Suicide Prevention

Suicide Awareness Video

HELP – Signs of Suicide (SOS) Video

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Our generation tends to keep things to themselves and not talk about what’s going on, especially when it comes to our mental health. When life gets overwhelming with new responsibilities and stress, we need to reach out to a trusted adult when something is bothering us or when we just want to talk about things. We feel pressured to go out with friends, be an active family member, and stay involved as a student. This can cause high levels of stress and anxiety, and even lead to depression. The thing you need to remember is that you are not alone – 1 in 5 youth experience a mental health challenge.  Don’t be afraid to reach out to a trusted adult — like a teacher, coach or parent. Find ways to connect with a trusted adult here!

Signs of Suicide

Warning signs are immediate risks and need to be addressed right away. Important signs that a young person may be considering suicide include:

  • Dramatic changes in mood
  • Threatening to hurt or kill themselves
  • Changes in sleeping patterns
  • Crying spells
  • Talking or writing about death, dying, or suicide
  • Changes in school performance
  • Withdrawing from friends and family
  • Losing interest in activities once enjoyed, without replacing them with new activities
  • Increasing alcohol or drug use
  • Recently experienced grief or loss
  • Expressing hopelessness, no reason for living, or having no sense of purpose in life
  • Experiencing rage, anger, agitation, or seeking revenge
  • Feeling trapped
  • Giving away prized possessions
  • Acting recklessly or engaging in risky behaviors

Want to learn how to recognize the signs and symptoms of suicide and become a trusted adult for youth? Click here to register for our Youth Mental Health First Aid training.

Signs of Suicide Prevention Program

The SOS Signs of Suicide Prevention Program (SOS) is a universal, school-based depression awareness and suicide prevention program designed for middle-school (ages 11–13) or high-school (ages 13–17) students. The goals are to 1) decrease suicide and suicide attempts by increasing student knowledge and adaptive attitudes about depression, 2) encourage personal help-seeking and/or help-seeking on behalf of a friend, 3) reduce the stigma of mental illness and acknowledge the importance of seeking help or treatment, 4) engage parents and school staff as partners in prevention through “gatekeeper” education, and 5) encourage schools to develop community-based partnerships to support student mental health.

The SOS curriculum includes lessons on raising awareness of depression and suicide, helping students identify the warning signs of depression in themselves and others, identifying risk factors associated with depression and suicidal ideation, and using a brief screening for depression and/or suicidal behavior. Students are taught to seek help using the ACT (Acknowledge, Care, Tell) technique. This technique teaches students to acknowledge when there are signs of a problem in themselves or a peer, show that you care and are concerned about getting help, and tell a trusted adult. Upon completion of the program, students are given response cards to indicate if they would like to speak to a trusted adult about themselves or a friend.

Want to learn more about the Signs of Suicide Prevention program? Contact Rikki Barton at

Where to Reach Out

Talk to a Counselor

Burrell Behavioral Health

Counseling services that help youth and their family work on the issues that are leading to a stressful home life.

1300 E Bradford Parkway


Preferred Family Healthcare

Providing substance use treatment services for men and women.

2415 W Catalpa St


Hand in Hand Multicultural Center

Provides programs to empower individuals, ethnic and minority families, disadvantaged, and at-risk populations to become healthier.

1436 W Hovey St


Lost and Found Grief Center

Grief support services for ages 3-18.

1555 S Glenstone Ave


Boys and Girls Club

Focuses on building leadership skills and self- esteem, offering supervised recreational and athletic activities, learning centers, substance abuse prevention programs, career counseling and more.

1300 N Boonville


The Victim Center

Offers aid, crisis support, and counseling to survivors of violent and sexual crime.

819 N Boonville


Rare Breed Youth Outreach Center

Drop-in center and transitional living for youth ages 16-21 years.

301 N Main


Self-Help Activities

Faith-based Activities








Breathing Techniques

Other Places for Help


Provides over 30 support groups for various mental health issues for individuals with mental illness, their family and friends. The Warm Line is a dedicated peer support phone line for people with mental illness and is open 7 days a week.

Office: 417-864-7119

Warm Line: 417-864-3676

GLO Community Center

Provides support to the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) community in the greater Springfield region through community activities and education.



Provides compressive health, fitness, aquatics, youth, sports, camping and educational programs for all.

Pat Jones 417-881-1599

Downtown 417-862-7456


For teen alcoholics.


Narcotics Anonymous

Support for recovering drug addicts who meet to help each other stay clean.


Mental Health First Aid

Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) is a public education program which introduces participants to unique risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems in adolescents, builds understanding of the importance of early intervention, and most importantly – teaches individuals how to help a youth in crisis or experiencing a mental health or substance use challenge. YMHFA is an 8-hour course which uses role-playing and simulations to demonstrate how to assess a mental health crisis; select interventions and provide initial help; and connect young people to professional, peer, social, and self-help care. Anyone who regularly works or interacts with youth – teachers, athletic coaches, mentors, juvenile justice professionals and others – may find the course content useful.

Adult Mental Health First Aid is a public education program which introduces participants to risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems in adults, builds understanding of their impact, and overviews common treatments. Adult Mental Health First Aid is an 8-hour course, which uses role-playing and simulations to demonstrate how to assess a mental health crisis; select interventions and provide initial help; and connect persons to professional, peer, social, and self-help care. The program also teaches about risk factors and warning signs of illnesses like anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and addictions. The program offers concrete tools and answers key questions like “What Do I Do?” and “Where Can Someone Find Help?” Instructors compile and provide a list of community healthcare providers and national resources, support groups, and online tools for mental health and addictions treatment and support.

Click here to register for our Youth or Adult Mental Health First Aid training.

For more information about our mental health collaboration, education and advocacy efforts, click the following links: