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Local families speak in Albany about suicide, loss

Senator Pam Helming met with Canandaigua resident Donna Besler and Waterloo couple Christopher and Tiffany Folk and their daughters Trinity and Calista in her Albany office on June 4th.

Senator Helming invited Besler and the Folk family to participate in a joint hearing on suicide and suicide prevention later that day hosted by the Senate Health Committee and Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Committee.

Besler lost her son Brennan to suicide, and the Folk family lost their son and brother Tristan to suicide.

During both the meeting with Senator Helming and the Senate hearing, Besler and the Folks shared their personal experiences and ongoing efforts to raise awareness regarding mental health.

“No one likes to talk or think about suicide, as it is a painful loss when someone makes the tragic decision to take his or her own life. However, issues related to mental health and suicide are becoming more and more prevalent in our society, so suicide is something we need to talk and think about. We need to discuss how to talk to those who are thinking about suicide, how to prevent suicide, and how to improve mental health access,” Helming said. “Thank you to Donna Besler and the Folk family for taking the time to meet with me, share your stories, and advocate on behalf of mental health and suicide issues before the Senate. Thank you to my Senate colleagues for taking these issues seriously and taking steps to address them.”