Sad news to report out of Orange County, as a local man jumped to his death from the Newburgh Beacon Bridge on Wednesday, December 29th.

New York State Police began investigating reports of a male jumping from the Newburgh Beacon Bridge at approximately 9:15 am on Wednesday, December 29th.

It was later reported by the New York State Police Room that the Newburgh Fire Department Marine Unit located the man who was later identified as Lester R. Banta, age 55, a resident of Maybrook in Orange County.

The Dutchess County Medical Examiner's Office was also on scene to assist with the ongoing investigation.

According to police, at this time there are no signs of foul play, and more details will be available as the story develops.

There are a number of resources, both locally, and nationally to aid someone in need.  The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be reached at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Orange County has a 311 line for their HOPE Starts Here Crisis Call Center, and connects people with support, assessment and connection to services if necessary.

In Ulster County, the Mental Health Department helps to ensure all local residents who are struggling receive the services they need to achieve the best quality of life.

Dutchess County recently launched a new and updated HELPLINE Mental Health and Suicide Prevention App.

Rockland County has a Behavioral Health Response Team, as well as a Suicide Prevention Coalition.

In Sullivan County, the Community Assistance Hotline provides direct services for a number of crisis situations, including mental health.

Putnam County has If In Crisis, their Crisis Intervention Hotline that is staffed by a qualified person that is able to speak with callers and provide services and resources.

In Westchester County, they have their Department of Community Mental Health, and a Crisis Prevention and Response Team.

Here are some tips for self-care during the pandemic:


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