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Ordinary people can help deter suicide, experts say

Cheryl Giarrusso and Stephanie LewisAsking whether someone is contemplating suicide can be a way to let that person talk about his or her troubles and perhaps find some relief or hope, crisis intervention experts say. Cheryl Giarrusso (at left in photo) and Stephanie Lewis (at right), who both work for the Contact Community Services Crisis Intervention Services program, say a common misconception about suicide is that people should avoid mentioning the word to someone who is suspected of being suicidal. They describe warning signs, the role of social media and how ordinary people can help. Contact runs a 24-hour hotline (315-251-0600) to help prevent suicides as well as community training.