BINGHAMTON, N.Y. (WIVT/WBGH) Greater Binghamton sidewalks are about to be filled with colorful messages of hope and support.

“Chalk the Walk, Have the Talk” is a community wide initiative to support those struggling with their mental health. Community members are asked to write or draw positive affirmations and encouraging messages in chalk across the county to bring awareness to mental illness and suicide.

Community Systems Coordinator at the Broome County Mental Health Department Heidi Mikeska says the chalking is a way to make our area colorful while making sure individuals struggling feel heard and seen.

“We want people to be out and be able to talk about suicide and mental health as a part of our everyday conversation. It’s truly a part of our heath. Mental health is health and with that, it should be part of our conversation to say, “I’m not ok today and I need help.” It shouldn’t be something that is stigmatized and by doing chalking, we’re creating an opportunity for people to get positive messages when they may need them,” said Mikeska.

The chalking can be done anytime, anywhere from now until September 18. The coalition is also providing chalk to anyone who would like to participate. A contest will also be held for chalkings submitted to the coalition.

For more information on the event, contest, and where to get the chalk, click here.