United Way teams with suicide prevention network

St. Joseph County United Way has announced an affiliation with Community Suicide Prevention Network of St. Joseph County.

United Way executive director Kelly Hostetler said the agency will be the fiduciary agent to direct money to programs in area school districts for suicide awareness.

The goal is $50,000.

Hostetler said the local United Way board is stepping up to help with the epidemic and it hopes to collect enough money to fund a conference in November, as well as funding one program in each school district in the county.

After much research and many presentations, committee members and the county’s superintendents have selected two programs to offer the schools based on their input and need — Gatekeepers, a Gryphon Place program, or #benice.

Only two schools in St. Joseph County have an existing structured suicide-prevention program, Hostetler said.

Donations to the Teen Suicide Prevention Program through the St. Joseph County United Way are tax deductible.

Hostetler can be reached at 467-9099.

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