Community Education & Outreach

Suicide Prevention Workshops

Building expertise to prevent suicide is critical to our mission. We’re here to teach communities how to recognize warning signs of suicide and provide support. Our workshops on suicide prevention are delivered to middle and high schools, colleges and universities, workplaces, elder care facilities, and other community organizations. 

Once physical distancing measures were instituted, our workshops moved to an online webinar format. Throughout the pandemic, regularly scheduled weekly webinars were offered to the public. At the moment, we are pausing with these open webinars, but encourage you to check back for updates or reach out to Rose Cheyette, Director of Community Education & Outreach, for more information.

Our Impact in 2020

53

community awareness events

489

suicide prevention workshops

18,187

people reached at workshops & events

Youth Workshops

Suicide is the second leading cause of death for young people, ages 10-24. Youth feel immense pressure from bullying, harassment on social media, difficult coursework, unhealthy friendships and relationships, and many other stressors. Unfortunately, many young people struggle to reach out for help, in part because of the stigma associated with suicide and mental illness. Our free school-based workshops foster tough conversations for your students, parent groups, faculty, and administration.

A group of children working on a chart while sitting around a table.

Youth

Youth workshops aim to help students understand their emotions and feel less alone. Small, interactive classroom workshops give young people a safe forum for conversation. Students discuss suicide myths, prevention strategies, self-care and coping, identifying trusted adults, and what to do when they or a friend needs help. While they can be tailored to your group, youth workshops are most appropriate for ages 12 and up.

School Staff and Faculty

School staff workshops provide tools and resources to respond to a student in crisis. Staff will learn how to recognize risk factors and warning signs of suicide, and identify basic steps for getting students help. These workshops are best for teachers, guidance counselors, nurses, and other staff.

A row of people at a presentation, writing in notebooks.

Two men embracing in a crowd.

Parent & Guardian Groups

Workshops for parents and guardians aim to teach the adults who care for students how to best support them during stressful times. Additional discussion may include school protocols and de-stigmatizing suicide and mental illness in the community, along with helpful resources.

Some Staggering Statistics

80

youth die from suicide every year in Massachusetts.

1 in 6

American youth experience a mental health disorder.

15%

of high school students in Massachusetts seriously considered suicide in the past year.

2x

High school students with significant symptoms of depression are more than twice as likely to drop out compared to their peers.

“Thank you for coming into our class, I learned a lot from you. I have been in a position where a friend told me that they wanted to kill themselves and I wasn’t sure what to say. You really helped to clear up a lot for me in being able to help my friend.”

High School Student

workshop participant

Community Workshops

An elderly woman sitting in the passenger seat of a car.

Aging Population

As people over the age of 85 have the second-highest suicide rate of all groups, it is important to provide resources for the aging population to protect themselves and others at risk of depression and isolation. Elders may develop depression due to an illness, death of a loved one, moving from their home, or feeling lonely. Workshops break the stigma by letting elders know they can talk about suicide, and giving them a resource to turn to for help.

Workplace

Employees are in a good position to notice changes in behavior in their fellow coworkers. Workplace workshops break down the stigma of suicide and provide a supportive environment for discussion among colleagues. Hosting a workplace workshop demonstrates your commitment to your staff’s mental wellbeing. These workshops also support employees whose lives have been touched by suicide.

A room full of people attending a presentation.
A woman holding a stack of red solo cups.

Gatekeeper

Gatekeeper workshops equip human services professionals, such as nurses and social workers, with skills to support those who may be at greater risk. We encourage you to schedule a workshop, particularly if you work with the most vulnerable members of your community. We are happy to provide training for any group supporting those who are at higher risk for suicide. 

“You taught me how to communicate more effectively when you said to meet people in the moment. How many times have I listened to someone’s story and then turned it around and told them my own experience with a similar issue? Many times. But now? Since your workshop, I am reminding myself to meet people in the moment. If you ever wonder if you’re making a difference in people’s lives, wonder no more. You are. You made a huge difference in mine.”

Suicide Prevention Workshop Attendee

Virtual Workshops

Once physical distancing measures were instituted, our workshops moved to an online webinar format. Throughout the pandemic, regularly scheduled weekly webinars were offered to the public. At the moment, we are pausing with these open webinars, but encourage you to check back for updates or reach out to Rose Cheyette, Director of Community Education & Outreach, for more information.

Schedule a Virtual Workshop for Your Group

While in-person suicide prevention workshops have been suspended until further notice due to COVID-19, virtual workshops are available for your organization! We encourage you to email Rose Cheyette, Director of Community Education and Outreach, to schedule a personal suicide prevention webinar for your team!

Share Our Helpline Number

We encourage you to hang up posters with our Helpline number in common spaces at your school, office, apartment complex, community organization, or share them digitally. If you would like posters, wallet cards, or wristbands with our Helpline information, please email Nora Mally, Administrative Assistant.

Two girls talking to one another

Need to help someone who is struggling?

Many people are afraid to talk about suicide, but it is often a great relief to someone thinking about suicide to know that you have noticed their pain. If you worry that someone you know may be suicidal, we have a few suggestions about how to help support them.

Community Resource Fairs

We are happy to share the suicide prevention services we provide at community resource fairs at schools, churches, religious organizations, or other settings. Contact Rose Cheyette, Director of Community Education and Outreach, to invite Samaritans to attend your event.

Hear from Workshop Attendees

We often hear great feedback about how powerful our suicide prevention workshops are on participants’ lives! Read the stories from those who have hosted or attended one of our workshops!