BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) — Did you know yoga can improve your mental health? A Yogathon is planned for Suicide Prevention month this Sunday.

Death by suicide remains a leading cause of death for Americans according to the CDC. 130-people die by suicide each day.




“I started to see and feel what it did for my mind and my body,” remarked Jennifer Picone.



Jennifer Picone, corporate wellness manager at independent health, board member at the Mental Health Advocates of Western New York.

Picone uses yoga to ease her anxiety.

“And I started to realize I can control a lot of my anxiety through breath work and meditation and certain poses and so I do have control over this,” described Picone.

Picone is a corporate wellness manager at independent health and a board member at the Mental Health Advocates of Western New York (MHAWNY).

The organization is teaming up with independent health and power yoga Buffalo this Sunday for its 2ND annual Yogathon at 500 Seneca Street to promote suicide prevention.

“What we found is that mental health and yoga have a strong correlation,” stated Melinda Dubois, executive director, MHAWNY.

Dubois appeared in A Facebook video saying yoga helps calm your nervous system.

Picone tells me she was initially resistant to trying yoga.




“I can't do the stretch or mediation — I'm a go, go, go person — I can’t — that's part of my anxiety, right? You're just constantly having to go — the thoughts everything,” reflected Picone. “It does force you through those same stress cycles that you go through in the fight or flight — so your body goes through that same thing, but it's through the movement and breathing and the stressing."

And for Picone — it's personal — she says has struggled through the years after losing three relatives to death by suicide.



Jennifer Picone in Zoom interview.

“I think at this point— no one is untouched. I think that everyone I come across because the mental health spectrum is so large,” replied Picone. “It can be a very lonely, dark, and scary place.”

Picone says her anxiety never goes away but tells me you must work on self-care each day, just as you would any other health issue.

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