Keith Leahey and Joanne Weir of the Mental Health Association of the Southern Tier are featured on the weekly, local public affairs program, Southern Tier Close Up to talk about a variety of issues surrounding mental health and challenges.

Leahey says while there have been on-going Mental Health Training sessions that help members of the general community age 18 year old recognize and address mental wellness issues in adults and adolescents. The MHAST director says while the trainings have been held for several years, there has been a noted increase in participation.  He says that may be testament to the changing attitudes about openly discussing mental health.

Leahey says the success of programs like DIFD suicide prevention and the new Crisis Respite initiative are also possible through great support from the community and even through legislation at the state level assisting in education efforts.

Photo courtesy MHAST

Also helping to support MHAST programs is the Color Run coming up in July. Wier says the Southern Tier was lucky to have the national group that puts on the run agree to come to Broome County again even though this is a fairly small area for them to hold the event.

Information on MHAST programs and how to participate in the Color Run can be found on the MHAST website and on the group's Facebook page.

Southern Tier Close Up is heard Saturday at 6.a. on 98.1 The Hawk.