Suicide prevention event set

JOHNSTOWN — The prevention of suicide is something many don’t think about until it sadly affects someone you love.  For Marissa Miller, of Johnstown, losing someone to suicide is a pain that she doesn’t want to see anyone else have to endure. Miller is vowing to take the pain from the losing her close friend, Bailey Field, and turn it into a way to remember her. 

“In honor of her, and those who have lost their battle to depression, I’m holding a bake sale fundraiser for the capital region’s American Foundation for Suicide Prevention,” said Miller.

Miller said she is now a proud advocate for suicide prevention, with this being her first official fundraiser. The event is a bake sale with proceeds going to the capital region’s American Foundation for Suicide Prevention to held Saturday, in the Main Street park in downtown Johnstown. 

“I am a baker so a lot of the goods will be super delicious,” said Miller.

Miller said in addition to baked goods, the capital region’s American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the Mental Health Association for Montgomery and Fulton counties, and the HFM Prevention Council will all be in attendance to hand out informational flyers. Miller said she has learned this is an imperative time when it comes to mental health awareness.

“As you know, the pandemic has been extremely hard on people’s mental health. Please come out and support our efforts to spread the message of hope and love,” said Miller.

Miller said she has felt a sort of pull her entire life to help those who were suffering from mental illnesses, such as depression, and so when she lost Field at the age of 19, she knew she had to act on that call to action.  

“In a way, it’s been super sentimental because the cause means so much to me. My whole life I’ve been affected by mental illness, as well as suicide. When Bailey died in September, I knew I had a mission to spread awareness and to make her death mean something. Everyone who knew Bailey, misses her so much. What better way to honor her memory, than to help those struggling as well,” said Miller.

While she is happy to raise funds for region’s American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Miller said she is most excited to raise awareness about how important it is to spread the message of hope and love. She also wants to educate people on the dangerous preconceived notions centered around suicide related deaths.

“Our community can come out to the bake sale event and talk with the different organizations to get an idea on how to help. It’s so important to end the stigma that reaching out for help is weak. Sometimes we all need a helping hand, so I’m super thankful to have this opportunity to share with our community that there is help out there, and that there’s always hope,” said Miller.

Miller said Field was so loved by her parents, younger sister, and animals who she adored, She said the void for everyone who loved her is always felt. Miller and Field graduated from Fonda-Fultonville and then attended SUNY Delhi together.

“We miss her terribly. One of my favorites quotes is ‘Hope is ever present, so long as we continue to be hope for one another,'” said Miller.

According to the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention, suicide is currently the third leading cause of death among young people ages 15 to 24. The highest overall rates of suicide are for adults age 40 to 59.

To support Miller and suicide prevention awareness, visit the park on Main Street in Johnstown this Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. To learn more about suicide prevention and mental health visit the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention at AFSP.org.


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