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Yates County Suicide Prevention Coalition tackles outsized problem for local residents

Yates County may be small in size and population, but its suicide rate is among the highest in New York state.

That’s why the Suicide Prevention Coalition of Yates County is hoping for a big turnout at the second annual Out of the Darkness Community Walk. This year’s walk, on the Keuka Outlet Trail, is scheduled for Sept. 29 and begins at the Penn Yan boat launch site off Keuka Street.

“Within the past year, our community has been hit particularly hard by suicide,” said Sarah Thompson, a coalition member and co-chair of the event. “By walking, we hope to draw attention to this issue, provide a supportive space for loss survivors and those with lived experience to come together, and keep other families from experiencing a suicide loss. Our ultimate goal is to save lives and bring hope to those affected by suicide.”

According to the New York State Health Connector Suicide and Self Harm Dashboard, Yates County has the second highest suicide rate per 100,000 population out of nine counties in the Finger Lakes region (16 per 100,000). Those numbers are for the years 2014-16.

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