IN FOCUS Discussion: Hope on the Hill

In Focus

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Hope on the Hill is an annual event dedicated to suicide prevention for veterans, connecting them with resources and support they may need to improve their mental health and quality of life.

Many local organizations exist to provide different ways to help them heal, such as outdoor recreation and art, and the gathering is a way to consolidate some of them for education and awareness to its attendees. The reception also honors and celebrates veterans after serving our country and dedicating their life to service with a program of dinner, speakers, performers, and vendors.

Julia Carlson, a retired veteran from the U.S. Marine Corp joined ABC4’s Rosie Nguyen on the CW30 News at 7 p.m. to talk about her military career, how crucial it is to address suicide prevention for veterans, whether she’s experienced mental health issues herself, the benefits of veterans participating in the arts, what Doc and Gunny’s is and their involvement with Hope on the Hill, whose art will be displayed at the event and the unique parts of each piece, and what community members can do to support veterans through the arts.

Melissa Hansen, the executive director and co-founder of Continue Mission discussed the inspiration behind her organization, how they help veterans in the community, how outdoor recreation helped her husband (who is a retired Army Sergeant) after he suffered from a traumatic brain injury, the impact that nature therapy has on veterans suffering from mental health issues and suicidal ideations, how many veterans her organization now serves, and their involvement with Hope on the Hill.

Robin Towle, Mrs. International 2019 shared her personal tie to suicide prevention and why this cause means so much to her, the backstory behind Hope on the Hill and what inspired her to create the event, and what attendees can expect from the event, Her daughter, Jacqueline Towle who is also Miss Preteen Western States International also talked about her role at the event.

Hope on the Hill will take place on Monday, July 12th from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Utah State Capitol, Outdoor North Plaza. Veterans are welcome to attend free of charge with one guest. Please be prepared to show ID. RSVP with Melissa Hansen at or text (801) 560-9889 (include your name, guest’s name, and branch served). Space is limited.

To watch the full IN FOCUS discussion with Carlson, Hansen, and Towle, click on the video at the top of the article.

Catch IN FOCUS discussions with ABC4’s Rosie Nguyen weeknights on the CW30 News at 7 p.m.

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