Two Worlds? by Xlibris Book



Helen Cochran Coffey recently moved to Portland, Ore., with her husband and shares a home with her daughter, Elaina, and grandson, Landon.  She grew up in Ada, Oklahoma, where she met and married Mitchael Dewayne Coffey.  They raised three children, Heather, Elaina, and Doug, and now enjoy being grandparents to Landon, Aubrey, and Alyssa.  She graduated from East Central State College in Ada, Oklahoma, completed a Master’s Degree in Nutrition at Purdue University, and is a retired middle school teacher.  After her daughter, Heather, was diagnosed with a mental illness, she became an advocate for individuals suffering with mental illness.


Embark on a poignant yet informative journey through mental illness in Don’t Let Anyone Know. This helpful book tells the story of a tragic loss and a mother’s plea for reforms in the treatment and attitudes of people toward mental illness in hopes of preventing future tragedies. It offers a detailed account of what could have been done, by doctors, mental health professionals, institutions, rehabilitation centers, employers, insurance companies, law enforcement personnel, schools—in short, everyone, including Heather’s family. Don’t Let Anyone Know is an eye-opening literary piece that unveils the truth in a world that viewed only the silhouette. 

  • Today, millions of Americans are suffering because of mental illnesses, and the services for these individuals are grossly inadequate. Changes are within reach!  It takes awareness, then advocacy and action! To find out more about mental illness or to access help refer to:

NAMI website:
NEA-BPD website:
ReThinkBPD website:

  • Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in America. More people die from suicide than from homicide, war, or auto accidents. To learn more about how to prevent suicide refer to:

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) website:
American Association for Suicidology (AAS): 

Book Reviews:

Helen Coffey’s bravely chronicled and honest book about the events leading up to her beloved daughter’s death by suicide in 2009 should be required reading for young professionals entering medical, legal, and teaching fields and definitely for those beginning training in mental health.  Helen’s candid and compassionate book boldly shares the story of her daughter’s serious mental illness that clearly was repeatedly misunderstood, misdiagnosed, and mistreated for over 20 years.  Paired with Pete Earley’s 2006 book, Crazy – a Father’s Search Through America’s Mental Health Madness, the two books bring a stark reality check to our broken mental health system.  Hopefully, Don’t Let Anyone Know will sound the warning alarm to lead each of us to advocacy and action for those who suffer and our families.

--Diane and Jim Hall,
  Family Educators for NAMI and NEA-BPD

Reading Don’t Let Anyone Know is an indispensable tool for parents not only looking for distinguishing factors between normal teenage angst and the more serious psychiatric disorder but also for teachers, guidance counselors, and mental health providers who need to know about the threat of suicide at all ages. As Heather's mother, Helen Coffey writes a story wrought with emotion, unflinching honesty and a painful regret that comes before and after the suicide of a loved one. There are many moments that we, as a reader, can look back at her life and ask ourselves, "What if this had been handled differently?" It is through Heather's story that we are able to learn from our collective misgivings as a parent, a mental health provider, the mental health system, and even for those living with mental illness themselves. Through Heather, we are able to take an honest look at our own lives and learn how we can come to the aid of the most frail and vulnerable of our society and serve them best. 

--Amanda Wang, RethinkBPD