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Vigil Scheduled for Suicide Prevention, Awareness

Behavioral Health Services North, in cooperation with SUNY Plattsburgh, will host a candlelight vigil to support suicide prevention and awareness Saturday, Dec. 6, beginning at 5 p.m. at the SUNY Plattsburgh Field House gymnasium.

Community members are invited to gather around 600 candles that will spell the message, “HELP. HOPE. LIFE.” There will be a brief vigil and moment of silence to follow. The event is free and open to the public. 

According to the New York State Department of Health, the North Country’s suicide rate is higher than it is for the rest of New York state. Behavioral Health Services North’s prevention services include the only suicide hotline for Clinton County residents.

“This is an important event not only to raise awareness about the prevalence of suicide in our community but to support the only suicide hotline serving Clinton County,” said Mark Lukens, president of BHSN’s board of directors.

"One of my favorite parts of the work I do is letting people know that we are here for them, any day, any time,” said Beth, a social work who answers the hotline’s calls from Clinton County. “Just knowing that there are caring people available during their darkest hour can help someone to feel better, to feel worthwhile. I love being the person who can be there for individuals who are thinking about suicide, to hold space, allowing them to be however they need to be in that moment. It is still taboo to express suicidal thoughts in our society, so the availability of counselors who want to listen and support individuals who are thinking about suicide, who can understand these feelings, even though they are difficult, is an essential need."

About Behavior Health Services North (BHSN)

As a leader in behavioral health services in the North Country, our mission is to strengthen individuals, families and community life by delivering a behavioral healthcare and human service system that provides an integrated continuum of essential, responsive and cost-effective services. 

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