HELENA – Montana has one of the highest suicide rates in the country. It’s something that hits home for many and is often a tough subject to talk about.
Jessica Ulrich an artist from Billings painted a mural in Helena in honor of one person who died by suicide.
Paige Dombrovski killed herself two months after her 17th birthday.
“She had an amazing laugh, her laugh was contagious, family was her biggest thing, she liked spending time with her cousins she had a big group of friends that just adored her, “said Alyssa Dombrovski, Paige’s sister
Alyssa said she has countless memories of her sister but one in particular stands out. When her daughter was unable to hold her hand during labor, Paige was there.
“You know as sister we would get into our little quarrels, but that she was there, she held my hand every time I needed her. I was in labor for 32 hours and she never left my side, “Alyssa added.
Jenny Rahmlow, Paige’s mother, said the colors of the mural express exactly who Paige was.
“Beautiful, beautiful smile I mean she would walk into a room and she would just smile and you couldn’t help but smile. I have millions of memories of Paige but I always love when I find photos where all four of my kids were together, those are my fondest memories,” added Rahmlow.
Ulrich, the artist behind painting Paige’s mural said she is honored make something for Paige’s family. The mural was painted on the family’s house.
“It’s always hard to paint a mural for someone who committed suicide but it’s always fun to bring a wall to life with color especially in honor of somebody no matter what the reason is. I am a suicide attempt suicide survivor myself,“ said Ulrich.
Alyssa wants people who are feeling depressed to find someone they feel safe around to talk to.
“I just want people to know that you have to reach out for help if you are struggling, if you’re having a hard time its ok to ask for help, it’s important to ask for help,” added Alyssa,
“It’s not an easy subject for people to talk about so, they generally just brush it off and it’s a more serious topic that should be discussed of more often,” said Ulrich.
For more information on how to prevent suicide or for the national hotline number click here.
The Montana suicide hotline is 1-800-332-8425 for other local hotlines click here.