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Offering Daily Hope – from Lisa Petersen, PhD, CEDS

I have attended the Out of Darkness Walk (Suicide Prevention Walk) in Sacramento the last two years and have been honored to be a part of such an amazing event. I have thought a lot about the featured speakers from the walk in Sacramento earlier in October. Sergeant Kevin R. Briggs (also known as the Guardian of the Golden Gate Bridge) is a retired California Highway Patrol Officer who encouraged upwards of two hundred people to not jump from the Golden Gate Bridge that crosses the San Francisco Bay. Sergeant Kevin Briggs spoke after a man who gave his testimony of how Kevin had intervened on his plan to jump from the Golden Gate Bridge. As I looked at the two of them and listened to them, their story literally gave me chills because of the devotion Kevin had to making a difference, one intervention at a time. I had a patient recently question if what eating disorder clinicians say is rote and potentially meaningless because of the repetitiveness in the daily hope we offer our patients, and I thought of Sergeant Kevin Briggs and told her the story of him and the routine nature of his intervention and caring but also the significance in each life he touched.  Every patient with an eating disorder needs the same message of hope and worthiness, but each patient also is unique in the impact they make on our lives as providers and is unique in what the bigger meaning is for their lives.

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