Mercer County Coalition for Healthy Communities recognizes National Prevention Week through sidewalk chalk messages

PRINCETON, WV (WOAY) – As a way to raise community awareness, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) declared May 8 through May 14 as National Prevention Week (NPW).

To honor that, the Mercer County Coalition for Healthy Communities came to downtown Princeton Wednesday to raise some awareness of their own.

Specifically, they want to encourage suicide prevention in the community.

“We’re raising awareness, we have some resource tables out here, we have the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention with us as well, and they’re giving out resources, we’re promoting the hotline, and we have safety plan cards for anyone that may be struggling,” says coordinator for the coalition, Candace Harless.

The group came together to write positive messages in chalk along the sidewalks of downtown Mercer Street.

It was an effort to not only raise awareness against suicide but to let people know that they matter and that there is help available to them.

“Outside of what we’re doing we have 21 different organizations, groups, and businesses doing it around Mercer County,” Harless says. “For one, it’s a way to find support and get people to come out together for a cause, and also just give people positive messages. So, anyone that’s walking up and down the streets will see positive messages that just might make their day a little bit better.”

Along with Princeton, the organization was writing the messages in two other Mercer County locations, Bluefield and Matoake.

If you missed the chance to see them out you can visit them on their Facebook page, Mercer County Coalition for Healthy Communities to find out more about the helpful services they provide.

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