Members of the Livingston County Suicide Prevention Task Force work to raise awareness around suicide prevention and the resources available to county residents.

Task Force volunteers participated in the Safety and Wellness Community Fair on May 15 at Livingston County’s Murray Hill Campus in Mount Morris.

“We would like to thank our volunteers for being the voice of suicide prevention, supporting attempt survivors and supporting those who have lost loved ones to suicide,” stated Lynne Mignemi, chairperson of the Livingston County Suicide Prevention Task Force. “Our goal is to help break the stigma surrounding mental health by encouraging folks to talk openly about the issues they face.”

May was Mental Health Month and provided an opportunity to highlight local suicide prevention efforts.

Suicide is a serious public health problem that can have lasting harmful effects on individuals, families, and communities, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

There are many factors that contribute to suicide. The goal of suicide prevention is to reduce factors that increase risk and increase factors that promote resilience, according to CDC.

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, and many of those who died by suicide have an underlying mental illness, according to health officials.

The Livingston County Suicide Prevention Task Force was started in 2013 when Livingston County had the highest suicide rate in the nine-county Finger Lakes region - 15 per 100,000 residents, according to the state Department of Health - and a rate nearly twice that of the state, which at the time was 8 per 100,000 residents.

The county’s Task Force was charged with finding the root of the issue, increasing public awareness and encouraging people to seek treatment.

Currently, the rate is 9.3 per 100,000 people, which indicates that Livingston County now has one of the lowest suicide rates in the region. The state suicide rate is 8.1 per 100,000 residents.

To learn more about the Livingston County Suicide Prevention Task Force, visit and “like” its Facebook page, livingstoncountysuicideprevention. Also, visit the Genesee Valley Health Partnership at www.gvhp.org.

Resources

If you or someone you know is in suicidal crisis, call 911 or go to an emergency room. If you’re feeling lonely, isolated, depressed or stressed, there are many local resources available. Among them:

If you are struggling, reach out to NY Project HOPE at 1-844-863-9314 between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m., seven days per week. The emotional support line is free, confidential and anonymous.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline may be reached by calling 1-800-273-8255. The hotline is available 24 hours a day. Additional information is available online here.

The Veteran’s Crisis Line 1-800-273-8255 and pressing “1.” Additional information is available online here.

Additional mental health resources are available in Livingston County through Lifeline, call 211; Livingston County Mental Health Services, (585) 243-7250; and Noyes Health Mental Health Services (585) 335-4316.

Livingston County Suicide Prevention Task Force volunteers who participated in the Safety and Wellness Community Fair on May 15, 2021 included David Terry.

Livingston County Suicide Prevention Task Force volunteers who participated in the Safety and Wellness Community Fair on May 15, 2021 included Sarah Prentice.

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