Important voice speaks out

Published 11:17 pm Friday, August 2, 2019

A simple online search of her name will bring up story after story Lauren Hope, formerly known as Lauren Compton, reported for a local television station.

In videos, the then-WAVY News 10 reporter can be seen stoically delivering the details on a homicide, talking to customers on the last day of business for a restaurant, sweating through a story about a school’s lack of air-conditioning on a warm day and giving a rundown on safety improvements on the James River Bridge.

In other words, she was living the normal life of a local reporter, telling thousands of viewers about all manner of topics. But behind it all, she was suffering through something she didn’t feel she could tell anyone.

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Lauren Hope was a WAVY reporter from 2012 to 2014 but was struggling with major depression and an anxiety disorder. She attempted suicide in 2014 and later quit her job at WAVY and became homeless.

Emerging from the darkness in late 2015, she got treatment for her illness and in 2016 decided to start sharing her story so that more people will feel comfortable talking about the topic.

“I must be the only person struggling with this, because no one else is talking about it,” she said recently, recalling her thoughts at the time.

She now lives in North Suffolk and is speaking out. Along with those videos of her at WAVY, a search of her name brings up blog posts, news stories and more where she is sharing her struggle.

Hope knows this is a particularly important topic for people of color.

“We just don’t have those discussions in the minority community,” Hope said. She’s also been nominated to the board for the Virginia Chapter of the AFSP.

While the suicide rate is highest among whites, “suicide occurs in all demographic groups,” according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and all people deserve to feel their voice is represented and heard when they are struggling.

We applaud Hope for her recovery process and for speaking out to help others, and we look forward to the AFSP’s Out of the Darkness Walk on Sept. 28. Visit for more information.