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Hope Through Recovery

WCS Hosts National Guest Speakers for Open Forum & Community Event

May 9, 2018
BY TELINA FRYE - Staff Writer ( , Wetzel Chronicle

Wetzel County Schools recently welcomed National Guest Speakers for an Open Forum & Community Event. Taryn Aiken Hiatt and Ryan Hiatt is a husband/wife team who spent a few days with the students and staff in the local high schools. They spoke about suicide, drugs, addiction, secrets, recovery, life in general and "being enough" as you are.

Taryn is a dedicated advocate who shares her story and passion to give hope and educate communities about suicide. A cosmetologist for 20 years, spending most of her time as an educator for the Paul Mitchell School, Taryn now dedicates her time in schools and communities across the nation regarding mental health matters and suicide prevention. She has testified on Capitol Hill for Mental Health Care Reform and walked countless miles in the middle of the night at an event called "Out of the Darkness" to raise awareness and funds for research.

As a person in long-term recovery from substance abuse, Ryan Hiatt shares his story to help educate communities and provide a message of hope that recovery is possible, and worth it. He recently wrote a book called "Have I Had Enough" that was given to the first 25 people that came to the event. The book gives readers a glimpse into the mind of someone struggling with and fighting through addiction. He has been found dead along the interstate and revived. He has also survived multiple overdoses and shares openly what it was like to be in the place he found himself in.

Article Photos

In addition to the visits to the local schools, Wetzel County Schools also hosted a public event on Thursday evening, April 26 at the Magnolia High School auditorium in New Martinsville from 6:30-8 p.m. Taryn's enthusiasm to be the voice for those struggling with mental health and addiction was evident as she shared from her heart. Her message of Hope through recovery was shared in love to all who attended. The community presentation lasted approximately 90 minutes with an open-forum type of opportunity for questions after. Taryn says it best: "The lie is dead, we CAN recover!" Taryn and Ryan shared openly and courageously about the struggles they have faced and are overcoming. Phrases that were heard several times throughout the night were: "You are worth it," "Recovery is worth it," and "You are enough." They both tell their stories and use their experiences to help other people and possibly save lives. Each person who attended the event was encouraged to be willing to have safe and meaningful conversations about mental health. Each person that came to the event left with encouragement, hope and a hug.



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