Officials speak out on Suicide Prevention Day

YOUNGSTOWN — State Sen. Charleta Tavares had just won her first election when her brother took his own life in 1994.

Tavares shared that story and those about how she subsequently worked to promote suicide prevention at the Mahoning County Mental Health Board’s World Suicide Prevention Day program.

“We have to be able to speak up and speak out,” Tavares said. “There’s still so much stigma.”

Other attendees included local lawmakers and Shawna Hite, director of the Ohio Suicide Prevention Foundation.

She said suicide has increased by more than a third over the last 20 years.

“This is why we don’t want these discussions to end here today,” Hite said.

Those considering suicide or concerned about a love one can call the Help Network of Northeast Ohio hotline at 211.

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