Suicide Prevention Week

September 2, 2014


Suicide Prevention Week


To the Editor:


This week (Sept. 8-14) is Suicide Prevention Week. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death according to the Center for Disease Control. It is a national health issue and it is on the rise. Most Americans were stunned just recently when word of comedian Robin Williams’ suicide became known. Suicide has no boundaries – men, women, and young people can all fall prey to the depression that leads to their taking their own life.


We will mark Suicide Prevention Week with special colored night lighting in front of the Historic County Courthouse in Carmel.


In Putnam, we have invested in suicide prevention research and created a free downloadable app, Putnam County Cares, for smartphones.  On this app, there is an icon titled S.P.E.A.K. which stands for Suicide Prevention Education & Awareness Kit, where users can find very helpful information about suicide symptoms, thoughts and behaviors. I strongly urge everyone to download the app and to become familiar with the information it contains.


The Mental Health Association in Putnam County offers training seminars for caregivers who want to prevent the immediate risk of suicide. They can be reached at (845)278-7600.


One death by suicide is one death too many.


Another place to turn is our Putnam County Crisis Hotline at (845) 225-1222. In addition, you can visit such sites as the Westchester/Putnam Suicide Prevention Coalition (west/ and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (


Education is the key for suicide prevention and it is needed in our schools, our communities, our workplaces and, especially, in our families. Please take a moment to download the free Putnam County Cares app and educate yourself on suicide prevention today.


MaryEllen Odell

Putnam County Executive