Suicide Prevention


Our mission is to prevent suicide through education, training and community-wide awareness and to offer compassionate grief support, resources to those who have lost a loved one to suicide. We aim to reduce the stigma associated with suicide and to achieve zero suicides in Indiana.


Nation:  There is a suicide attempt every 10.9 minutes and is the 10th leading cause of death vs.homicide which is the 16th (AAS-2018).  Indiana:  On average, 1 person died by suicide every 8 hours or there were 1079 Deaths by Suicide (2018).  Suicide in the 11th leading cause of death for all,  2nd for ages 10-34, 4th for ages 25-44, 5th for ages 45-54, 8th for ages 55-64, and 18th for ages 65+ (2018).  Indiana ranks 24th in comparison with other states (CDC-2018).  There were 57 youth (age 19 or less) suicide deaths and 1 in 5 youth seriously considered suicide in the last year (IYI 2016).  115 Indiana Veterans died by suicide (VA-2017).  St Joseph County:  There were 42 suicides in St. Joseph County (SJCCO-2019).  Deaths by suicide can be prevented with awareness and training.   


Virtual Race/Walk to Save Lives Event will be at your choice and convenience from September 1-October 31, 2020.  Registration opens on August 15, 2020 and ends on October 15, 2020.  Be a part of suicide prevention. See the Race to Save lives flyer and registration site to the right for more information on how to register or donate.  If you have questions, contact     Office telephone: 574-314-5426

Planning:  "You Are Not Alone"/Suicide Survivors Support Group, November 21, 2020, from 10:30-12:00n, at St. Peter Lutheran Church, 437 E. Dragoon Trail, Mishawaka.  If you are interested or have questions, contact

Virtual - Indiana Chapter American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day, Saturday, November, 21, 2020, 10 AM - 12 PM EST.  Due to COVID 19, this IN AFSP event will be a virtual event and one can register for free at  The zoom link will be emailed directly to registered participants prior to the virtual event.  Questions can be directed to Kelsey Steuer & Alice Jordan-Miles: or 317-864-6074.

Training Programs

The Suicide Prevention Center (SPC) offers a wide range of programs to educate, train and prevent suicide. In addition to general suicide prevention presentations tailored to the audience, we offer evidence-based training including:

  • Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) -- a Livingworks two-day workshop on suicide first aid. ASIST teaches participants to recognize when someone has thoughts of suicide and how to work with them to create a plan that will support their immediate safety. (coordinated via Indiana AFSP - on Hold during COVID 19)

  • Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) -- a two-hour class that teaches a three-step method for intervening in a suicidal crisis. QPR participants receive the latest information that is reinforced by a QPR booklet and card complete with warning signs, methods to encourage a person to get help and a list of community resources.

  • Yellow Ribbon Suicide Prevention Program – a middle and high school program that teaches teens that it’s okay to Ask4Help and educates youth on warning signs, risk factors and making a plan for preparedness. This presentation is given in a health class or small setting (presentations vary due to hybrid school plans).  Google for more information.

  • Yellow Ribbon Elementary School Program -- a curriculum that teaches help-seeking behaviors and resiliency in children grades K-5. This age-appropriate curriculum includes hands-on strategies that build protective factors and shield children from risks associated with suicide. By the time the child reaches adolescence, help-seeking behavior is ingrained (presentations vary due to hybrid school plans). Google for more information.

  • On-Line The Jason Foundation Inc. provides training classes (1-2 hour free courses) and a smartphone downloadable application "A Friend Asks" and Rascal Flatts B1 Pledge for youth and parents. This is a good iPhone for young people and parents. Google the Jason Foundation for more information

  • On-line:  Safe Talk is a Living Works on-line program that is available during COVID 19 where their Living Works Start digital training program teaches life saving skills on line.  The individual practices with verbal and texting skills during suicide ideation and intervention.  This is a 3 hour program and the cost for the on-line training with a certificate of completion is $30.00.   See:

  • Work in Progress:  Columbia Suicide Severity Rating Scale (C-SSRS).  Why the screener?  6 questions or less that asks about suicide ideation, intent, & past behavior leading to a better prediction of suicide risk which can save lives.  Helps determine low, medium, and high risk and steps to be taken at each level.  Developed by the National Institute of mental Health an evidence-supported tool.  Interested in learning more contact Kent Laudeman, for more details.

    .On-line:  PSYCH ARMOR:  The PsychArmor Institute presents a portfolio of vital education and information about Suicide Prevention, Intervention, and Postvention for healthcare  providers, service members, Veterans, families, caregivers and the community at large.  It is free with registration required to access a Digital Toolkit and courses (addressing stigma, crisis response, post traumatic growth/healing/stability after loss, and recently a podcast on resilience.  See: for details.

  • On-line or In Person Training, NIHCS Veterans Administration S.A.V.E:   S.A.V.E (Signs of suicide, Asking about suicide, Validating feelings, Encouraging Help and Expediting Treatment) is a one hour or plus, gatekeeper training program provided by VA suicide prevention coordinators.  Shorter awareness/information sessions are available.  See on-line training "Be There": or contact:  Laura White, Fort Wayne Outreach Specialist (, or Les LeBrun, Mishawaka Program Coordinator (, or if Laura or Les are not available.  The VA also has a VA ACE card (Ask a Question, Care for the Veteran, Escort the Veteran).

  • Mental Health First Aid:  8 hour training offered in Elkhart, virtual courses coming, and newsletter for adults and youth.  "This is a challenging and stressful time. People across the country are reporting high levels of emotional distress because of COVID-19, including feelings of sadness, exhaustion, fear and worry. That's why it is more important now than ever before to make your mental health a priority."

  • Grief Support

It is often said that when once person dies by suicide, the whole community mourns. A suicide touches all of our hearts and leaves the loved ones feeling shock, numbness, guilt, anger and confusion. Keep in mind that grieving is an individual and unique process; you need to experience it at your own pace and in your own way. One essential part of moving through the grieving process is to reach out to others who have survived a suicide loss.

To help as you journey through the wilderness of grief, SPC offers these services:

  • Suicide Survivor Support Group (SSSG) -- for those who are coping with the loss of someone to suicide. The Suicide Survivor Support Group at United Health Services meets the last Tuesday of the month from 6:30 pm to 8 pm. This is an opportunity to connect with others who have lost a loved one to suicide and a safe place to share your experiences and emotions in a caring, warm and compassionate environment with people who understand the pain you are feeling. For more information, contact: Kent Laudeman at (currently by zoom [Mar, Apr, May,...] during COVID 19).

  • Local Outreach to Survivors of a Suicide (LOSS), for those who have recently lost a loved one to suicide. A member from our LOSS team, which includes a survivor of suicide loss, will call with the newly bereaved to offer support and resources at this difficult time. Call 574-314-5426 or email  (limited availability during COVID 19)

Downloadable Applications

During COVID 19, a number of downloadable telephone applications have been developed and  are available for those experiencing suicide ideation or for those who are coping with being a suicide survivor:  Yellow Ribbon (free),  My3 (free), A Friend Asks (free), PTSD Coach (free), COVID Coach (free), My Strength (free), Breathe2Relax (free), T2 Mood Tracker (free), Calm (initially free then there is a charge), and others not listed here can be helpful.


We would encourage you to volunteer, be trained to work with young people in schools (Yellow Ribbon Program or QPR) with adults and organizations (QPR), and become familiar with downloadable application to your cell phone (MY3, A Friend Asks, and other applications). Volunteers are also needed for the Race to Save Lives on November 14, 2020).  If interested, contact Kent Laudeman, Director UHS Suicide Prevention Center, 

If you are in crisis

call the National Lifeline 24/7

1-800-273-TALK (8255) 


If you are in crisis, you can text 741741 and type in HELP.  


Hope comes with help!

The Suicide Prevention Center is not a crisis center and does not provide direct services.