Sunday, August 1st, 2021

September is Suicide Prevention Month

Posted: Friday, September 18, 2020

Source: Youth Services Bureau

Suicide is the second leading cause of death among teenagers in the United States with one youth dying every four days in Indiana. One in 10 high school students will attempt suicide while one in six will contemplate suicide. Indiana is ranked 26th in the number of suicides. In the United States, there is one suicide every 11 minutes.

Youth in Huntington County are not immune. In 2019, 50 youth activated the Community Suicide Prevention Protocol. These youth were identified as being at risk of suicide and immediate response was initiated.

“Many of the youth people we serve feel a sense of overwhelming helplessness making suicide a way of getting out of their current situation. We need to get to these young people before they reach this point,” shared Crystal Kish, Safe Place coordinator.

The good news is suicide is preventable!

The Huntington County Commissioners proclaimed the week of September 6 through the 12 Suicide Prevention Week in Huntington, in conjunction with September being the national Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. The intent is to bring awareness to the risk factors and warning signs of suicide in an effort to increase the number of ways people can get assistance if they are contemplating suicide. The Youth Services Bureau and the Teen Suicide Prevention Task Force continues to work diligently to bring awareness and to provide free suicide prevention classes to both young people and adults.

“With the increased stresses of COVID, the number of people who are having feelings of anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts have increased,” stated Jan Williams, executive director.

Due to COVID, the annual Walk for Hope was not able to be held but the agency will be hosting a Memorial Luminary Walk. They will be placing luminaries along their walkway the week of September 21. They are asking people to pick up a luminary bag at their office or use one of their own. Design the luminary as they wish to honor their loved one and return it to the office. These will be placed along the path each evening. Bags can be picked up at Door 2 at the Youth Services Bureau’s office located at 1344 Maple Drive at any time.

The agency is available to do in-person suicide prevention trainings. Contact the office if you would like to sign up for a class or if you would want a class at your church or business. The training is a 2-hour class that covers the warning signs, risk factors and appropriate action steps associated with suicide. There is no cost for this program.

“Suicide has a lasting impact not only on the person who dies but for everyone who knows them,” said Williams. “Nearly 200,000 people are affected each year by suicide. People do not know how to respond to someone who has lost a loved one by suicide so they often times avoid the situation completely, which leaves the survivor to grieve alone.”

To learn more about suicide prevention efforts or to request a training, contact the Youth Services Bureau at (260) 356-9681 or email or visit the website at

Shown in the photo from left, are County Commissioners Tom Wall and Larry Buzzard; Safe Place coordinator Crystal Kish; Jan Williams, executive director, Youth Services Bureau, and Rob Miller, County Commissioner.