EILEEN SPATZ, San Clemente

I am a longtime resident of San Clemente (34 years) and have been fortunate to know the Hazlett family for decades now. In fact, our sons were close friends in high school.

Gina Hazlett provided an excellent synopsis of the Because I Love You (BILY) program, the local chapter of which she founded in 2015, in a recent edition of the SC Times’ Wellness & Prevention column.

As a mother who tragically lost her son to suicide in 2013, I only wish this organization had been available to me during the last few years of his young life as he battled depression and alcoholism.

What a wonderful resource BILY is to parents of teens or young adults who are struggling with mental health issues, addiction, or other behavioral problems. Parents feel utterly helpless when they see their precious son or daughter spiraling out of control.

Our community is so very blessed to have available such an organization as BILY, that not only assists parents in navigating the many obstacles we are faced with but can actually improve the overall family dynamic in the process.

San Clemente has some amazing resources available for our youth and their parents.

In addition to BILY, we have the Community Outreach Alliance (COA) and its wonderful “Thrive Alive” program; Susan Parmelee’s Wellness and Prevention Coalition and San Clemente High’s counseling resources; San Clemente Chaplain Resources headed by Pondo Vleisides; the Boys and Girls Club; and various church youth ministries.

Parents are encouraged to access the many sources of support, coping tools, and referrals available through these local efforts that are working so hard to help the San Clemente community as a whole.

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