Liz Mikitarian: Hannah’s Heroes Educates Public On Issue of Teen Suicide
By Kathy Reakes // November 14, 2015
DOCTORS' GOODWILL FOUNDATION AMBASSADOR
ABOVE VIDEO: Hannah’s Heroes educates public on issue of teen suicide. The biggest goal of Hannah’s Hero’s is to provide children and teens with more filters, and to teach them that when one bad thing happens they have lots of other things to live for and lots of people to go to for help.
Hannah Cline was a bubbly, blonde cheerleader without a care in the world. Or at least that’s what her parent’s thought until they found Hannah dead earlier this year. She had killed herself.
Across town, Liz Mikitarian, had just talked with her neighbor who was worried about her own teen struggling with depression when she heard of Hannah’s death
Liz was friends with Hannah’s mother, Lyn Bulifant, they had been teachers at the same school and their children had gone to pre-school together.
“I was absolutely shocked and so heartbroken over Hannah’s death. I was deeply depressed and horrified as I stood in line at Hannah’s funeral waiting to offer my condolences. When it was my turn all I could do was hug Lyn and we both just cried,” she said.
From that hug grew a closer friendship and a desire to make sure that Hannah’s death had not been in vain.
“When you have a teen with everything going for them, beautiful, a cheerleader, she is the last type you would think would kill themselves,” she added.
The two women decided to form Hannah’s Heroes, an organization that educates the public, schools and anyone who will listen about the issue of teen suicide.
They also spread the word about online suicide chat rooms (which they later found Hannah was a member of a few): “So many of us are so smug thinking we are great parents and know what our children our doing,” Liz said.
“But we’ve found that many teens are in need of help and no one realizes it.”
The biggest goal of Hannah’s Hero’s is to provide children and teens with more filters, and to teach them that when one bad thing happens they have lots of other things to live for and lots of people to go to for help.
One of the larger hurdles has been providing mental health care for children and teens in crisis.
Liz said so many times (especially in North Brevard), the teen is shipped to South Brevard to be held under the “Baker Act” and many times the parents don’t have the resources to even visit them. And, once the teen is released, it is hard to find them full-time therapy.
That’s where the Doctor’s Goodwill Foundation has been able to step in and at least begin making small steps towards helping other doctors recognize the problems and ways to deal with it.
SPACE COAST MEDICINE WEEK SET FOR OCT. 31 – NOV. 8
EDITOR’S NOTE: The Doctors’ Goodwill Foundation has raised more than $2.5 million in support of charity thanks to the assistance of many generous and giving special people.
Those people, and their spirit of philanthropy, will be recognized and honored on Saturday, Nov. 7 at the Doctors’ Goodwill Foundation Ambassador Awards, which will be part of the 10-event “Space Coast Medicine Week,” produced annually by Brevard Productions, the event and production sister company of Space Coast Daily Medicine & Active Living magazine.
The Doctors’ Goodwill Foundation Ambassador Awards will be held at the Hilton Melbourne Rialto Place beginning at 6 p.m. with a meet and greet, followed by the dinner and awards program at 7 p.m.
DGF AMBASSADORS TO BE HONORED INCLUDE:
Dr. Bhavin Patel; Joe and Cindy Hurston; Lisa Cavallero, Sodexo; Dr. Kiran and Gita Modi; Dr. Ramesh Patel; Amar Patel, Brevard Achievement Center; Kyle Smith and Chad Lovitt, Brevard County Manatees; Ronal Morgan; Sean Gregory, Health First; Jonda Erwin; Ginger Davis, Veteran Educator; Drs. Sumant and Snehlata Pandya; Kathy LaPorte, VITAS Healthcare; Liz Mikitarian; Dr. Saravana and Sathi Rajan, Rajan Foundation; Mike Thomas, Florida Pain Institute; Rashmi Shah; Janice Kershaw, Brevard Schools Foundation; Sondra Elizondo, VIDA Volunteers; Robin Fisher and Marta Fiol.
“The entire Doctors Goodwill Foundation board and community feels heartfelt gratitude to the people who contribute their time, resources and compassion to the charitable endeavors that we undertake,” said Dr. Kanti Bhalani, the Founder of the Doctors’ Goodwill Foundation.
“The Doctors’ Goodwill Foundation can only do what it does, thanks to the love and support that it’s friends provide. We feel it is important to recognize people who give of themselves and that is why we created the Doctors Goodwill Foundation Ambassador Awards.”
COMPELLING MULTIMEDIA TRIBUTE VIDEOS & STORIES
Stay tuned to SpaceCoastDaily.com and Space Coast Daily Medicine & Active Living magazine for extensive multimedia coverage of each and every honoree, as we present their compelling charitable works through stories and special tribute films by Maverick Multimedia, Inc.
Don’t miss the Dec/Jan 2016 special edition of Space Coast Daily Medicine & Active Living magazine for complete multimedia coverage of the Doctors’ Goodwill Foundation Ambassador Awards – and all the events of “Space Coast Medicine Week.”
For dinner reservations to the Doctors’ Goodwill Foundation Ambassador Awards call 321-749-1282. For sponsor or exhibitor information, call 321-323-4460 or 321- 615- 8111, or e-mail MaverickMultiMedia@gmail.com