JAMESTOWN, N.Y.:--According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), it's estimated that the majority of Americans will be affected by a suicide loss over the course of their lifetime. The Suicide Prevention Alliance of Chautauqua County recognizes the impact suicide has on our community and works diligently with area partners and members of the community to reduce stigma and normalize conversations around mental health.
“Part of the work we do is connecting with those who have lost loved ones to suicide, and the rest is focused on bringing resources and awareness throughout the community,” said Carri Raynor, Coordinator of the Suicide Prevention Alliance. “My experience as a suicide loss survivor has introduced me to many people throughout the community. I want everyone who has lost someone to know that healing doesn’t have to always be sad moments. We can come together during awareness events and feel joy through connection and moving forward.”
One way to support local prevention efforts is through a monetary donation.
Raynor adds, “I am always pleasantly surprised by the generosity of our community. Some days I get to the office, open mail and find a donation check from a school, agency or individual and it truly makes my day.”
All donations go directly back into community programming and outreach. Other ways to contribute are to follow The Suicide Prevention Alliance of Chautauqua County’s media presence, attend events and share messages of hope and recovery.
Recently, The Suicide Prevention Alliance of Chautauqua County received a donation from Bradley Smith, President of the Dixie Smith Memorial Foundation and PGA Head Golf Professional at Shorewood Country Club in Dunkirk, N.Y.
Smith reflects on his personal experience with suicide saying, “On April 8, 2021, I lost my mom, Dixie Smith, unexpectedly to suicide. My family and I were heartbroken and in shock. We all miss her, love her, and think about her more and more every day. Out of the tragedy, we decided to start a Memorial Foundation in her name, the Dixie Smith Memorial Foundation, Inc. The main goals for this foundation were to keep my mom's memory alive, to make a positive difference in Chautauqua County, to bring awareness to mental health, and help prevent others from thinking about suicide.”
“Bradley’s mission and goals very much align with the work we are doing locally,” said Raynor.
Smith reinforces the alignment stating, “The Suicide Prevention Alliance of Chautauqua County is the perfect organization for us to donate to, and hopefully make a positive difference in even one person's life. We look forward to working with and supporting this organization now and in the future.”
The Second Annual Dixie Smith Memorial Golf Tournament will be held on Monday, May 23, 2022 at Shorewood Country Club. The field is currently full, but if you would like to donate a raffle prize or be a hole sponsor, please contact Bradley Smith at 716-450-1046 or firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are struggling from the loss of a loved one to suicide, there is a local support group every second and fourth Tuesday of each month. It is held at The Chautauqua Center in Jamestown from 5:30 to 7 p.m.
If you would like more information about the Suicide Prevention Alliance of Chautauqua County or would like to make a monetary contribution or find out more about how you can volunteer to assist with upcoming events, please go to www.preventsuicidechq.com .
If you are experiencing a crisis, contact the 24/7 Chautauqua County Crisis Hotline at 1-800-724-0461, the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741.