Farmington resident Joshua Hoyt envisions his hometown can become a place where the community supports each other and works to prevent suicide.

Hoyt, 40, lost his father to suicide more than 20 years ago. Hoyt was 19 years old at the time serving in the U.S. Marines in Buford, South Carolina. He had just left for boot camp.

His father, Michael Dean Hoyt, took his life in 1999. His dad worked as a laborer, barely earning livable wages and had suffered an injury at work.

Hoyt said his father felt he did not have any options when his disability insurance ended. His father was not able to return to work after he endured several neck and back surgeries.

“He was a laborer and had no college education and our belief is that is why he did it was to provide for us because he could not provide with his hands anymore,” Hoyt said.

He recalls he received a voicemail with nearly 30 seconds of dead air. That was before there was caller ID. He believes this call could have been from his father because that was the day his father went missing. His mother contacted his recruiter and Hoyt flew home the next day.

“It was pretty traumatic,” he said. “When I got here we organized search parties and Farmington Police Chief Dan Siebenaler was involved and they found him on a Monday,” Hoyt said.

September is National Suicide Prevention month.

For years as a young man, Hoyt watched how his father’s work ethic prevailed as he had multiple jobs to provide for the family.

“He would work all day long in Apple Valley and come home and work a janitor shift and clean up the local doctor’s office, and I would go with him three hours at night,” Hoyt said.

Prior to being elected to the Farmington City Council last November in a write-in campaign, Hoyt met with concerned Farmington residents and parents to talk about forming a local suicide awareness group.

Hoyt believes in the power of numbers and thinks his hometown can be a resource for anyone who is struggling to support a loved one with depression or are coping with scars from losing a loved one to suicide.

Boxed up emotions

Hoyt recalls his father’s funeral was on a Friday. He chose to file for convalescent leave so he could stay home with his mother and younger sister. Then he returned to military duty in South Carolina, still coping with the suicide aftermath and processing deep grief.

“I struggled for a while and when I got back to South Carolina my crew said we did not expect you to come back, and they said they thought I would go to reserve status,” Hoyt said.

That is when Hoyt developed a strong internal fortitude and determination.

“I remember saying I am committed to what I am doing, and I want to stay dedicated to my job and training,” Hoyt said.

“You kind of go through a lot of dark places because you are trying to identify what is it and how do you identify it, and I had to decide where you go from here because I was the man of the house and you are it.”

Hoyt said life was pretty trying for few years and he chose to compartmentalize a lot of his emotions. “But you have to learn how to address what you are handling and how to really to deal with it,” he said.

New outlook

As a new veteran member of the Farmington American Legion, Hoyt hopes this group can be a support and socialization for older and younger veterans.

Hoyt plans to tape a public service announcement this month about suicide for Charter Spectrum after being ask to do it based on his role as a City Council member. Different announcements will cover social issues like cyber bullying, suicide prevention, organ donation and other topics.

“Because suicide and that topic is specific to me, I said can I speak on that,” Hoyt said.

Hoyt wants the American Legion to be a networking resource to help young and old veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder and any trauma related to serving overseas or witnessing violence from war.

Networking group

A local suicide support group did not meet this summer, but Hoyt is helping to reorganize this fall.

“I would love to have an affiliation with anyone who feels mental health and suicide prevention is important, and it is more about establishing a network,” he said.

“Suicide is a taboo subject and is a public health issue and it is navigating the delicacy of what society has created for the topic.”

Dealing with the loss of a loved one was not new to Hoyt as a young man who lost his maternal grandfather a few years before his father’s death. Hoyt did not choose to seek professional guidance during his grief period because he wanted to figure out his grief on his own.

“If I had known then what I know now, I would have reached out for more, but part of that, too, has created who I am today,” Hoyt said.

For years, he grappled with deep wounds of resentment toward his father whom he dearly loved and missed. But because his father ended his life, this caused he and his family to experience deep grief and despair.

In recent years, Hoyt has forgiven his dad and today feels grateful how he learned many core values of dedication, hard work and tenacity from his father.

“You can affect their legacy and you can be proud of what they gave you,” he said.

Hoyt, like his father, works with his hands, but chose to own his own building company.

“Today I try to use it as fuel to be a better person and when you get down at times, you have to ask for help and reach out and people are more than willing to help,” Hoyt said.

Hoyt stresses when facing life’s challenges and loss, people cannot bottle up feelings of anger, shame, guilt and regret, and these emotions usually follow suicide.

“Talk about it and don’t be afraid of the word suicide and it is not embracing it, but it is confronting it for what it is,” Hoyt said.

“What I wish I could tell all who have had to deal with suicide is that don’t put it in a box and hope it goes away.”

The third leading cause of death in the U.S. is suicide for youngsters who are 10 years old to 34 years old, Hoyt said.

Bullying, especially at younger ages, is one main reason a young person make take their life, he said.

“We need to look at social media and its affect on teenagers and young adults,” Hoyt said.

“It is heartbreaking because you don’t think about 10 and 11-year-olds as being wrapped into that, but every time you turn on the news you see so much of it.”

Hoyt said the new Farmington support group aims to be a resource, help parents support youths and connect people to organizations who can help.

“I started to see more and more people lose their lives to suicide with co-workers and it became a big part of their life, and I thought we need to do something with this and we need to get a platform out there so when someone is ready,” he said.

Hoyt is determined to eliminate suicides in Farmington.

“I want others to feel comfortable reaching out and ask for help so they do not go down path of resentment, and if they do, we can be there as a support system and let’s not let this happen to someone else,” Hoyt said.

To contact and find out about the group, email joshuahoyt17@gmail.com.

Hoyt added: “At the end of the day, one has to be willing to ask for help for others or themselves, and then from there people will pick other people up because that is our nature and we want to help people. We are not all saviors but we would like to assist and make people feel better about their current situation.”

Farmington resident Joshua Hoyt envisions his hometown can become a place where the community supports each other and works to prevent suicide.Hoyt, 40, lost his father to suicide more than 20 years ago. Hoyt was 19 years old at the time serving in the U.S. Marines in Buford, South Carolina. He had just left for boot camp.His father, Michael Dean Hoyt, took his life in 1999. His dad worked as a laborer, barely earning livable wages and had suffered an injury at work.Hoyt said his father felt he did not have any options when his disability insurance ended. His father was not able to return to work after he endured several neck and back surgeries.“He was a laborer and had no college education and our belief is that is why he did it was to provide for us because he could not provide with his hands anymore,” Hoyt said. He recalls he received a voicemail with nearly 30 seconds of dead air. That was before there was caller ID. He believes this call could have been from his father because that was the day his father went missing. His mother contacted his recruiter and Hoyt flew home the next day.“It was pretty traumatic,” he said. “When I got here we organized search parties and Farmington Police Chief Dan Siebenaler was involved and they found him on a Monday,” Hoyt said.September is National Suicide Prevention month.For years as a young man, Hoyt watched how his father’s work ethic prevailed as he had multiple jobs to provide for the family.“He would work all day long in Apple Valley and come home and work a janitor shift and clean up the local doctor’s office, and I would go with him three hours at night,” Hoyt said.Prior to being elected to the Farmington City Council last November in a write-in campaign, Hoyt met with concerned Farmington residents and parents to talk about forming a local suicide awareness group.Hoyt believes in the power of numbers and thinks his hometown can be a resource for anyone who is struggling to support a loved one with depression or are coping with scars from losing a loved one to suicide.

Boxed up emotionsHoyt recalls his father’s funeral was on a Friday. He chose to file for convalescent leave so he could stay home with his mother and younger sister. Then he returned to military duty in South Carolina, still coping with the suicide aftermath and processing deep grief.“I struggled for a while and when I got back to South Carolina my crew said we did not expect you to come back, and they said they thought I would go to reserve status,” Hoyt said.That is when Hoyt developed a strong internal fortitude and determination.“I remember saying I am committed to what I am doing, and I want to stay dedicated to my job and training,” Hoyt said.“You kind of go through a lot of dark places because you are trying to identify what is it and how do you identify it, and I had to decide where you go from here because I was the man of the house and you are it.”Hoyt said life was pretty trying for few years and he chose to compartmentalize a lot of his emotions. “But you have to learn how to address what you are handling and how to really to deal with it,” he said.

New outlookAs a new veteran member of the Farmington American Legion, Hoyt hopes this group can be a support and socialization for older and younger veterans.Hoyt plans to tape a public service announcement this month about suicide for Charter Spectrum after being ask to do it based on his role as a City Council member. Different announcements will cover social issues like cyber bullying, suicide prevention, organ donation and other topics.“Because suicide and that topic is specific to me, I said can I speak on that,” Hoyt said.Hoyt wants the American Legion to be a networking resource to help young and old veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder and any trauma related to serving overseas or witnessing violence from war.Networking groupA local suicide support group did not meet this summer, but Hoyt is helping to reorganize this fall.“I would love to have an affiliation with anyone who feels mental health and suicide prevention is important, and it is more about establishing a network,” he said.“Suicide is a taboo subject and is a public health issue and it is navigating the delicacy of what society has created for the topic.”Dealing with the loss of a loved one was not new to Hoyt as a young man who lost his maternal grandfather a few years before his father’s death. Hoyt did not choose to seek professional guidance during his grief period because he wanted to figure out his grief on his own.“If I had known then what I know now, I would have reached out for more, but part of that, too, has created who I am today,” Hoyt said.For years, he grappled with deep wounds of resentment toward his father whom he dearly loved and missed. But because his father ended his life, this caused he and his family to experience deep grief and despair.In recent years, Hoyt has forgiven his dad and today feels grateful how he learned many core values of dedication, hard work and tenacity from his father.“You can affect their legacy and you can be proud of what they gave you,” he said.Hoyt, like his father, works with his hands, but chose to own his own building company. “Today I try to use it as fuel to be a better person and when you get down at times, you have to ask for help and reach out and people are more than willing to help,” Hoyt said.Hoyt stresses when facing life’s challenges and loss, people cannot bottle up feelings of anger, shame, guilt and regret, and these emotions usually follow suicide.“Talk about it and don’t be afraid of the word suicide and it is not embracing it, but it is confronting it for what it is,” Hoyt said.“What I wish I could tell all who have had to deal with suicide is that don’t put it in a box and hope it goes away.”The third leading cause of death in the U.S. is suicide for youngsters who are 10 years old to 34 years old, Hoyt said.Bullying, especially at younger ages, is one main reason a young person make take their life, he said.“We need to look at social media and its affect on teenagers and young adults,” Hoyt said.“It is heartbreaking because you don’t think about 10 and 11-year-olds as being wrapped into that, but every time you turn on the news you see so much of it.”Hoyt said the new Farmington support group aims to be a resource, help parents support youths and connect people to organizations who can help. “I started to see more and more people lose their lives to suicide with co-workers and it became a big part of their life, and I thought we need to do something with this and we need to get a platform out there so when someone is ready,” he said.Hoyt is determined to eliminate suicides in Farmington. “I want others to feel comfortable reaching out and ask for help so they do not go down path of resentment, and if they do, we can be there as a support system and let’s not let this happen to someone else,” Hoyt said.To contact and find out about the group, email joshuahoyt17@gmail.com.Hoyt added: “At the end of the day, one has to be willing to ask for help for others or themselves, and then from there people will pick other people up because that is our nature and we want to help people. We are not all saviors but we would like to assist and make people feel better about their current situation.”

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