BUFFALO, NY (September 2, 2021) – The 1st annual Yogathon for Suicide Awareness & Prevention sponsored by Independent Health to benefit Mental Health Advocates of WNY (MHA) will be hosted by Power Yoga Buffalo on September 25 from 2-5 pm.

Organized to promote mental well-being and raise awareness for suicide prevention, the Yogathon for Suicide Awareness & Prevention will be held in three, 45-minute segments open to all ability levels. Each class will include movement and a short meditation. Participate in one, two, or all three classes virtually or in-person at Power Yoga Buffalo, 4575 Main St., Snyder, NY  14226.

Registration is $15 for each segment.  To register or for more information, go online to


“There is no denying the strong connection between mind and body,” said Jennifer Picone, Manager, Corporate Wellness, Independent Health.  “The practice of yoga has the potential to transform bodies, minds, and lives. By using the tools of yoga – breathing, movement and mindful meditation – participants will begin to experience how this practice can directly support mental health and wellness.”

The Yogathon for Suicide Awareness & Prevention will include three different variations of yoga and meditation.  You don’t have to be a pro to join!  The classes are designed to be fun, empowering and deeply invigorating for your mind and body. By bringing your mind, movement, and breath together, you will discover the power and vitality of your own body.

You are welcome to move at your own pace. Our teachers will support each practice with intentional cueing and language that keeps you connected to your body and breath throughout class.

The three Yogathon classes include:

PYBasics at 2 pm will take things slow and break down poses as needed. ALL Levels welcome! This sequence is called Journey Into Power. By bringing your mind, movement, and breath together in this sequence, you discover the power and vitality of your own body. The room will be warm and we welcome everyone to move at their own pace.

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PYB45 at 3 pm is recommended for those who participated in the PYBasics class or for those who have at least a little bit of yoga experience. The class will move at a slightly quicker pace than the basics with less explanation of poses, giving you the perfect balance of breath and flow. You are always invited to move at your own pace!

PYBRestored at 4 pm will be the ultimate slow down for your body and mind. We recommend this class for those who participated in the other Yogathon classes or anyone who is just craving some deep stretching and relaxation.

Countless individuals and families are touched by mental illness.  Left untreated, a manageable condition can turn into a life-altering crisis.  Emergency department visits in the US for suspected suicide attempts among girls ages 12-17 have increased 51% during the COVID-19 pandemic compared to the same time period in 2019.

Suicide can be prevented:

  • Increase social connections for youth
  • Teach youth coping skills
  • Learn the signs of suicide risk and how to respond
  • Reduce access to lethal means (like medications and firearms)
  • Help is available 24/7 at suicidepreventionlifeline.org.

Prevention and early intervention are key and are the focus of many MHA programs and services. By raising awareness and learning to recognize the signs of someone struggling with depression, anxiety, or suicide ideation, we can save lives.

“As a regular yoga practitioner, I personally understand the connection between yoga and mental health,” says MHA Executive Director Melinda DuBois. “Moving your body, paying attention to your breath, and being present in the moment are all wonderful ways that yoga can help with depression, anxiety, and trauma. Yoga is for everyone and can benefit all of us.”

Proceeds from the Yogathon for Suicide Awareness & Prevention will benefit the Mental Health Advocates (MHA) of WNY. MHA promotes mental health and wellness in our community and supports individuals and families living with mental illness through a variety of non-clinical programs and services.  More information about MHA is available online at https://mhawny.org/.