Delta variant, Afghanistan, staff shortages, vaccination and mask mandates. Just saying any of those words can bring instant stress. It can cause sleepless nights and health problems.

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Now more than ever, we need to reach out to our friends and family and make sure that they are doing okay. Several years ago, a friend of mine took his life and no one saw it coming. In fact, I remember saying to my friends that he would have been the last person in our group to take his life. I guess, you just never know.

I bring this up now because September is "Suicide Awareness Month" and I don't want you to become a statistic. The Mental Health Association of the Southern Tier (MHAST) wants you to know that suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for ages 10 to 34.

On average, there are over 130 suicides per day in the United States and with everything that is happening around us, that number will continue to rise.

Mental Health Association Of The Southern Tier September Events

MHAST has planned several events in September including Chalk the Walk & Have the Talk beginning on "World Suicide Prevention Day" on Friday, September 10th. You are encouraged to have the talk and you can submit photos of your art and have a chance to win prizes for Most Thoughtful Message, Most Creative, and more.

On Saturday, September 11th, MHAST has the  "Wings of Hope" 4 Mile Walk for mental health, suicide, and addiction awareness. It'll take place at Dorchester Park in Whitney Point at the South Pavilion.

Registration begins at 9 a.m. with the walk at 10 a.m. on the Dorchester Park Walking Trail, you can find out more and preregister here.

If you are feeling the stress of life, take my word for it, YOU ARE NOT ALONE! No matter how you may feel, there is someone that wants you around...I want you around.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

If you don't know where to turn or need help, you can always call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). It's available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

MHAST Mask Up Contest Winners

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