(BINGHAMTON, NY) Broome County Suicide Awareness for Everyone (B.C. SAFE) and the Mental Health Association of the Southern Tier (MHAST) will co-host a week of action involving the community creation of sidewalk art in observance of World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD) from Thursday, September 10 until Friday, September 18, 2020.
“Chalk the Walk & Have the Talk” encourages both organizations and individuals to safely beautify sidewalks and pavement with messages and images of hope, resilience, suicide awareness and prevention. During the week of action, chalked walks can be entered to win prizes based on the following categories: Most Thoughtful Message, Most “likes” on Facebook, and Most Creative. Entries will be accepted through the MHAST website at www.mhast.org through Friday, September 18.
WSPD was initiated in 2003 and is co-sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP). WSPD (September 10th) is an awareness day designed to instill worldwide commitment and action for the prevention of suicides. Locally World Suicide Prevention Day is about our community: to encourage us to engage with each other and to work together to spread awareness of suicide prevention. The Chalk the Walk campaign allows people the opportunity to safely get outside while engaging in an activity for the greater good. Suicide is everyone’s business and YOU can make a difference!
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) reports that suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States and is the second leading cause of death among 10 to 34-year-olds. On average, there are 129 suicides per day and for every suicide there are 25 attempts. We all can make a difference by educating ourselves, reaching out and having conversations, and knowing where to turn when help is needed.
B.C. SAFE is a coalition whose mission is to reduce the number of suicides and suicide attempts by increasing public awareness and providing educational and training resources in Broome County. Given the unprecedented times we are facing during the COVID-19 pandemic, the coalition feels that encouraging creativity through sidewalk art is an activity that can be done while practicing safe distancing. Instilling a sense hope and positivity through messaging to highlight suicide awareness and prevention is important for the public to know that there is hope and that they are not alone.
If you or someone you know needs emotional support or help, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline where trained helpers are available 24/7 at 1-800-273- TALK (8255) or text the “Got5” to the Crisis Text Line at 741741. For more information and resources head to http://www.gobroomecounty.com/mh/bcsafe