‘Friends Help Friends’ Video Promotes Suicide Prevention App

By Yvonne Marcotte
Yvonne Marcotte
Yvonne Marcotte
March 9, 2016 Updated: March 11, 2016

The free “Friends Help Friends” suicide prevention smartphone app is now being promoted by a public service video by the same name produced by Orange County and SUNY Orange. County Executive Steven Neuhaus congratulated SUNY Orange on the production.

“SUNY Orange did a wonderful job producing this informative video with input from our staff. Suicide prevention is an important health care issue and we will continue to promote awareness on a variety of different platforms.”

The office of the county executive, the county Department of Mental Health, and the SUNY Orange Wellness Advisory Board collaborated on the video. You can view the video here.

“The SUNY Orange Wellness Center offers a variety of programs and services related to suicide prevention, so we we’re grateful for the opportunity to partner with County Executive Neuhaus and Mental Health Commissioner Darcie Miller, in promoting the Friends Help Friends suicide prevention app,” said Michele Iannuzzi-Sucich, chair of SUNY Orange’s Wellness Advisory Board. “It will be a valuable resource in helping save lives in Orange County.”

Neuhaus, Miller, Orange County Director of Children’s Services Angela Turk and the Orange County Suicide Prevention Committee helped develop the Friends Help Friends app, which is available for free on Apple and Android devices. It provides information, tools, and resources to help a friend or anyone who may be struggling with thoughts of suicide.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. It is the second-leading cause of death for 15-24-year-olds.

Education is the key to prevention. The three-minute video shows ways to prevent a tragedy: 1) know the signs; 2) how to help; 3) prevention resources and gatekeeper training; and 4) stats and facts. The app is also in Spanish.

“This well-produced video will serve as another important tool to market the app and reach out to anyone who might be contemplating suicide,” Miller said. “It could help save a life. When provided the right information, everyone can intervene to get help for suicidal or at-risk family members, friends or acquaintances.”       

If you would like to talk to a trained counselor or need help connecting to local resources, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1.800.273.TALK or The Orange County Helpline at 1.800.832.1200.

To contact this reporter, email yvonne.marcotte@epochtimes.com.

Yvonne Marcotte
Yvonne Marcotte