Kim Molina: Raising Awareness After Tragedy

Suzy Hopkins
By Suzy Hopkins March 15, 2014 10:14

A state report finds that access to prevention services such as hotlines, peer support programs and other outreach efforts holds promise in saving lives.

This resonates with Kim Molina, a Calaveras County resident who just endured the 13th anniversary of her son’s suicide. The toll on families, she says, is “horrific.”

Her son J.R.’s death at 24 came just five months after his stepfather, Kim’s husband Larry, was killed by an out-of-control big rig on his way to work.

“It almost broke our family,” says Molina, 56, who lives in Mountain Ranch. 

She got help, went through years of counseling and in 2005 started a nonprofit group, Live On, whose volunteers today include founding member Gaye Brown and secretary Dana Milgrim.

The group holds events to raise suicide awareness and hands out free bracelets with the local crisis hotline number. At least three lives, Molina says, have been saved as a result.

Through it all, she has talked to many severely depressed people of various ages who are contemplating suicide.

“A lot of people feel like their family would be better off without them,” Molina says. “That’s absolutely not true. I tell them, if you have even one person that loves you, don’t do this to them. It can tear families completely apart.”

Being a caring listener can help save someone, she says, but people who are suicidal “absolutely need professional help.”

Don’t hesitate to call 911 for help on someone’s behalf, she urges. And don’t underestimate the power of kindness.

“A lot of people think no one cares about them,” Molina says. “Even if it’s a total stranger, just caring about that person can save their life.”

Copyright © 2014 Friends and Neighbors Magazine
Suzy Hopkins
By Suzy Hopkins March 15, 2014 10:14
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