Avenues of Hope.net

LOGAN — A couple weeks ago, what was billed as a Run for Hope to highlight and assist in suicide prevention was held in Wellsville.

Hope is at the core of local organization Avenues of Hope who have a bright sunflower as their symbol of hope on their website.

On KVNU’s For the People program on Tuesday, C.E.O and founder, Lisa Mitchell, returned to talk about the return of support classes for those who have lost a loved one to suicide.

“We are super excited to bring this into the community. Avenues of Hope is all about mental wellness and suicide prevention, and we really believe that post-vention, like a support group for people who have lost ones to suicide, is prevention,” she said.

Mitchell explained that’s because the more that is learned, to think about and talk about suicide in more productive ways, that itself is a prevention tool.

“As we are better able to talk about and bringing suicide and mental illness into the light instead of having it be kind of a dark and hard conversation, which it is. But the more we talk about it, the easier it’s going to become to talk about it.”

She said these support groups are peer-led.

“So, peer-led means that all of the facilitators, that are running the group, have lost someone to suicide. And so, we are in our own journeys, maybe where you’re at, or maybe a little bit farther on our journey. But we will be able to connect well with you if you have lost someone to suicide because we know where you’re at.”

A big announcement was recently made in Utah, the late Sen. Orrin Hatch had latched onto it and made it a nationwide effort, that like 9-1-1 for emergencies, there is now 9-8-8, which is basically a nationwide crisis hotline for suicide prevention and other issues that might pop up.

Mitchell said she was very excited to hear that announcement “knowing that instead of trying to remember a long digit phone number, because when you are in a crisis you are not going to remember that phone number, it’s a lot easier to remember that 9-8-8 number.”

She said it’s also easier for anyone around you in a supporting role to have that number.

The first support group starts up August 3rd on the first and third Wednesday of every month.  You can get more information at AvenuesofHope.net.

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