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2017-10-04 / Front Page

Saving Lives by Raising Awareness

By Lillian Browne


SUNY Delhi President Dr. Michael R. Laliberte addressed students and resource providers at the 5th annual “Out of the Darkness” Suicide Prevention and Awareness event on Sunday, Oct. 1. 
Lillian Browne/The Reporter SUNY Delhi President Dr. Michael R. Laliberte addressed students and resource providers at the 5th annual “Out of the Darkness” Suicide Prevention and Awareness event on Sunday, Oct. 1. Lillian Browne/The Reporter DELHI - Stressful events, demanding life situations, physical and emotional problems as well as other factors can build a crisis that leads to suicidal thoughts and behaviors. It’s a topic and a statistic that troubles communities nationwide. It is also preventable.

In an effort to raise awareness about the risk factors and warning signs of suicide and to lend their support to suicide prevention, over 300 people attended the 5th annual “Out of the Darkness” Community Walk at SUNY Delhi on Sunday, Oct. 1.

The event was organized by members and prospective members of the Kappa Sigma Epsilon (KSE) Fraternity, a fraternity deeply committed to community services whose motto is “Men for Others.”


Delaware County Youth Bureau Director and Suicide Prevention Network of Delaware County representative Lara Yambor tolled the bell as names of those who lost their lives to suicide were read as part of the suicide prevention program held at SUNY Delhi. 
Lillian Browne/The Reporter Delaware County Youth Bureau Director and Suicide Prevention Network of Delaware County representative Lara Yambor tolled the bell as names of those who lost their lives to suicide were read as part of the suicide prevention program held at SUNY Delhi. Lillian Browne/The Reporter KSE member Jaime Johnson helped facilitate the event and wants people to know that there are places where people can seek help if they are feeling hopeless, a sense of no purpose, trapped or stuck in a bad situation, anxious or irritable, or a lack of interest in previously-enjoyed activities - all potential warning signs of self harm.

There are resources available on campus, he said, but suicide is not an issue that solely targets college-aged people.

Anyone can become vulnerable, he said.

Some warning signs to look out for, Johnson said, are when people suddenly ostracize themselves and avoid activities that they once enjoyed. Another sign that something is amiss and that someone may need someone to talk to can be detected through social media posts, he said. If people begin to post things that are “depressing” or “sad” - or even share posts that reflect those themes, Johnson suggests simply reaching out and asking someone if they want to talk.


Members and prospective member of the Kappa Sigma Epsilon Fraternity, as well as other students, at SUNY Delhi participated in a community walk through the village of Delhi on Sunday, Oct. 1 to help raise awareness and funds for suicide prevention efforts. 
Lillian Browne/The Reporter Members and prospective member of the Kappa Sigma Epsilon Fraternity, as well as other students, at SUNY Delhi participated in a community walk through the village of Delhi on Sunday, Oct. 1 to help raise awareness and funds for suicide prevention efforts. Lillian Browne/The Reporter College Junior and KSE prospect TJ Mebert, 19, of Saratoga Springs, attended the event to show his support to those who may be contemplating suicide. Depression, he said, effects many members of his family and both of his grandfathers died by suicide when he was a child. He is acutely attuned to the warning signs of suicide, he said.


Names of those lost to suicide and messages of hope were scribed on balloons that were launched prior to the “Out of the Darkness” Community Walk in Delhi. 
Lillian Browne/The Reporter Names of those lost to suicide and messages of hope were scribed on balloons that were launched prior to the “Out of the Darkness” Community Walk in Delhi. Lillian Browne/The Reporter He would like to see people show their support to those in need of someone to listen, to be a friend and to understand feelings of despair before it gets to the point of self-harm, he said.

Delaware County Youth Bureau Director Lara Yambor participated in the day’s events by tolling a bell as the names of those who died by suicide were read from a list. Yambor spoke about the need to remove the stigma associated with suicide so people feel free to openly talk about and ultimately receive help for suicidal thoughts.

“We can all make a difference by becoming suicide prevention advocates. All it takes is the passion to inspire change in your own community,” Yambor said. Yambor is also a member of The Suicide Prevention Network of Delaware County (SPNDC), established in 2014 to address the high rate of suicide in the area.

The Network consists of community partners and individuals from human services, mental health and substance abuse agencies, law enforcement, area hospitals, schools and other community based agencies.

SPNDC typically meets the fourth Tuesday of the month at 10 a.m. at the Delaware County Public Safety Building located at 280 Phoebe Lane in Delhi. The Network also provides suicide prevention trainings - free of charge - to help the communities take an active role in suicide prevention.

Printed materials listing resources, providing resiliency building tips and warning signs of someone in crises, were handed out at the event. The event concluded following a balloon launch in remembrance of those who lost their lives to suicide and a short walk through the village of Delhi and back to campus.

The event was sponsored by the South Central New York Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Kappas Sigma Epsilon Fraternity, Delaware County Suicide Prevention Network and SUNY Delhi.

For more information about suicide prevention in Delaware County call 607-832-5200 (non-crisis calls) or the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273- TALK (8255).

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