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Your life matters


  • Each year more than 33,000 Americans die by suicide.
  • An estimated 25 attempted suicides occur per every suicide death.
  • Men are about four times more likely than women to die by suicide, but three times more women than men report attempting suicide.

In New York

  • Suicide is the 12th leading cause of death overall in New York.
  • On average one person dies by suicide every 5 hours in NYS.
  • More than twice as many people die by suicide in NY annually than by homicide.

In Lewis County

Lewis County's suicide rate is 21.6 per 100,000 as of 2019-2021.


About Us

The Lewis County Suicide Prevention Coalition was formed in 2013 and functions as an entirely volunteer organization. Members are working to partner with the community to take an active role in suicide prevention. Through working together our goal is to provide training to the community in suicide prevention and work to coordinate suicide prevention resources. We are a group of professionals and community members who have come together to minimize the impact of suicide on the people and communities of Lewis County.

Join Our Efforts

There are two ways you can be involved in our Coalition: as a participating member or a supporting member. Participating members committ to attend monthly meetings, contribute to the decision making process and assist with community outreach.

Supporting members are kept up to date on Coalition activities and are welcome to attend meetings at any time.

For more information about the Coalition:
Lewis County Public Health 315-376-5453

Meetings are held on the 2nd Friday of the month at 10:00AM. Meetings are CURRENTLY BEING HELD VIRTUALLY. Please email Allyson Petrus (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) for more information. 


Donations can be made by cash or check. Please mail or drop off cash or checks at 7785 N State St., Suite 2 Lowville, NY 13367 Attn: Allyson Petrus.

Research shows that most people who attempt suicide demonstrate some warning signs of their intent to hurt themselves or end their lives prior to the attempt.

If you are concerned—ASK.

What if someone in my life is suicidal?

Because most of us do not have experience talking about suicide it may seem awkward or difficult but you can save a life by being direct and connecting the person you care about to resources. Attempt to plan a time to talk in private and be prepared to listen more than talk.

If you ask someone if they are thinking about suicide and they say “yes”, you must do something to help them.

Questions to consider

“You mentioned you wish you could disappear. Sometimes when people are this upset they wish they were dead. I’m wondering if you are feeling that way?”

“Do you ever wish you could go to sleep and never wake up?”

“Are you thinking about hurting yourself?”

“Given things you have said lately I am worried. Are you thinking about killing yourself?”

These questions may sound direct, but that is important. The most important step is to ASK.

What to Do

  • Listen to how they are feeling. Give your full attention. Try not to interrupt.
  • Encourage them to connect to help.
  • Questions to consider: “Will you go with me to see a counselor/minister/professional?” OR “Will you let me help you make an appointment with…” OR “Will you let me go get…”
  • If they refuse to accept help you can call 911 and explain that you need emergency medical assistance. Stay with the person until help arrives.

Where to Call For Help

If you or someone you know is experiencing a suicide crisis, please call 911 or one of the following suicide crisis hotline numbers and get help immediately:

Suicide and Crisis Lifeline

Call or Text 988

Lifeline Chat

Behavioral Health and Wellness Center

Crisis Line Services are available 24 hours a day.

315-376-5450 M-F 8-4:30pm 
315-405-0696 for evening hours and weekends.

Roger Breisch: Finding Life on the Suicide Hotline at South Lewis High School

Roger Breisch has counseled thousands of people on suicide hotlines over 15 years. In March 2018 he brought his message of hope and grace to students at South Lewis (NY) High School.

Available Trainings and Presentations

The Lewis County Suicide Prevention Coalition is happy to sponsor and host evidence-based trainings and/or presentations for your organization. All programs are not cost to the participant. To request a training, please complete the "Contact Us" section below. 


QPR stands for Question, Persuade, and Refer — the 3 simple steps anyone can learn to help save a life from suicide. Just as people trained in CPR and the Heimlich Maneuver help save thousands of lives each year, people trained in QPR learn how to recognize the warning signs of a suicide crisis and how to question, persuade, and refer someone to help. Each year thousands of Americans, like you, are saying "Yes" to saving the life of a friend, colleague, sibling, or neighbor. QPR can be learned in our Gatekeeper course in as little as one hour


LivingWorks safeTALK is a four-hour face-to-face workshop featuring powerful presentations, audiovisuals, and skills practice. At a LivingWorks safeTALK workshop, you'll learn how to prevent suicide by recognizing signs, engaging someone, and connecting them to an intervention resource for further support. A skilled, supportive trainer will guide you through the course, and a community resource will be on hand to support your safety and comfort. This course takes about four hours to complete. 

Mental Health First Aid

Just as CPR helps you assist an individual having a heart attack, Mental Health First Aid helps you assist someone experiencing a mental health or substance use-related crisis. In the Mental Health First Aid course, you learn risk factors and warning signs for mental health and addiction concerns, strategies for how to help someone in both crisis and non-crisis situations, and where to turn for help. This is a one-day training. 

Youth Mental Health First Aid

Youth Mental Health First Aid is designed to teach parents, family members, caregivers, teachers, school staff, peers, neighbors, health and human services workers, and other caring citizens how to help an adolescent (age 12-18) who is experiencing a mental health or addictions challenge or is in crisis. Youth Mental Health First Aid is primarily designed for adults who regularly interact with young people. The course introduces common mental health challenges for youth, reviews typical adolescent development, and teaches a 5-step action plan for how to help young people in both crisis and non-crisis situations. Topics covered include anxiety, depression, substance use, disorders in which psychosis may occur, disruptive behavior disorders (including AD/HD), and eating disorders. This is a one-day training. 


LivingWorks ASIST stands for Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training and is a two-day face-to-face workshop featuring powerful audiovisuals, discussions, and simulations. At a LivingWorks ASIST workshop, you'll learn how to prevent suicide by recognizing signs, providing a skilled intervention, and developing a safety plan to keep someone alive. Two knowledgeable, supportive trainers will guide you through the course, ensuring your comfort and safety. 

Gizmo's Pawesome Guide for Mental Health*

Gizmo’s Pawesome Guide to Mental Health Guide (Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved.) takes an upstream approach to support the mental health and wellness of youth. It is data-driven and evidence-informed. The Guide seeks to introduce mental health and wellness, and how to care for one’s mental health in a nonthreatening way that encourages the self-identification of warning signs and when to apply the use of internal and external healthy coping strategies to help reduce risk. It introduces the characteristics of trusted adults, who may be one, how to practice talking with a trusted adult, and promotes proactive communication. It gives youth the opportunity to create a personal mental health plan (of action) that they can use daily, and in a time of need that can help them avert crisis. Recommended ages: 5-10. Approximately 30 minutes in length. 

*This is a presentation for children, not a training.

It's Real: Teens and Mental Health*

It’s Real: Teens and Mental Health is program that provides young people with mental health education and resources. The program raises awareness about mental health issues, how to start a conversation about mental health, the importance of self-care, and how to reach out for help. Recommended ages: 14-18. Approximately 60 minutes in length. 

*This is a presentation for teens, not a training.

Contact Us


*This is NOT a crisis line*