On Feb. 28, the Mayfield Suicide Prevention Task Force, in conjunction with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, presented a town hall meeting entitled “Suicide Prevention, Education and Awareness: It’s Everyone’s Business!” It was a community discussion about recognizing warning signs of suicide and how to help prevent suicide. This uncomfortable topic needs to be discussed because we are often reminded too late about how real these issues are.
Every 13.7 minutes someone in the United States dies by suicide. This is a frightening statistic considering 90 percent of people who die by suicide have a diagnosable and treatable psychiatric disorder at the time of their death. Many of these deaths can be been prevented if warning signs are noticed and help is provided.
I’d like to thank everyone who made this important town hall meeting possible: first and foremost, the community members who attended and the Mayfield Central School District for supporting the efforts of their Suicide Prevention Task Force. Thanks also to Laura Marx and AFSP for providing the program and to Kathy Cromie of the Mental Health Association in Fulton & Montgomery Counties for doing most of the legwork. Thank you to the community providers who attended – Court Appointed Special Advocates of Fulton & Montgomery Counties, Catholic Charities of Fulton & Montgomery Counties, The Family Counseling Center, Fulton & Montgomery County Suicide Prevention Task Force, HFM Prevention Council, Mental Health Association in Fulton and Montgomery Counties, National Alliance on Mental Illness – Montgomery, Fulton & Hamilton Counties (NAMI) and VetCorps.
A very special thank you to the survivor panel speakers who offered their personal perspectives on suicide: Miss Fulton County 2013 – Katelynn Smith, Ann Thane, MaryFran Fiorillo, Zakk Delach and Kim Buchanan. I believe their openness and willingness to share such personal matters had a huge, amazing impact. And thank you to Marianne Reid, for not only sharing her personal story, but for helping make the whole evening possible. I’d like to ask everyone to take a moment to familiarize themselves with the warning signs of suicide. You never know, you might just save a life. More information can be obtained from the Fulton & Montgomery County Suicide Prevention Task Force (call Kathy Cromie at 762-5332, Ext. 111), the Mayfield Suicide Prevention Task Force (call Robin Lair at 661-8295), or the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (www.afsp.org). If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
Member, Mayfield Suicide Prevention Task Force