Meet the RJM’s (Riley James Mentors) We are Here to Help!

Meet the Riley James Mentors (RJM’s).  Below you will find a bio of each mentor we have thus far!!  Each of these mentors have undergone much suicide prevention training.  None of these mentors are a therapist or clinician.  Each mentor below wants to help through conversations, connections and use of their own life experiences as it relates to suicide, rough times, or just the love for people!  Simply read the bio and if it’s someone you would like to connect with to help you through your hard time with thoughts of suicide, send an email to the address at the end of the bio.  

Please Note* This is not intended to replace professional help nor is this intended for a crisis situation- if this is a crisis please call the crisis line at @ 1-844-493-8255


 My name is Melissa and I lost my 13 year old son to suicide in 2016 .I made a promise to him the day I lost him . That i would be his voice and that I would do everything in my power to help prevent another mother from going through what I’m going through so suicide prevention is a top priority for me. On top of losing my child to suicide I also have experience in being a lost to Suicide Survivor as I am a mom so I can relate to people who have lost somebody to suicide I can understand your pain and I can sympathize with your frustrations as I like to say we may walk in the same footsteps but we will never wear the same pair of shoes but you’re not alone

A little bit about myself: I love to be outside I love to go camping and fishing and hunting, I love animals ,I love working with wood and doing crafts. And most important I’m a mom I have a very loving nature ,I’m a great listener.

I’m not here to judge I’m not here to make assumptions.  No matter what your struggles are you will always have a friend in me!

Melissa (Rileys mom)♡♡♡

Contact Melissa:



My Name is Jeff, and my qualities include: Integrity, enthusiasm, energetic, fit, personable, diligence, resourcefulness, efficiency, creativity, multi-tasking, tenacious with details, proactive, work system optimizer, maturity, very organized, systematic and technical, clear communicator, self-starting, team committed.

I’m 64 and​ the thirty year husband of Mary Jane Hogan who is employed full time as a palliative nurse for Hope West and I’m the proud father of five homeschooled ​children from 18 to 28 years old.  I work at Sherwin Williams only part time and have ample time and priority ​to volunteer for the Montrose Coalition to Prevent Suicide.

​I’m intensely committed to preventing suicide and creating a culture where everyone belongs to loving extended friendship families and where people don’t hesitate to find the truth from anyone about how they are really doing, with networks of peers organized as easy-access bridges to safety for those at risk.

​I was born in 1954 to a Christian family but was very desperate for connection and discipleship​.  I started receiving counseling to awaken my emotions in 1985. Was married in 1987. My self loathing intensified even after the joy-filled birth of our first son. In 1989 I began to research suicide ​methods ​and attempted to lethally extinguish all my energy and hydration by running 16 miles into the mountains. I gradually healed from that self-hatred through a friend’s counsel 5 days a week for 90 minutes per day for several weeks. I’ve experienced relapses of depression many times and am currently on medication even though I’m gradually entering a more peaceful season in my life.

​In 2012 I facilitated my uncle being able to visiting my dying father.  He had what he described as a precious visit with my Dad but within weeks my uncle suicided. ​

Anxiety has never required medication the anxiety intensified four years ago.  There were two seasons where the anxiety became debilitating.

I do have a strong foundation in Christian faith, a strong marriage, strong relationships with my children and strong relationships with several friends.  I lead a mens recovery group, co-lead a home fellowship group, belong to a band of brothers, participate in the Montrose Coalition to Prevent Suicide and am a Court Appointed Special Advocate for children in neglect and abuse.

Contact Jeff at



Dave is a recent arrival to the Western Slope, having retired from almost thirty years of service at CU Boulder. Deciding that quiet trails and wide open ski runs were preferable to traffic jams, Dave and his wife moved to Ridgway in 2016.

Dave spent his last five years in Boulder mentoring and teaching inmates in Boulder County Jail. He helped them develop and follow plans that would keep them from returning to jail. He found the work incredibly rewarding and learned that sometimes people just need a little support to get through rough times and back into a happier place.

Dave feels strongly that preventing suicide is very much like helping  someone with a criminal record successfully return to their community. The feelings of hopelessness, frustration, anger, and loneliness can be incredible obstacles to getting on with one’s life. But having someone close by to help share the load can make all the difference. Everyone deserves a helping hand.

Dave’s hobbies include playing music, hiking, fishing, skiing, and reading.

Contact Dave:



Hello my name is Heather.  I have struggled with suicidal thoughts almost my entire life.  I have had many hard times, but I am still here and ready to help others get through there suicidal thoughts.  I am a pretty laid back person.  I like to run(although I am very slow), hike, drink coffee, and love my occasional glass of wine!  I am in love with the community that we serve and I know the intense feelings of suicide.

I am here to listen!

Contact Heather: