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Westchester County Observes National Suicide Awareness Month

Westchester County will sponsor a series of events next week in observance of National Suicide Awareness Month.
Westchester County will sponsor a series of events next week in observance of National Suicide Awareness Month. Photo Credit: AFSP.org

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. – County Executive Robert P. Astorino and the Westchester County Department of Community Mental Health have announced that the county will sponsor a series of events next week in observance of National Suicide Awareness Month.

“It is important to speak up if you or someone you know is severely depressed,” said Astorino, in a press release. “Westchester County has a multitude of valuable mental health resources available for both short and long-term care. Help is a phone call away for residents, so do not hesitate to reach out.”

White Plains Wellness Week will kick off Monday, Sept. 15, with featured speaker Gayathri Ramprasad, author of “Shadows in the Sun” discussing how she overcame mental illness at the White Plains Public Library from 10 a.m. to noon.

Later that evening, Ramprasad and Youth Mental Health First Aid trainers from Westchester Jewish Community Services will deliver a presentation to parents and students at White Plains High School from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

For more information on these two events call 914-422-1378.

On Wednesday, Sept. 17, Dr. Barbara Bernstein and Maria Idoni will lead suicide-prevention training from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the White Plains Public Library. For more information, contact Pat Garrity at ppg6@westchestergov.com.

One in 10 Americans suffers from depression and more than 30,000 take their lives each year, according to the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.

“We can all help prevent these tragic and needless deaths in our own communities by learning to recognize and take seriously the signs of depression,” said Dr. Sherlita Amler county health commissioner and acting commissioner of the Department of Community Mental Health. “Subtle signs include withdrawal from family, friends and activities that were previously enjoyed or an increased use of alcohol or drugs. While some suicidal people say they wish they were dead or that they want to hurt themselves, not all do. However, talk like this should never be brushed aside.”

Suicide prevention resources in Westchester include National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK; St. Vincent’s Hospital Crisis Prevention and Response team at 914-925-5959; Westchester/Putnam Suicide Coalition ; and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Westchester Chapter , or call 914-610-9156 or e-mail westchesterny@afsp.org.

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