Life’s Worth Living Foundation supports those struggling with mental health and loss survivors
TOOELE, Utah — The Life’s Worth Living Foundation in Tooele has provided support for those struggling with their mental health and supporting them through the grief of losing a loved one.
The foundation supported Deborah Bush after losing her son Jayden to suicide in January of 2021.
“It’s definitely not easy,” Bush said.
Jayden was an 18-year-old track star who had just graduated from Tooele High School.
Bush said he was full of life, goofy, and loved to sing even if he wasn’t very good at it.
A few months after graduation, Jayden took his own life.
TONIGHT AT 10 on @KSL5TV : Two brave mothers share their journey through grief after losing their children to suicide.
Both of them say one local mental health resource saved them after the loss of their children. pic.twitter.com/1HgPADPLrL
— Ayanna Likens KSL (@AyannaLikensTV) September 8, 2022
“I said to him, ‘are you going to do anything to hurt yourself?’ He said no. I said ‘okay, that’s good.’ I kissed him on the cheek, said a prayer, and that was the last time I saw him,” Bush said.
Through the heartache of losing her son, Bush met the founders of the clicking here.
“It’s a really beautiful, soft place to fall and it gives you so much support,” she said.
Jon Gossett started the foundation in 2014 after suicide deaths in Tooele County started to rise.
“We just decided that we should do something about it and see what we could do to make a difference where we live,” he said.
He created a support group in the only county without one.
“That group is for loss survivors and people that are struggling, and what I’ve found is you get the advice from people who have lost someone,” Gossett said.
In addition to a 100-mile Walk to Wendover to raise awareness, the foundation will also show up at your doorstep in a moment of crisis.
In 2014, Tooele had the fourth-highest number of suicides in the state.
“We dropped all the way to 21st. In that way we can see the impact,” Gossett said.
But each life lost to suicide is one too many.
“That’s the one thing we hear over and over again, we hear this will never happen to my family, but when it does, your life will never be the same,” he said.
That’s true for mom Dana Clemmer, she lost her 16-year-old daughter Talyn 5 years ago.
“She was a good friend, she stood up for people,” Clemmer said. “Tayln was also someone who struggled in her own skin, but she never showed it, nobody ever saw it.”
Talyn struggled with her sexuality.
“She came into the bedroom and said, ‘Mom I have to tell you something, I’m gay,’ and I said ‘I don’t care, I still love you anyway,'” she said.
But, on March 28th, 2017, Talyn died by suicide.
“I had a message from her, one last message, saying mom I love you so much,” Clemmer said. “I couldn’t believe that she was gone, it was the hardest day of my life.”
The next day, she met Gosset, he came to her house to offer support and resources to navigate the grief.
“It’s the worst thing ever to lose your child, we are supposed to go before them,” she said.
That community supported her through her grief of losing her only child and then again, two years later, when she lost her husband in a tragic motorcycle accident.
“My life ended really,” Clemmer said. “It had always been just me, Mike, and Talyn that was our little family.”
The pain of losing both was almost too much for Clemmer.
“When you are sitting alone in your home, and you are surrounded by those memories, I got into those dark places,” she said.
While she was in that dark place, she once again called the Life’s Worth Living Foundation for help.
“I reached out to them at three in the morning and they were at my doorstep and just listened to me,” Clemmer said. “I can honestly say Jon, and Tracy – that foundation has saved my life more than once.”
“I just know if I was in a spot of crisis, I would want someone there for me and that’s why we do it,” Gossett said.
To cope with the grief, Clemmer now leaves rocks with messages of hope for someone to find.
“I just hope there is a kid out there that is going through the same thing that Talyn went through and sees one of these and it gives them hope, something to hold onto,” she said.
Both Clemmer and Bush said the support of the foundation and community saved them after the loss of their children.
“They’ve helped me to be stronger than I am, braver than I could be,” said Bush.
“They are just amazing people,” said Clemmer.
You can get more information on the Life’s Worth Living Foundation by clicking here.
Suicide prevention resources
If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts or exhibiting warning signs, call, text, or chat the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988 which is answered 24/7/365 by crisis counselors at the Huntsman Mental Health Institute. All calls to legacy crisis hotlines, including the old National Suicide Prevention hotline, 1-800-273-8255, will also connect to a crisis care worker at the Huntsman Mental Health Institute as well.
- SafeUT: Parents, students, and educators can connect with a licensed crisis counselor through chat by downloading the SafeUT app or by calling 833-3SAFEUT (833-372-33888)
- SafeUT Frontline: First responders, including firefighters, law enforcement, EMS, and healthcare professionals can chat with a licensed crisis counselor at no cost 24/7/365 by downloading the SafeUT Frontline app.
- SafeUTNG: Members of the National Guard can chat with a licensed crisis counselor at no cost 24/7/365 by downloading the SafeUTNG app.
- Utah Warm Line: For non-crisis situations, when you need a listening ear as you heal and recover from a personal struggle, call 1-833 SPEAKUT 8:00 a.m.-11:00 p.m., 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
- The Huntsman Mental Health Institute offers a wide variety of programs and services including suicide prevention and crisis services, hospital treatment, therapy & medication management, substance Use & addiction recovery, child & teen programs, and maternal mental health services including birth trauma, pregnancy loss, infertility, and perinatal mood and anxiety disorders.
- LiveOnUtah.org is a statewide effort to prevent suicide by promoting education, providing resources, and changing Utah’s culture around suicide and mental health. They offer resources for faith based groups, LGBTQ+, youth, employers, firearm suicide prevention, and crisis and treatment options.
Other community-based resources
- NAMI Utah provides education, support and advocacy for individuals and families impacted by mental illness.
- American Foundation for Suicide Prevention offers prevention programs, public education, support for loss survivors, and fundraising for research.
- Encircle Utah: LGBTQ+ family and youth resource center.
- Utah Pride Center empowers Utah’s diverse LGBTQ+ community.
- The Trevor Project: LGBTQ teen resource center.
- U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Mental Health
- Latino Behavioral Health Services
- Center for Workplace Mental Health offers suicide prevention and response for employers.
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