The United Way of NNY is bringing a noted speaker on suicide prevention to north country high schools March 26-29.

Roger Breisch, of Batavia, Ill., has spent 15 years and more than 3,000 hours counseling callers, including teenagers, on the Illinois state and national suicide hotlines.

“As adults we see high school students as pearls of great price, but some teens develop a false narrative about their own value,” said Bob Gorman, CEO of the United Way of NNY. “Roger brings a wonderful message of hope and grace to high school students. We are fortunate to have him speak here.”

Co-presenting Breisch that week are the Jefferson County Suicide Prevention Coalition, the Lewis County Suicide Prevention Coalition, and the St. Lawrence Suicide Awareness Coalition. Other sponsors are the Fort Drum Regional Health Planning Organization, Northern Regional Center for Independent Living, ACR Health, the Victims Assistance Center of Jefferson County, Reachout of St. Lawrence County, St. Lawrence University, and the St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES Teachers’ Association.

Roger Breisch’s speaking schedule is:

  • Monday March 26: 9 a.m. South Lewis High School; 1 p.m. Beaver River High School.
  • Tuesday March 27: 9 a.m. Gouverneur High School; 1 p.m. Massena High School.
  • Wednesday March 28: 8:30 a.m. Thousand Islands High School; 1 p.m. Indian River High School.
  • Thursday March 29: 9:30 a.m. Watertown High School, with Immaculate Heart Central students attending; 1 p.m. South Jefferson High School.
  • The St. Lawrence-Lewis and Jefferson-Lewis-Hamilton-Herkimer-Oneida BOCES will live stream his talks to all area school districts.

Additional programs are scheduled March 27 at St. Lawrence University at 4 p.m. and March 28 at Lowville Academy for first responders at 7 p.m. The event is sponsored by Lewis County Search and Rescue, Beaver River Fire and Ambulance and the Harrisville EMS.


The St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES Teachers’ Association made a $500 contribution to the United Way of NNY to support the Roger Breisch program at area schools. From left to right are Lee Scuggs, Mike O’Neill, John Michno and Lisa Ames.

To interview Roger Breisch, email Bob Gorman at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. For interviews regarding local suicide statistics, contact Leesa Harvey-Dowdle at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

14 March 2018