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‘Power of Purple’: A conversation on mental health

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BINGHAMTON (WBNG) -- The power of purple could be in full force this Friday, as officials and members from the Mental Health Association of the Southern Tier gathered today to announce the "Power to the Purple" Day.

The day honors 14-year old Daron Richardson, a girl from Ottawa, Canada who died by suicide in 2010, and seeks to encourage both youth and adults to speak about how they feel and ask for help if they need it.

The "Power to the Purple" Day is part of the Do It For Daron organization.

MHAST development director Joanne Weir says the color purple was Daron's favorite color, and is meant to be a symbol to people that there are those who are willing to listen and help with mental health concerns.

"We're looking to change the culture, we want to break down stigmas surrounding mental health, and if purple does it, that's great," Weir said.

Weir told 12 News she hopes this initiative will create a conversation about mental health throughout the community.

"If you start younger and it's a normal thing for people to talk about their feelings like that, it'll happen," Weir said. "That's what we're trying to do. We're in the schools, we're working with youth all the time to make that happen."

Broome County Executive Jason Garnar co-hosted a press conference to announce details of the "Power to the Purple," which will include the Binghamton Devils hosting a DFID night at their home game on Friday.

Cal Dymowski

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