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Why We Can't Stay Silent on Suicide


As the editor of North Country This Week and North Country Now, Jimmy Lawton has been one of the voices behind our news coverage here in the North Country for the last fifteen years. He has recently begun an editorial column called "Editor's Notebook," where he explores a writing style that is different than he is used to, venturing into topics that are a little more personal, and having some conversations that are not easy to talk about, but necessary in the world that we live in today.

When Dave and I read Jimmy's editorial column, we were inspired to reach out to him to dive a little deeper into his recent article titled: "Why we can't stay silent on suicide: reporting on taboo topics is important to ending mental health stigma." One of our missions with the Beyond the Box Podcast is also to bring taboo topics out into the open, and have the conversations that need to be had. Jimmy's words resonated with both Dave and myself, and we believe strongly in the power of joining together to help all of our voices to be heard.

We were able to join Jimmy in the newsroom last week for a moving discussion about suicide, a topic that has unfortunately affected too many of our lives, especially in recent years. Jimmy offers some shocking statistics from St. Lawrence County, and shares some personal stories of how it has touched his own life. I know that his powerful points and unique perspective helped me to challenge my own perception of the stigma and fear surrounding the suicide discussion. You can listen to our discussion with Jimmy in our latest podcast, which can be found on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, or wherever you find your podcasts.

In the next two episodes Dave and I have two very personal and moving stories to share that not only demonstrate how devastating suicide is to everyone who's life it reaches, but that also convey the power of peer support, and what truly motivates us to do what we do here at S.T.E.P. by S.T.E.P., Inc. Make sure to subscribe to Beyond the Box to be notified when they are available, watch for Jimmy’s new column “Editor’s Notebook” on North Country Now. I know that we are looking forward to hearing more from Jimmy as he gets this column off the ground.


If you or a loved one are struggling or having suicidal thoughts you can visit the St. Lawrence County Government website to find a list of local Mental Health Service Providers including:

Outpatient Treatment Inpatient Treatment Vocational Services Peer Support Services/Psychosocial Clubs Residential Services Children’s Respite Services Addiction Services You can also dial 988 to reach the 988 Suicide and Crisis hotline, which offers 24/7 free and confidential support

REACHOUT of St. Lawrence County - 315-265-2422 - a free, confidential, non-judgmental crisis and information hotline serving residents of St. Lawrence County that focuses on crisis services and supportive listening. After hours and weekend emergencies.

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