Director and Founder of Door of Hope 4 Teens and Young Adults, Debra Cornacchia, gives TheHopeLine an inside look at how they provide help for those struggling with self-harm.
Door of Hope Started from Debra’s Own Struggles with Self-Harm
Door of Hope was birthed out of founder, Debra’s emotional pain and her struggles. She had self-harmed from the age of 12 years old to 25. She said there was no one to tell back then. Her goal with starting Door of Hope is to give hope to people struggling with self-harm. Debra has recovered from her addiction, gone to college, and has a successful career and a wonderful family. She wants others who are struggling with self-harm to know that recovery is possible for them as well.
Debra started Door of Hope as a support group in her local church. They would meet once a week but no one was really showing up. Then teens and young adults started coming to the meetings from 2 and 3 hours away. She soon realized that people in the local neighborhood didn’t want to come out of fear, shame or being embarrassed because the people at the church would know who they were. So, that’s when she decided to create a website. And she wanted a way to be able to chat with people from all over the place so the texting hotline was started. Door of Hope may have started off in a church but now they are an international organization.
Door of Hope Helps Anyone Struggling with Doing or Even Thinking About Self-Harm
They deal with mostly with self-harm but along with self-harm comes eating disorders, depression, anxiety. You can get help from them even if you are thinking of self-harm and not actively even doing it.
Door of Hope Can Help You Stop Cutting
There is no quick fix to overcome the desire to self-harm. Debra says, “I wish I had a magic wand where I could just wave it over you and your problems would be gone but unfortunately that doesn’t work because cutting is so addictive. It takes time, recovery is not a race. Recovery is a process, it’s a journey. If they want to walk that journey out and take the tools that we give them to help them through that. Recovery can be absolutely obtained. A lot of people don’t think that people who struggle with cutting can ever stop cutting but the good news is that they absolutely can.”
Door of Hope tries to get to the root cause of why someone is cutting. They believe cutting is a symptom of far greater emotional issues, often stemming from trauma (physical abuse, sexual abuse, bullying) or feelings of neglect or low self-esteem. There are many things that can be at the root problem of self-harm.
Debra reads 2 letters from people who were helped by Door of Hope:
Door of Hope Believes Secrets Grow in the Dark
Door of Hope connects people locally…with faith-based organizations, therapists, guidance counselors or someone else who can help. They believe secrets grow in the dark. There is such a secret with self-harm that if you are not able to express it to anyone then you’re not going to get help. Door of Hope encourages the person struggling to reach out and tell someone they trust.
Door of Hope offers a texting hotline where you can contact them by texting anonymously 3 nights a week (Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday from 8:30 – 10:30pm ET). You can also call or email. And now they are offering recovery coaching where sessions are set up through Skype or FaceTime.
Door of Hope Focuses on Forgiving
Most people who are hurting themselves have been hurt by others. They help people to walk through the process of forgiving. It’s about giving the person a voice about what happened to them. They want to help them forgive the people who hurt them. A lot of people are bullied and very angry at the people who have bullied them so they turn to cutting because it releases that pain but forgiveness is so much better. Forgiveness is setting yourself free.
If you are struggling with self-harm, help is available! Debra sums up who Door of Hope is and what they can do to help if you are struggling with self-harm:
Door of Hope wants you to know it is confidential when you speak with them. They are not mandated reporters so they don’t have to report what you tell them.
Website – http://www.doorofhope4teens.org/
Call or text – 803.570.2061 or 914.393.1904 (Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday from 8:30 – 10:30pm ET)
For International Calls– 1.805.517.85779
Email – email@example.com
Set up one-on-one personal recovery coaching – call or text Debra at 914.393.1904