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Guzman raises awareness for non-profit group

December 3, 2012

Patrons of Pizza Inn last Wednesday night were greeted by high school students from the community who worked for tips to support a cause that is helping to prevent suicide.
“To write love on her arms” is a non-profit movement dedicated to “presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self injury and suicide.”
Gassel Guzman, a junior at West Point High School and member of the Career and Technology Center’s Culinary Arts program spoke to the West Point Rotary Club on Thursday about her own local movement to raise awareness about issues of depression that affect the young and the old.
“Recently, one of my best friends has gone through the idea of being suicidal,” Guzman told the club. “In our own community, it happens.”
The group was started in 2006 when a group of young adults convinced a young girl to enter rehab because of addiction. The girl was eventually rejected by the institution because she was considered too much of a risk.
Not giving up, the friends took her to a local church, where she was taken in by the church community.
Six years later, she is still clean and sober, and she is not suffering from depression.
“The organization helps kids throughout the world, giving $1 million around the world,” Guzman said. “One-hundred and twenty-one thousand are suffering from untreated depression each year.”
Guzman went on to tell the club that suicide is the leading cause of death for college students in America.
“Depression can come from the person’s environment or family history,” Guzman said.
Guzman said that organization, which raises over $15 million each year world wide addresses issues that go beyond suicide. Non-lethal injuries are also a coping mechanism many individuals use when depressed.
Anyone wishing to give to the cause may go to the website at www.twloha.com.

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