Local residents, Beth and Sarah Fukumoto, have teamed up to provide Hawaii residents and the greater online community with new means to curb personal depression and suicidal tendencies.

Stemming from a mix of personal frustrations and academic research, the Fukumoto sisters set out to create a web-based community where users can submit sketches, letters, or other pieces of artwork anonymously so they can share processes of dealing with depression with other people struggling with the same things.

“The concept for this site came from a really rough time in our lives when we both developed a lot of frustration with existing forms of therapy,” Beth Fukumoto said, “my hope is that we’ve created something to keep people from feeling as completely and utterly alone as I felt. Sometimes finding someone who understands what you’re dealing with is half the battle.”

Both Fukumoto sisters have dealt with severe depression in varying capacities, and their experiences have given them an intricate knowledge of the resources available as well as a good understanding of what traditional therapy is lacking.

“Some people need more than what is currently offered, and we’re trying to help fill that need,” Sarah Fukumoto said, “I still have bad days from time to time, but it’s encouraging to receive genuine, heartfelt submissions from people that are like me, just trying to make it through the day. I hope people that visit the site or create sumbissions get that same encouragement.”

http://www.Ahopedeferred.org launched on October 15, 2009 and has been expanding within the UH Manoa Community since. Beth and Sarah Fukumoto have also begun working with local therapists and academics to incorporate the website into traditional therapy settings and reach those who have been unable to make progress with traditional methods.

‘Please visit, http://www.ahopedeferred.org for more information.’

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