Suicide prevention leaders will host a public forum Thursday evening in the Northtowns.
"Thirteen Reasons Why: A Community Forum," will run from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at Williamsville High School, 5950 Main St., Williamsville.
Speakers will include Michael Ranney, Erie County commissioner of mental health; Pat Breux, state coordinator of School and Youth Initiatives Suicide Prevention Center New York; and others in the mental health field.
The program is free for adults including parents and educators.
“Approximately 1 in 5 Western New Yorkers are living with a mental health condition," Ranney said last month when announcing the formation of the Anti Stigma Coalition, comprising members from 15 organizations who aim to change how people in Western New York view mental illness. "Yet many of these people suffer in silence because of the discrimination that goes along with it. By starting a community conversation where people can share their stories, their struggles and their successes, we’re hoping to reduce stigma. Through this effort, we hope that people dealing with mental health challenges will know they are not alone, help is available and recovery is possible.”
For more information about the coalition, visit letstalkstigma.org and its social media channels on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. The campaign is being funded by The Patrick P. Lee Foundation, The Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Foundation, Erie County Department of Mental Health and donations and in-kind services of the coalition’s founding partners.