Our mission is clear, we are "a safe place to promote the healing journey for grieving children, families and individuals". It's this very reason that our participants become such avid ambassadors for HHP. In the safety of our walls, they were given the freedom to express emotion that they are otherwise asked to move beyond.
Board of Directors member, Natalie Rhodes is an example of the ties that bind our participants to The Hope & Healing Place. She and her family created the Jack Duncan Rhodes Foundation which aims to prevent teenage suicide by providing support, education and outreach to individuals and their families. The organization also offers a series of scholarships for high school students who plan to pursue a degree in a mental health field. We're honored to have Natalie continue to be a member of the HHP family, and grateful for the heart she shares with us as she "takes the lead" this month.
"When Emily asked me to share my story and perspective as parent on the death of my son Jack, I really did not know where to start.
My son Jack started showing signs of depression at the age of 15. We had no idea why, and to this day still do not understand. We had him in counseling and on antidepressant medication. He took his life on May 11, 2012.
I had heard of HHP through the Junior League but really didn’t know much about it. At the time my daughter Madeline was only 12 and unable to attend the SOS program as it is for adults only. The rest of the family - Myself, Douglas grandparents and even my step mom’s mother had all signed up for SOS. Although very hard, I believe it was helpful in starting our grief journey.
Douglas, Madeline and I started the Generations program that Fall. This was extremely helpful.We met other people in similar situations. It was nice to be reaffirmed that we were not alone. As so many of the facilitators have said in the past, it is the clients talking to one another that is the most impactful. The facilitators just kept us from running off the rails. They encouraged us to talk when we were too afraid to be vulnerable. I would recommend the Generations program to any family going through this most horrible grief process. It’s kind of like you are in the secret club. No one wants to be in this club but its nice that you are not the only one.
Through our grief journey we established the Jack Duncan Rhodes Memorial Fund at Amarillo Area Foundation. We are working on giving a grant to the Emerge program here at HHP. Emerge is a grief support program specifically for teens 7th through 12th grade who have experienced a suicide death of a family member or friend. This group will give teens the opportunity to connect with peers who understand the unique and complex experience of being a teen grieving a suicide loss. Emerge will begin sessions this October. Please call 806-371-8998 for more information.
I believe in what we are doing! We are helping our community."
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