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Shedding light on suicide

At the forum, the first topic to be discussed is education, letting people know that suicide is a public health issue that affects many people across the country, and teaching people to be alert to indications that people may be having thoughts of suicide.

"What's beautiful about Schenectady County is that resources are coming together from all disciplines. By that I mean clergy, school police, administrators, organizations like ours " so that people are talking to each other, and that's what we need," said Coleman.

In conjunction with the talk, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is showing a new video about teenage depression.

"It's about being more than sad. And what does depression look like? It shows our teens what to look for in their peers," said Coleman.

The forum also includes a discussion about what resources are available around the community.

"We have to be able to talk about it or we can't move together to prevent it, but it's difficult to talk about " certainly it is " I can speak firsthand to that, but if we don't talk about it then we're going to continue to lose lives," said Coleman.

For more information about the forum, visit the Scotia-Glenville Web site at www.scotiaglenvilleschools.org, or www.schenectadycounty.com, or the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention at www.afsp.org.

"We talk about mental illnesses being associated with suicide, and we know there are very good treatments, [but] unless we talk about it we lose lives because people don't know," said Coleman.

"[It's important] to make the parents and the students more aware of the warning signs and what can be done to intervene," said Mike Rumbaugh, Mohonasen Central School District's school resource officer with the Rotterdam Police Department.

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