BINGHAMTON N.Y – Local mental health professionals are mixing education with awareness in their efforts to prevent suicide.
The organization Broome County Suicide Awareness For Everyone, or BC SAFE, held a breakfast at the Binghamton Club.
The 6th annual event coincides with World Suicide Prevention Day and featured keynote speaker Brittany Cooley.
Cooley is an author who has written about her own journey as a suicide survivor.
This year, the program added separate breakout sections for the general public, professionals and loss survivors.
Community Systems Coordinator Heidi Mikeska says the goal is to combat stigma and let those who are contemplating suicide know that there is hope.
“We can prevent suicide by creating an awareness around this topic and allowing people to know that it’s okay to talk, it’s okay to reach out and it’s okay to tell people that you are hurting,” says Mikeska.
The organization is also promoting a campaign called Take 5 To Save Lives.
It suggests the following five steps: learn the signs, do your part, practice self-care, reach out and spread the word.