NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Every 40 seconds, someone dies by suicide.

So on this World Mental Health Day, there’s something all of us can do that takes just 40 seconds to save lives.

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The theme this year is suicide prevention.

Experts are asking everyone to take just 40 seconds to focus on suicide prevention. You can learn the warning signs and risk factors, or just have a conversation.

If you or someone you know needs help, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800 273-TALK.

CBS2’s Dana Tyler spoke with Bob Gebbia with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention on CBSN New York.

Web Extra: More From Bob Gebbia of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

“You can reach out to someone a family member, a friend who you think may be struggling and have an open conversation with them about it,” Gebbia said. “You can get involved as an advocate.”

Dionne Monsanto is a strong advocate. Her daughter Siwe was 15 years old, when she took her life.

“I always light up when people ask me about her. I love the opportunity to talk about her. She was smart, witty, friendly, talented,” Dionne said. “I call her my beautiful black butterfly.”

Siwe’s bedroom is now a guest room and it’s filled with pictures, her guitars and awards for soccer.

At 5 years old, Siwe started crying for long periods of time.

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“The tears would last, without exaggeration, 45 minutes was like a minimum,” Dionne said. “She got diagnosed with depression and anxiety disorder when she was 9 years old.”

Web Extra: Full Interview With Dionne Monsanto on Suicide Prevention

While Siwe fought hard with everything from medication, therapy and hospitalization, she died by suicide in 2011.

In her grieving, Dionne started practicing yoga, and is now an instructor in Harlem. She also gives suicide prevention workshops all over the world, including to members of the NYPD, stressing that it shows strength to ask for help and mental illness is a health issue like any other disease.

“So if I have a mental health condition, I can treat it. Because 90% of the people who die by suicide have a treatable mental health condition,” Dionne said.

“There are some really rough days, but there are some really good days, and Siwe is definitely alive with me. I carry her with me always,” she said.

She’s hoping her story will save others.

If you or someone you know needs help, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800 273-TALK.

The NYPD has listed the following resources for officers in need of help.


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  • Employee Assistance Unit: 646-610-6730
  • Chaplains Unit: 212-473-2363
  • POPPA (independent from the NYPD): 888-267-7267


  • NYC WELL: Text, call, & chat
  • Lifeline: 800-273-TALK (8255)
  • Crisis Text Line: Law enforcement officers can text BLUE to 741741 (non-law enforcement can text TALK to 741741)
  • Call 911 for emergencies