Notes of hope, support
The holiday season is a wonderful time full of cheerful lights, farolitos, gift giving, good food and faith traditions.
Some people, though, hide the darkness they are experiencing during this time. They try to stay cheerful for family and friends.
But inside they are still struggling. Sometimes, after the holidays are over and spring is around the corner, things seem harder.
The rate of suicides goes up in the months after the winter holidays are over.
Recently a group, including people from the Taos Municipal School District, Holy Cross Hospital, law enforcement, a teen support group and a couple of teens, met at The Taos News to share the ways in which they are working to prevent suicide. The efforts are many and stretch across the community.
At the meeting, the group came up with some actions they’ll take in the months ahead.
The first is a plan to help River Joy Johnson,
17, with one project the teen proposed to the group. They like her idea of placing fliers and notes of encouragement and strength around the community and at the Río Grande Gorge Bridge. Their hope is those words will help someone who is struggling to hold on to life and keep going.
They’ll have a table at the Bonfires on Bent Street event Saturday (Dec. 8) from 4 p.m. - 7 p.m. where people are welcome to fill out notes of encouragement and have the notes laminated. Then they are invited to join in Sunday (Dec.
9) at the Río Grande Gorge Bridge at 12:45 p.m. Buddhist monks will say blessings at the bridge at 1 p.m.. Then the group plans to tie the notes of encouragement and hope to the bridge.
In the weeks ahead, they’ll also prepare fliers and notes to distribute around town, asking businesses to post the words of encouragement on bulletin boards and public places. Their thought is that the more places the words are seen around town, the better chance someone who needs that lift will see them.
As the group expands and works collaboratively on other projects, the hope is the interactions will strengthen and broaden the support network for those who need help, counseling and sometimes, just a friend who’ll listen.
Join the effort. Drop by the table on Saturday where Johnson, teens from Common Grounds and supporters with Help Outreach Taos will be on hand to help make notes that might give someone hope.