Talk Saves Lives: Suicide Prevention Program

Talk Saves Lives. (Kaitlyn Hession/Cortland Voice).

Since 2003, World Suicide Prevention Day is held every year on September 10th to help provide worldwide commitment and action to prevent suicides. Suicide has become a major topic in recent years as people have become more aware of it and have acted against it. On average, the annual suicide rate in America has increased between 1999 and 2014 by 24% (10.5 to 13.0 per hundred people) making it the highest rate recorded in 28 years. To help spread awareness of this topic in the Cortland community, the Talk Saves Lives presentation was shown during this month’s Food for Thought Program at the TC3 Extension Center yesterday.

Talk Saves Lives is a presentation founded by the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention that helps guests learn the risk and warning signs of suicide and how they can help prevent it.

Food for Thought, a collaborative effort between the Mental Health Association and Cortland Prevention Services, is a free workshop for local professionals to learn about different topics each month based on the speaker and have lunch while they learn. Guests at this month’s Food for Thought learned more about the conflict and found ways to help prevent it as well as learning how to maintain their mental health.

Maintaining your mental health is extremely important, especially for college students or those in a stressful environment. For many of those people, it can become too much sometimes to where they think ending their lives is the only way to stop everything they are going through.

“Suicide impacts people greatly, either if it’s someone close to you or someone you may know though a friend. It has a huge impact.” said Sam Adams, program coordinator of the Cortland LGBTQ+ center and co-chair of Speak Up Cortland.

If you or someone you know is struggling, please beware of a nearby counseling center that will help you or visit a wellness center that will teach all about general stress reduction techniques or call the national suicide prevention helpline at 1-800-273-8255. If you’re interested in a community effort against suicide, consider joining Speak Up in Cortland by contacting Sam Adams at or visiting their site at

Talk Saves Lives. (Kaitlyn Hession/Cortland Voice).