OGDEN — Kristy Jones would like nothing more than to be unemployed.
Jones is chairwoman of the Ogden-based NUHOPE task force, a coalition of organizations and individuals throughout Northern Utah working to increase awareness and prevention of suicide.
“I’ve been doing suicide prevention work for probably 12 years now, and I would love to be put out of a job,” she said. “I’d like to see us get to the point where we’re not having to constantly be fighting to save people’s lives. My ultimate goal is that we could make such headway in this public health crisis that I eventually lose my job.”
To that end, NUHOPE is sponsoring a free screening of “Suicide: The Ripple Effect” at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 12, in Peery’s Egyptian Theater. The feature-length documentary focuses on the devastating effects of suicide and the positive ripple effects that can be created by those who care. The film was co-written, co-directed and co-produced by Kevin Hines, who at age 19 attempted to take his life by jumping from the Golden Gate Bridge.
The idea behind the film, according to Jones, is to help raise awareness and thus make an impact on the number of suicide deaths in the United States. The film is being screened in independent theaters around the country.
“It’s a grassroots movement by communities to say, ‘Hey, we want to use this film to educate and raise awareness in our community,’” Jones said.
Jones, who has seen the film, called it “powerful” and “meaningful.”
“And it is an extremely emotional film,” she said. “It’s not purposely emotional, but it definitely tugs at the heart.”
Organizers recommend the film for ages 14 and older, but leave it up to parental discretion for those with younger children.
Following the screening, Joshua Hansen, co-founder of the Continue Mission organization, will speak about his own experiences. Continue Mission is a nonprofit group that serves military veterans with service-connected physical, mental and emotional injuries.
Jones said the event will also offer some suicide-awareness resource tables representing local organizations.
The screening is free, but requires a ticket. All 750 tickets have already been reserved, but Jones said they’ll offer a standby line that evening. She suspects they should be able to accommodate most of those who’d like to see the film.
Those in the standby line will be admitted beginning at about 6:45 p.m.
Jones said she was pleasantly surprised by the interest in “Suicide: The Ripple Effect.”
“I thought we’d be lucky if 200 or 300 people came to the film, so this is amazing,” she said. “I think there’s so much more awareness in the community right now, and the community is very in tune to learn more about the problem and get more involved.”
The NUHOPE coalition includes mental health and social services providers, educators, law enforcement, veterans advocates, survivors and other concerned citizens. Friday’s screening is being presented by a number of Weber County-based organizations, through a partnership with Brigham Suicide Prevention. Jones believes that, working together, organizations and individuals can make a difference in the suicide epidemic, and that screenings like this are an important part of that work.
“It gives me chills just to talk about it,” Jones said. “It will be a powerful evening.”