Broome County Gets $10K for Suicide Prevention

By Lorne Fultonberg
By Natalie Rubino

February 6, 2013 Updated Feb 6, 2013 at 7:47 PM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) The KYDS Coalition has been working to keep Broome County's youth drug free and safe for nearly 13 years. Now, with the help of a $10,000 grant, it will add suicide prevention to its focus.

Suicide is the third leading cause of death among 15 to 24 year olds, according to county Deputy Commissioner of Mental Health, Katherine Cusano. And those who use drugs are at a higher risk of committing suicide.

"Much of the 10-thousand dollars goes toward raising awareness," she said, "advertising on television and on the radio, anything to spread the word about the warning signs of suicide."

Broome was one of four counties in New York state chosen to receive the grant. With the money, the coalition created another committee called Broome County Suicide Awareness for Families and Educators, or B.C. SAFE.

The goal of the committee is to reduce the number of suicides and suicide attempts in Broome County, Cusano said.

"People are not always sure about the warning signs," she said. "If someone begins to give their things away, you may not think much of it, but that is a real blatant warning sign that someone is thinking about suicide. If they're acting anxious or agitated someone may not think about that being a suicide warning sign, but it is."

The money will also go to public presentations by the KYDS Coalition to provide awareness and resources to the community.