As many of you know, we held our 5th Reunion at Mountain Valley this past weekend. One very special MVTC graduate, Joelle, and her father joined us all the way from Hawaii. This morning, Joelle sent us the note below, as well as a link to a video she did recently for Speak Life Hawaii, an organization created by four high school students dedicated to initiating the conversation of suicide and mental health, engendering a more educated and empathetic community, and directing suicidal teenagers towards resources for help.

Please take a few minutes to read Joelle’s letter and watch her powerful video. How fortunate we are to be able to work with such amazing kids. Mahalo, Joelle.

Dear Friends of Mountain Valley:

I did this video for Speak Life Hawaiʻi about a year ago, so when Carl asked me to write an introduction, it took me awhile to think about what Iʻd like to say. I write this sitting in my car about to go to school. Itʻs a typical Monday morning, but I had nowhere near a typical weekend. Especially after going back and watching this video, I knew traveling to Mountain Valley and back to Hawaiʻi for the reunion over the weekend was no doubt the best decision I/my parents could have ever made.

I truly do believe there is something magical about Pike, New Hampshire… like an overwhelming moment of mindfulness that seems to just linger in the air. Mountain Valley and the things that happen there are so amazing that when you aren’t there, it almost seems fictional. There isn’t a day where I don’t think of Mountain Valley and the magical people there who have become part of my ʻohana. I am, and forever will be, immensely grateful to those magical people who taught me how to live again.

And that is why I wanted to use this intro to thank all the staff and residents I met at Mountain Valley who have given me the greatest gift of all – happiness. Mountain Valley will forever be my home away from home.

Love, Joelle