Category: Cronkite News

Suicide survivor shares story of grief, healing

Tynin Fries Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017 Suicide survivor shares story of grief, healing PHOENIX — On May 2, 2015, Zach Giron died by suicide. Since then, his mother Gina Gillis has struggled to grieve for her 26-year-old son, asking questions that have no answers. Gillis is what the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) calls a suicide survivor, someone who has experienced loss through suicide. There are millions of suicide survivors around the world and on Nov. 18, some will gather to support each other on International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day. Gina Gillis is the social media ambassador at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s Arizona chapter. She started volunteering a year after losing her son to suicide. (Photo by Tynin Fries/Cronkite News) This year, events in Sierra Vista and Phoenix will show a film by the AFSP called “The Journey: A Story of Healing and Hope.” Survivors can also watch the events through AFSP’s Facebook page . After seeking help and support from AFSP a year after her son died, Gillis began to get even more involved. Now she is the social media ambassador for the AFSP Arizona chapter, where she works every day to prevent more loss. AFSP and other organizations offer support groups and counseling services for families or friends who experience suicide loss. However, one of the major problems, Gillis said, is that many...

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Hold your horses: Equine therapy a game-changer for those in need

Perry Cohen Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017 Hold your horses: Equine therapy a game-changer for those in need Jack Mills lived in a world of his own as an infant, unable to connect on a social or emotional level. “Jack was a very hard baby,” his mother, Jeni Mills, said. “He cried 24/7 for his first two years of life. At 15 months, he didn’t make much eye contacted and didn’t like to be held, he was on the watch list for markers of autism. “At 18 months, he was diagnosed.” She searched for something that would help her son grow as an individual. That’s when she learn about Envision Therapeutic Horsemanship, one of approximately 20 horsemanship rehabilitation centers across Arizona. Envision’s main focus is to help those with physical, cognitive and developmental disabilities. Its clients include returning veterans and their families, abuse victims and others who have suffered trauma in their lives. The nonprofit organization uses a combination of psychological practices and horse-assisted therapeutic activities to help heal. “We do equine-assisted learning and therapeutic riding,” said Lisa Pewe, the organization’s president and executive director. “The benefits the clients receive are extremely therapeutic on the physical, cognitive and relational level. We use the emotional, relational, and physical dynamics of the horses to do it.” Clients participate in small group or solo sessions. These sessions can be mounted or unmounted. The...

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Mesa sets its eyes on e-commerce with Mexico

Andrea Jaramillo Valencia Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017 Mesa sets its eyes on e-commerce with Mexico MESA – As trade between the United States, Mexico and Canada is debated by top negotiators in Mexico City, one Arizona city is working on a long-term, million-dollar project that will potentially increase trade with Mexico. The Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport Authority Board will vote in the next few days to approve a master development agreement with the company, Mesa Skybridge, for an infrastructure project at the airport. The project, if approved, will include a program to facilitate cargo processing that goes to Mexico by bringing Mexican customs officials to the Valley airport. Otherwise known as, the Unified Cargo Processing Program, recently created by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection. “It has the potential to be the most significant source of commerce between Mesa and Mexico,” Mesa Mayor John Giles said. Giles said the “premise” of the project is to build an e-commerce distribution center at the airport and seize the opportunities of this growing industry in Mexico. Last year, e-commerce produced around $17.63 billion in Mexico, according to a report by the Mexican Internet Association . According to the same report, two out of three Mexican online buyers shopped from international retailers in 2016, and the number one market was the U.S. “The consumers in Mexico would receive the same delivery schedules that consumers...

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Phoenix neighborhood grant provides low-cost access to Grid Bikes

Stephen Syndor Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017 Phoenix neighborhood grant provides low-cost access to Grid Bikes PHOENIX – The city is bringing a bike share program to a central Phoenix neighborhood at a fraction of the usual cost, teaching about safety and providing exercise options to residents who wouldn’t be able to afford the program. An Aetna Foundation grant for $100,000 will finance the program in the Edison Eastlake neighborhood. Residents will pay a low annual fee negotiated between Grid Bike and the city. “We haven’t penned down that amount but we’re are looking at $5 a year,” said Berenice Felix-Baca, a project manager with the city. Usual costs range from $10 per week to $20 per month, according to the Grid Bike website. Residents will also be able to learn about bike safety at workshops and participate in community bike rides as part of the two-year grant, Felix-Baca said. Resident Paula Gibson thinks she and her neighbors will use the program. She walks six miles every day but will bike that distance once the program starts later this month. “I think it will help the community because a lot of people would use it to either to get to their daily commute or let their children use them,” Gibson said. But Gibson did have some reservations. “A lot of people work out in Tempe or Scottsdale and you know,...

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Giffords assures crowd at Capitol ceremony she’s ‘still fighting’

Trevor Fay Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017 Giffords assures crowd at Capitol ceremony she’s ‘still fighting’ WASHINGTON – It’s been almost six years since Gabrielle Giffords walked the halls of the Capitol, but her time away does not appear to have reduced the number of friends and supporters the former Tucson congresswoman has here. Close to 100 people turned out Wednesday as lawmakers renamed a Democratic meeting room to honor Giffords and former Rep. Leo Ryan Jr., D-California, who was killed 39 years ago this week while investigating a cult compound in Jonestown, Guyana. The room was filled with staffers and former colleagues as Giffords entered, many of whom approached for a quick greeting before the half-hour ceremony. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who led the ceremony, said Giffords continues to awe with her exceptional courage and efforts to build a better America. “Indeed, throughout America, there isn’t a name that stirs more love, more admiration, more respect, more wishing for our daughters to be like her, than the name of Congresswoman Gabby Giffords,” Pelosi said. Giffords was severely wounded in a January 2011 shooting in Tucson that left six dead and 12 others wounded. She told the bipartisan crowd that she still has trouble walking and speaking as a result of her injuries. But speak she did. The House Democratic Cloakrom in the Capitol is now named in honor...

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