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First responders rally behind 'Wear Yellow Campaign' to bring awareness to World Suicide Prevention Day

A global event underway on September 10 is encouraging people to come out of the darkness and take action to improve their mental health.

Today, September 10, is "World Suicide Prevention Day."

It's held "in order to provide worldwide commitment and action to prevent suicides, with various activities around the world since 2003."    

To show their support for this global event, around 300 employees with Pennsylvania Ambulance and Transmed will be wearing yellow to show their support for mental health and awareness.

The local first responders have partnered with the LRJ Foundation to support the nonprofit’s community outreach programs.

Newswatch 16's Ryan Leckey spotlighted the "Wear Yellow Campaign" on Thursday from Scranton. 

The LRJ Foundation was created in memory of Lou Ruspi Jr who took his life by suicide in 2011.  

The nonprofit was created in 2012 to provide educational presentations to schools and businesses on mental health and wellness.

Ruspi's family created the nonprofit to honor their loved one, Louie, who they say "struggled and fought mental illness everyday." Louie's life, and death, inspired his twin sisters to take action. 

According to his sisters, "the LRJ foundation makes a difference in Georgia and Pennsylvania to 'improve mental wellness and suicide prevention through interactive educational programming to school districts and the community.'"


From the nonprofit's founders about the classroom takeovers: 

"LRJ Foundation has expanded its services from our standard classroom lectures to virtual takeovers. We support, advocate, and strengthen mental wellness through a variety of topics that include but are not limited to, maintaining good self-esteem and awareness, improving relationships with others, and coping with stressors from day to day occurrences. Furthermore, the interactive presentations meet students where they are at by utilizing appropriate language for elementary, middle, and high school students."


There are a number of free resources for people struggling with mental health, domestic violence or other concerns that aren't easy to talk about.