Suicide Safer Community Program

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Partnering With Our Community

Thrive is pleased to introduce a brand new program that we will launch this summer to make Oak Park and River Forest suicide safer communities. Data from the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) indicates that suicide is on the rise. DPH also reports that 47,000 Illinois youth reported attempting suicide in 2015. On average, six lives are lost to suicide in our community every year. And, based on statistics from the CDC, 4,000 people in our community have thoughts of suicide.

Addressing the Issue

To address this critical issue, Thrive has dedicated resources to build this new initiative. Members of our clinical staff will be trained by LivingWorks Education (a proven world leader in suicide prevention training) and will enhance their clinical skills with safeTALK suicide alertness, and ASIST suicide intervention trainings. These staff members will offer training and support to individuals who live and work in our communities, thereby building a network of individuals able to identify people with thoughts of suicide and connect them to life-saving resources.

Thrive will also work to provide enhanced training of the local police, EMT, fire department, school personnel and others who serve as ASIST partners – those prepared to accept referrals for individuals contemplating suicide.

Training the Community

Thrive clinical staff will offer half-day (3 hour) suicide alertness trainings to individuals throughout our community, including school personnel, students, faith community members, fire department, hospitals and volunteers.

Ultimately, a safeTALK trained individual will learn four basic steps to create a life-saving connection:

  • Noticing and responding to situations where suicidal thoughts may be present
  • Knowing how to connect that individual to the resources within our community for further help (including Thrive’s crisis team and other community partners trained in ASIST)
  • Learning how to recognize a person in crisis whether the communication was face-to-face, via the telephone or through a text
  • Connecting the person at risk to providers trained in ASIST

It has been proven that a concerted and universal effort by the entire community can reduce suicide. Community training and awareness also can reduce the stigma that prevents many people from seeking treatment for mental health issues or substance abuse, both risk factors for suicide.

Supporting the Program

To make a gift to support this important program, please click here. For more information about the program or to learn more about becoming a safeTALK-trained helper, please contact Kristen Keleher, LCPC, Manager of Community Engagement, at 708-383-7500 extension 206 or email