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Legislator Burke begins “Important Conversations” Series with a Focus on Suicide Awareness

Media Advisory

June 25, 2018

CONTACT: Erich Weyant/

Mobile: (716) 716-1649

 Legislator Burke begins “Important Conversations” Series with a Focus on Suicide Awareness

Erie County, New York - Legislator Patrick Burke is launching “Important Conversations,” a series of monthly meetings that will provide a public forum for difficult issues confronting our community. Burke’s goal is to foster a safe, informed environment that will enable positive discussions between experts and the public at large.  

Legislator Burke has chosen suicide awareness for the topic of the first conversation. While the public has been shocked in recent weeks by the high-profile deaths of beloved public figures Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade, suicide is an issue that impacts Erie County residents on a daily basis.  Burke noted that, “According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, affecting more than 44,000 Americans each year and their loved ones.”  The aim of this public meeting is to spread awareness of risk factors and warning signs and to highlight support services that are available. A key aspect will be personal testimony from those impacted by depression and suicide and insights from mental health professionals. 

Legislator Burke is honored to have Mental Health Commissioner Michael R. Ranney, Cheektowaga Town Supervisor Diane Benczkowski, author Steve Cichon, Crisis Services CEO Jessica C. Pirro, LMSW, and Suicide Prevention Coalition Coordinator Celia Spacone, PhD. as featured speakers. 

The event will take place on June 26th, 2018 at 10 a.m. in the Erie County Legislature Chambers, 92 Franklin St., Ste 4, Buffalo, NY 14202. The event will also be recorded and streamed on social media.