tragedy may help others struggling with mental illness.

Dallman left an emotional suicide note for his parents, written days before authorities found him. During the last few weeks of his life, Colter Dallman struggled so much with his mental illness he at one point flew to Guatemala where he expected to be crucified. A cross was even built. He thought he was the savior. He returned to North Dakota to die, but not before writing the letter. A sometimes rambling, but often honest, heartfelt message to his parents.

"I have been tormented from the other side through times in this life and I have imagined what it could be like to transcend this version of reality that I am trapped in," he wrote. Colter was very caring and concerned and tormented. His parents hope his troubled life, a roller coaster of mental health issues, will help families going through the same thing. First Link in Fargo actually has master trainers who work with counselors and community members working with those at risk of suicide. Colter told his family, "It seems the world is doing what it will without me. Please forgive me and I forgive those who have wronged me. But I now go to God." Mary Weiler of Fargo lost her daughter to suicide and now helps direct AFSP, an organization in our region that offers training to agencies and support to families coping with suicide.

It is Colter's mother's wish that his story will spark a conversation. She says he was ashamed and afraid of what people would think of his mental illness, a secret he kept from nearly everyone. His final farewell, a son's thanks. "Thank you for having me," he wrote, "and for being great parents."

For more on local suicide prevention information, click here .

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