NIANTIC – On Saturday a very special place opened its doors to the Southeastern Connecticut community: Brian’s Healing Hearts Center for Hope and Healing. This new Niantic home of the Brian Dagle Foundation, Inc. offers numerous grief support programs and resources for suicide prevention. State Representatives Holly Cheeseman (R-East Lyme), Kathleen McCarty (R-Waterford) and Senator Paul Formica (R-East Lyme) attended the center’s ribbon cutting ceremony and open house in support of Brian’s parents and co-founders of this foundation, Ann and Paul Dagle.
“This is such a meaningful day,” said Rep. Cheeseman. “You are never ready to lose a loved one, especially not in such a tragic way. Paul and Ann are very special people who have converted a tragedy into something wonderful that will help others heal. They have shown us that we can come together, love one another, provide the support needed to face the next day and realize that this is what community is about – embracing those you love and treasuring each day.”
“It is a true honor and privilege to be here,” said Rep. McCarty, who has been recognized for two consecutive years by the Eastern Connecticut Regional Mental Health Board for her hard work and leadership related to closing the gaps in mental health services across the state. “Ann Dagle is one real go-getter! She has been so helpful to all of us in Waterford, especially the Youth Service Bureau. I thank her for all she has done – including attending all of our mental health awareness forums. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among teenagers and young adults, ages 15 to 24. If anyone can change the conversation about this and get things done, it is the Dagle family. I carry this phrase with me at all times: Dum spiro spero; ‘While I breathe, I hope’. Ann and Paul truly exemplify this notion of determination and positivity. Brian’s Healing Hearts could not have found a more beautiful, better location to make its home – I know this is going to be a place of great work, healing and hope.”
“I have so much respect and admiration for the Dagles and the incredible work they have done through the Brian T. Dagle Memorial Foundation,” said Sen. Formica. “The official opening of Brian’s Healing Hearts Center marks an exciting new chapter in helping people in their darkest hour confront grief and pain. So often serious issues involving mental and emotional health go unaddressed or overlooked. Raising awareness about these issues is an important step to ending the stigma and bringing people closer to the help they need to overcome pain and suffering. I know how hard this family has worked to get where they are today and to offer help to so many others. I cannot thank them enough for all they do for our community.”
Rep. Cheeseman read aloud the citation presented by the legislators to the foundation: “The Connecticut General Assembly offers its sincerest congratulations to Brian’s Healing Hearts. We join you today with deep appreciation of your mission to provide support to families, and your commitment to your community in Southeastern Connecticut and the rest of our state. We welcome your new headquarters and know that you have the full support and love from our communities and its residents near and far.”
After tragically losing their much loved teenage son to suicide in 2011, the Dagle family established the Brian Dagle Foundation in his memory in 2014 to fill the gaps in suicide prevention and the much-needed support for those impacted by suicide. Their mission is to offer hope and healing for those grieving the loss of someone special or struggling with the challenges of life by providing support services and resources in the Southeastern Connecticut Community. In addition to grief support, they promote suicide awareness and prevention with education on suicide risk factors and warning signs. Learn more at www.brianshealinghearts.org.