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Cortland County launches suicide prevention coalition (audio)

On this morning’s Meet Cortland County segment:

Patricia Schaap from the local mental health department discussed September’s Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, highlighting a variety of community resources available to help anyone who may be struggling.

That includes the county’s all-new suicide prevention coalition: SPEAK UP Cortland, which stands for Suicide Prevention, Education, Awareness, Knowledge, Understanding, and Perseverance.

Schaap was instrumental in establishing the coalition. She also serves as the county SPOA coordinator (Single Point of Access) and director of Youth Prevention Services.

“We have worked hard over the past 15 months collecting local data, comparing it to NYS data and then developing a strategic plan to support our local community,” said Schaap. “Our overarching goal is to decrease deaths by suicide in Cortland County and increase our community’s infrastructure to address this public health problem.”

Suicide is the 12th leading cause of death in New York State and the 2nd leading cause of death for ages 10-34.

More details on SPEAK UP Cortland can be found here, with information on local helplines at the bottom of the page.

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