Casper’s Festival Of Hope Brings In The Heroes
Wyoming still has more suicides per capita than any other state.
One of the many ways to battle this is the Festival of Hope, held yearly in Casper, Wyoming.
Folks can receive resources for mental and physical health as well as suicide prevention for themselves or someone they know.
All of this happens in a carnival-type atmosphere.
This is the 5th year of the festival.
Food, music, a petting zoo, and animals roaming around to be petted.
Even superheroes show up.
J.R.’s Hunt for Life is a nonprofit organization that offers free suicide prevention and awareness training.
It was founded by Jenny Hunter after the suicide of her son.
Our son, J.R Hunter died by suicide on June 3, 2015 and our lives have never be the same. J.R. was an avid hunter and outdoorsman, a hunting guide, a professional outdoor photographer and had many other interests.
We miss our son more than words can say and do not wish this on anyone.
Shortly after J.R's death we felt compelled to reach out to others directly impacted by suicide.
During our outreach it became apparent to us that our mission in life was to bring awareness to and prevent future deaths by suicide.
We began our journey with a forum on social media. This forum allowed for those impacted by suicide or those contemplating a safe, judgement free space to express their voice and reach out for help.
While our community grew, as did our dedication to reach a bigger audience. We started a non-profit and appropriately named it, "J.R.'s Hunt ; For Life."
Our non-profit actively works to bring awareness to and prevent suicide. In addition it has become our mission to break the silence and reduce the stigma of mental illness, addiction, and suicide.
We offer compassion, support and ZERO judgments. Our son J.R had a tattoo that read, "Only God Can Judge Me," and that is the belief that we live by.
We miss our son more than anything in this world, but it is with his name, his spirit, and his memory that we actively work to prevent this from happing again.
A couple of years ago Jenny read my book The Uncomplicated Life and thought of it as a resource for those in crisis mode.
She began to hand out the book whenever she thought it might do some good.
So, this year, like last year, I donated more to the cause.
If you or a loved one is dealing with thoughts of suicide call 988 for immediate help from the Wyoming Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. Help is available.