MONTICELLO — This September, Sullivan County is recognizing National Suicide Prevention and Awareness Month with a butterfly display in the front of the NAMI Sullivan County offices at 20 …
MONTICELLO — This September, Sullivan County is recognizing National Suicide Prevention and Awareness Month with a butterfly display in the front of the NAMI Sullivan County offices at 20 Crystal Street in Monticello (with a couple of other prominent locations in the works). The butterfly display is intended to represent the butterfly effect, and the notion that by making small changes in behavior, those that may be contemplating suicide can make a different choice, resulting in a better, healthier outcome. Each butterfly represents a Sullivan County resident who died by suicide over the past year. According to Sullivan County Coroner, Albee Bockman, in 2022, 8 county residents died by suicide. “While that is a lower number than we would have expected,” says NAMI Sullivan Executive Director, Lori Schneider, “it’s absolutely eight too many.”
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) Hudson Valley/Westchester Chapter Director Maria Idoni said: “September is National Suicide Prevention Month, and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention – we want to bring awareness to the deaths by suicide in our county, last year. Each butterfly in our garden represents one life lost to suicide in our county. Seeing the butterfly display is also a reminder that each of us transforms. The butterflies symbolically represent hope and new beginnings. There is always hope.”
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), suicide is the leading cause of death in people aged 10-34 years old. During Suicide Prevention and Awareness Month, Sullivan County agencies are encouraging individuals with mental health illness to seek help, before it’s too late. The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline offers 24/7 call, text and chat access to trained crisis counselors who can help people experiencing suicidal, substance use and/or mental health crisis, or any type of mental distress.
NAMI Sullivan County works in conjunction with the AFSP and will this year be helping to bring the “Out of the Darkness” Community Walks back to Sullivan County for the first time in four years. The walk will be held in Kauneonga Lake on Sunday, October 29th, kicking off from the Bethel Senior Center at 11 am. If you have lost someone to Suicide, you are not alone. NAMI Sullivan offers Suicide Bereavement Groups for those who’ve lost a loved one to Suicide. The groups meet the first Wednesday of each month at 20 Crystal Street in Monticello (and also via ZOOM) – they are FREE, CONFIDENTIAL and a SAFE place to share. For information, phone (845) 794-1029.
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