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Stand up for Hope helping families cope with losing a loved one to suicide

Posted at 10:14 PM, May 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-27 23:51:34-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A father hugging his daughter. One of the pictures Alan Mednick has of his daughter Raven. He's an advocate for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Southeast Florida Chapter.

"I lost my daughter to suicide back October 13 of 2012," said Mednick. "So that started the wheels in motion for me to get involved. I also lost my niece to suicide January 3rd of 2016."

Painful days, until he said he found laughter gave him hope, hope for healing.

"When we moved down to Florida from Massachusetts and my son just came out of a mental health facility," Mednick said. "We moved down here and it was a struggle for me, it was a struggle for us. We went to see a comedian down here and that actually changed this for us."

It inspired Mednick to organize a "Stand Up for Hope" event.

A night of comedians on stage at the "Improv" in West Palm Beach is helping the hurting laugh a little and raising funds for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Southeast Florida Chapter.

Damiann Bilotta also lost her son.

"I lost my son to suicide six and half years ago and it was a shock. Asher was very popular," said Bilotta. "There's a time to grieve, believe me. Every day I do but I have to laugh, I have to move forward in life. And I've helped a lot of moms who lost their kids, that you can't go into that hole, you have to come out and live."

For more information about the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, click here.

For information about Damiann Bilotta's Forever Frosty Foundation, click here.