Shrewsbury, NJ (September 10, 2018) – As part of National Suicide Prevention Month, The Community YMCA and several Monmouth County organizations are joining forces to host a public information and education forum entitled “Help Save a Life” on Wednesday, Sept. 26, from 2 to 8 p.m. at the Monmouth County Library Eastern Branch, 1001 Route 35, Shrewsbury.

The event, free and open to the public, will include presentations, table top discussions and information aimed at raising community awareness of suicide prevention.

According to the New Jersey Department of Health (DOH), Center for Health Statistics, New Jersey’s suicide rates decreased by 13 percent in 2016, however suicide is still the third leading cause of death among Garden State teens (after unintentional injury and homicide). In a written proclamation, Governor Phil Murphy encouraged New Jersey residents to “learn the warning signs and risk factors for helping yourself and loved ones.”

Laurie Goganzer, President & CEO of The Community YMCA, said the Y “is committed to nurturing the healthy development of youth and teens” by providing caring counseling and social services in schools and communities throughout Monmouth and Ocean counties. “We are proud to lead the Monmouth County Traumatic Loss Coalition, and work with other local health organizations to raise awareness and save lives,” she said.

Discussions and presentations at the forum will focus on signs to look for, where to get help and how to reach out.  Topic specialists include: Susan Tellone, MSN, VP of Community Outreach and Education Programs, MHA-MC; Phyllis Alongi, LPC, ACS, Clinical Director, The Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide; Amy Swansiger, MSW, Readjustment Counselor; Charles Wuth, LCSW, Readjustment Counselor U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Lakewood Vet Center; Mary Fowler, Program Director, Upstream Suicide Prevention Program, RWJBH Institute for Prevention and Recovery; and Heather Church-Soto, LCSW, Director of DCPP Services, Monmouth Traumatic Loss Coalition Coordinator, The Community YMCA.

The presentations include:


2:15-2:45 & 6-6:30 p.m.  Start the Conversation. End the Stigma
3-3:30 & 6:45-7:15 p.m.  Social Media at Every Age
3:45-4:15 & 7:30-8 p.m. #Be There—Leave No One Behind: Veteran Suicide Prevention
4:30-5:15 p.m.  Talk Saves Lives
5:30-6 p.m. Who to Call When


The Monmouth County Suicide Prevention Month public information and education forum is sponsored by RWJBH Institute for Prevention and Recovery, the Mental Health Association of Monmouth County, the Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide and the Monmouth County Traumatic Loss Coalition, coordinated by The Community YMCA.

Presentations and table talk discussions will take place between 2 and 8 p.m. The community is encouraged to join the group at any time, for part or all of the event. For more information, contact the Monmouth County Library Eastern Branch at 732.683.8980 or 886.941.8188.

About The Community YMCA

The Y is a leading nonprofit charity that strengthens communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. The Community YMCA serves more than 20,000 residents in greater Monmouth County, NJ through programs such as: preschool, before and after school care, summer day camp, teen leadership, arts enrichment, health and wellness and personal and family counseling. In 2017, the Y provided $871,250 in financial assistance and program subsidies to strengthen 1,746 children and families in Monmouth County. For more information, visit