Mental Health Resources

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Mental Health Resources

Suicide & Crisis Hotlines

988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline - USA

988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline

The 988 Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals.  If you’re thinking about suicide, are worried about a friend or loved one, or would like emotional support, the 988 Lifeline network is available 24/7 across the United States

  • Call 988   (English / Spanish)
  • Call 988 then press 1  (Veterans)
  • Text 988  (English / Spanish)
  • Text 838255 (Veterans)
  • Chat  (English)
  • Chat  (Spanish)
  • Chat  (Veterans)
  • TTY Use your preferred relay service or dial 711 then 988
  • Deaf/HOH/ASL Videophone
Crisis Text Line - USA & International

Crisis Text Line

Crisis Text Line provides free, 24/7 support via text message.   A live, trained Crisis Counselor receives the text and responds, all from a secure online platform. 

  • USA:  Text HOME to 741741 from anywhere in the United States, anytime. 
  • Canada:  Text CONNECT to 686868.  Free and available across Canada 24/7.
  • UK: Text SHOUT to 85258.  It is free, confidential, and anonymous to text Shout across the UK 24/7.
  • Ireland:  Text HELLO to 50808  or text 086 1800 280 NOW.  Text About It is funded by the HSE and is free, anonymous, and available 24/7.

Crisis Text Line counselors provide support for any type of crisis including:

  • Suicide
  • Anxiety/Depression
  • Lonliness
  • Eating Disorders
  • Self-Harm
  • Emotional Abuse
  • Gun Violence
Milltary & Veterans - USA

988 Veterans Crisis Line

Access free, confidential support 24/7, 365 days a year.  The Veterans Crisis Line serves Veterans, service members, National Guard and Reserve members, and those who support them.  You don’t have to be enrolled in VA benefits or health care to call.

  • Call 988 then press 1
  • Text 838255
  • Chat
  • If calling from Europe call +1 844-702-5495 (off base) or DSN 988 (on base)
  • If calling from Southwest Asia call +1 855-422-7719 (off base) or DSN 988 (on base)
  • If calling from Pacific call +1 844-702-5493 (off base) or DSN 988 (on base)

 

DoD Safe Helpline (Sexual Assault Helpline)

Provide support and access to resources for survivors, friends and loved ones, and other DoD community members impacted by sexual assault. Safe Helpline staff are specially trained in military culture, traditions, and reporting procedures to provide you with accurate information and support.Whether reaching out by phone, online chat, or through the peer-to-peer Safe HelpRoom, Safe Helpline provides an anonymous, confidential, and secure place for support and access to military and civilian resources 24/7. You will never be asked to share personally identifying information such as name, base, or rank, and nothing you discuss with Safe Helpline staff will ever be shared with anyone.

  • Call 877-995-5247
  • Call DSN 877-995-5247
  • Call 202-540-5962  if toll-free or DSN is not an option
  • Chat online
  • Connect online via the Safe HelpRoom – offer sessions on topic-specific content periodically throughout each month – schedule available online
  • Search for a local responder near you and be connected with resources on your base or in your local community
  • Download the Safe Helpline app 
    • OCONUS Service members can call the Telephone Helpline for free from anywhere in the world by using Voice over IP (VoIP) technology from within the app
Law Enforcement Crisis Line

Copline

  • Call 800-COPLINE (267-5463)

“Cops understand Cops. We’ve been exposed to similar situations in our careers. Whether you’re active duty or retired and feel like no one understands what you’re going through, we want to answer your CALL.”  Dedicated to serving active and retired law enforcement officers and their loved ones. Copline provides 24/7, CONFIDENTIAL services for callers who are dealing with various stressors encountered both on and off the job. Whether it is just a “bad day” or a full blown mental health crisis, our retired and trained volunteers are here to listen, sit in the hole with the caller, and provide culturally competent resources.

LGBTQIA+ Hotlines

The Trevor Project

If you are thinking about harming yourself — get immediate crisis support. Connect to a crisis counselor 24/7, 365 days a year, from anywhere in the U.S via text, chat, or phone. The Trevor Project is 100% confidential and 100% free.  The Trevor Project is the leading suicide prevention and crisis intervention nonprofit organization for LGBTQ young people.

SAGE National LGBTQ+ Elder Hotline

Talk and be heard at the SAGE LGBT Elder Hotline. Connects LGBT older people with friendly responders. For LGBT elders and caretakers.  Confidential support and crisis response, available 24/7.

  • Call 877-360-LGBT (5428)

Trans Lifeline

Trans Lifeline’s Hotline is a peer support phone service run by trans people for our trans and questioning peers. Call us if you need someone trans to talk to, even if you’re not in a crisis or if you’re not sure you’re trans.   Support available in English/Spanish 24/7.

  • USA – Call 877-565-8860
  • Canada – Call 877-330-6366

TrevorSpace

TrevorSpace is an affirming international online community for LGBTQ young people ages 13-24.  With over 400,000 members across the globe, you can explore your identity, get advice, find support, and make friends in a moderated community intentionally designed for you.

Go HERE to sign up

National Parent & Youth Helpline

The National Parent & Youth Helpline

Operated by Parents Anonymous, the helpline provides vital information, support, and referrals  and weekly evidence-based support groups for diverse parents, children and youth seeking help nationwide.  Available 24/7.

  • Call 855-427-2736   (1-855-4A PARENT)
  • Chat online
  • Email help@nationalparentyouthhelpline.org

 

 

Athlete SafeSport Helpline

SafeSport Helpline

The SafeSport Helpline provides crisis intervention, referrals, and emotional support specifically designed for athletes, staff, and other SafeSport participants affected by sexual violence. Through this service, support specialists provide live, confidential, one-on-one support. All services are anonymous, secure, and available 24/7.

 

Grad Student Crisis Helpline

National Grad Crisis Line

Beginning a grad program can spark new issues for young researchers wanting to make a contribution to their field.  The National Grad Crisis Line helps graduate students reach free, confidential telephone counseling, crisis intervention, suicide prevention, and information and referral services provided by specially-trained call-takers. Caring, professional staff and well-trained volunteers answer around the clock.

  • Call  877-GRAD-HLP (472-3457)
NAMI Helpline Resource Guides

NAMI Helpline Resource Guide and NAMI Helpline Teen and Young Adult Resource Directory

NAMI HelpLine volunteers and staff have compiled these directories of outstanding resources to help you identify possible options to meet your needs. The resources included in the NAMI National Resource Directories are not endorsed by NAMI, and NAMI is not responsible for the content of or service provided by any of these resources. Throughout these directories you will find NAMI Knowledge Articles that provide detailed resources, support options, and information.

988 Suicide Crisis Helpline - Canada

988 Suicide Crisis Helpline – Canada

A safe space to talk, 24 hours a day, every day of the year.  If you are feeling like you have lost hope and are struggling to cope, if you are dealing with thoughts of suicide, or if you are worried about someone else, 9-8-8 is here for you. When you reach out, a trained responder will listen without judgement, provide support and understanding, and can tell you about resources that will help.

  • Call 988
  • Text 988
  • Text 45645 (French)
International Crisis Lines

There is a very good list of suicide crisis lines listed by country found HERE.

Another great resource, by country, is HERE.

A searchable list of hotlines for various mental health issues can be found HERE.

A few of the more common numbers appear below:

  • Australia – Call 13 11 14   or  text online   or  chat online
  • Mexico – Call 5255 102 550
  • New Zealand – Call 1737
  • Switzerland – Call 143
  • UK – Call 919-231-4525 to connect to HopeLineUK, a confidential support and advice service for: Young people under the age of 35 who may be having thoughts of suicide.
USA Warmlines by State (peer-to-peer support, NOT crisis lines)

If you need someone to talk to who has ‘been there” –  maybe just to vent or be comforted – a warmline might be just what you need.  Warmlines are peer-run listening line staffed by people in mental health recovery themselves.

A warmline is an alternative to a crisis line that is run by “peers,” generally those who have had their own experiences of trauma that they are willing to speak of and acknowledge.  Most warmline operators have been through extreme challenges themselves and are there primarily to listen. A warmline has the purpose of reducing hospitalization and forced treatment, being a cost effective and non-intrusive, voluntary intervention.

You can learn more about warmlines HERE and HERE.  These sites have some great resources and articles that explain what they are and how they work. 

  • To find a warmline near you, you can access the USA directory HERE.
  • AliveRVA Peer Recovery Warm Line (Richmond, VA) – 1-833-473-3782 (1-833-PEERRVA).  Available 8am-midnight 7 days per week, including holidays.  The AliveRVA Warm Line is a Peer Recovery and Resource Warm Line staffed by Peer Recovery Specialists, trained individuals with lived experience in substance use, behavioral health, trauma and recovery. AliveRVA is for people struggling with addiction, their loved ones, and members of the community. Our AliveRVA peers are there to listen and offer safe and confidential support and information on resources, including Substance Use Treatment, Recovery Supports, Health Care, Food, and Recovery Housing.
Crisis Lines - Virginia, USA

I live in Virginia, so am sharing resources local to me.

  • Community Service Boards in Virginia– Community Service Boards or CSBs are the behavioral health and developmental disability service connections. Search for your county, city, or zip code and contact 24/7 throughout Virginia.
  • Richmond Behavioral Health Authority (RBHA) – 24/7 Crisis Response Hotline – 804-819-4100
  • Chesterfield County Crisis InterventionThe 24/7 Chesterfield Mental Health Crisis line 804-748-6356 is available to assist with mental health emergencies occurring in the county. They have walk-in and same day assessment.
  • Hanover County Crisis Line – Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for anyone in Hanover County.  Call 804-365-4200
  • Henrico County Crisis Line – Individuals experiencing mental health and substance abuse crisis require immediate help. The Emergency Services Program provides an effective, rapid response to critical situations 24-hours a day, 7 days a week.
    • Henrico Residents call 804-727-8484
    • Charles City/New Kent residents call 877- 264-8484
    • TTY 804-727-8496
  • Virginia Peer Warm Line (Not a crisis line)
    • Call 866-400-MHAV (6428)
      • Monday – Friday 9am – 9pm
      • Saturday, Sunday, and Holidays 5pm – 9pm
      • Spanish – Friday & Saturday 5pm – 9pm
    • Text/Chat  866-400-6428
      • Wednesday, Friday & Saturday 5pm – 9pm
  • How to obtain a Temporary Detention Order (TDO) in Virginia -A court or magistrate may issue a medical TDO, with the advice of a licensed physician who has attempted to obtain informed consent of an adult person to treatment, if the court or magistrate finds that probable cause exists to believe the person is incapable of making or communicating an informed decision regarding treatment of a physical or mental condition due to a mental or physical condition and the medical standard of care calls for observation, testing, or treatment within the next 24 hours to prevent injury, disability, death or other harm to the person resulting from such mental or physical condition. Minors cannot be the subject of a medical TDO issued under § 37.2-1104.

Suicide Awareness & Prevention

Training & Certification

Google your city, state, and the name of the course you want to learn more about. These evidence-based courses can be taken by mental health professionals, parents, and community members. Note: AnneMoss has had this training and a lot more including CAMS Care. 

  • LivingWorks Start – LivingWorks Start teaches life-saving suicide prevention skills in as little as one hour online. Dynamic, interactive content provides a high-impact learning experience.
  • The ASK Workshop – The ASK Workshop is the only suicide prevention workshop that specifically addresses suicide risk in young children and gives participants developmentally appropriate strategies and tools to identify young children at risk of suicide and quickly gather and organize key details needed to assess risk and inform safety planning. 
  • Talk Saves Lives – Talk Saves Lives is AFSP’s standardized, 45-60 minute education program that provides participants with a clear understanding of this leading cause of death, including the most up-to-date research on suicide prevention, and what they can do in their communities to save lives.  In addition to the general course, there are options tailored for specific populations (i.e. seniors, LGBTQ+, Latinx & Hispanic Communities, etc.).  Available in English and Spanish for some course offerings.
  • LivingWorks ASIST – LivingWorks ASIST is a two-day in-person workshop where you’ll learn how to recognize when someone may be thinking about suicide, and how to provide a skilled intervention and develop a safety plan with the person to connect them to further support. Trusted by professionals, approved by the World Health Organization and learnable by anyone, LivingWorks Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) is the only workshop of its kind.
  • LivingWorks SafeTalk – LivingWorks safeTALK is a four-hour training that equips people to be more alert to someone thinking of suicide and better able to connect them with further help. Using a simple yet effective model, LivingWorks safeTALK empowers everyone to make a difference.  NOTE: I am a certified SafeTalk trainer.  
  • QPR Online Gatekeeper TrainingQPR stands for Question, Persuade, and Refer — the 3 simple steps anyone can learn to help save a life from suicide.  Just as people trained in CPR and the Heimlich Maneuver help save thousands of lives each year, people trained in QPR learn how to recognize the warning signs of a suicide crisis and how to question, persuade, and refer someone to help. The course takes approximately one hour to complete and the certification is valid for 2 years.  Online recertifcation courses are also available.
  • Mental Health First Aid for Adults  Mental Health First Aid for Adults teaches people how to recognize signs of mental health or substance use challenges in adults ages 18 and older, how to offer and provide initial help, and how to guide a person toward appropriate care if necessary. Topics covered include anxiety, depression, psychosis, and addictions.  Also offered in Spanish.
  • Youth Mental Health First Aid  Youth Mental Health First Aid is designed to teach parents, family members, caregivers, teachers, school staff, peers, neighbors, health and human services workers, and other caring citizens how to help an adolescent (age 12-18) who is experiencing a mental health or addictions challenge or is in crisis. Youth Mental Health First Aid is primarily designed for adults who regularly interact with young people. Topics covered include anxiety, depression, substance use, disorders in which psychosis may occur, disruptive behavior disorders (including AD/HD), and eating disorders.
  • Teen Mental Health First Aid (tMHFA) – Teaches teens in grades 10-12, or ages 15-18, how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental health and substance use challenges among their friends and peers.
  • LGBTQ+ Ally Training – Designed for youth-serving professionals, this training program provides a basic framework for understanding LGBTQ identities and the unique challenges young people often face.  This training is designed to create dialogue around being an adult ally for LGBTQ youth by informing participants about common terminology, the “coming out” process, and challenges at home, in school, and the community.
  • LGBTQ+ CARE Training – The Trevor Project’s CARE (Connect, Accept, Respond, Empower) Training is an interactive training program for youth-serving adults that focuses on suicide prevention and mental health for LGBTQ youth, including the different environmental stressors that contribute to their heightened risk for suicide.
Removing Means

As suicide prevention efforts are gaining momentum, it has become clear that the means a person uses to attempt suicide play a key role in whether or not they live or die. Means reduction (reducing a suicidal person’s access to highly lethal means) is an important part of a comprehensive approach to suicide prevention.

  • Means Matter – Maintained by the Harvard School of Public Health, this site focuses on the HOW of suicide. The mission of the Means Matter Campaign is to increase the proportion of suicide prevention groups who promote activities that reduce a suicidal person’s access to lethal means of suicide and who develop active partnerships with gun owner groups to prevent suicide.
  • Lethal Means & Suicide Prevention – National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention focuses on education related to the removal of means.  When people’s access to a highly lethal means that they would use is blocked, it creates two pathways by which lives are saved: they may attempt with a method less likely to prove fatal and thus live, or they may not attempt at all.
  • US Department of Veterans Affairs –  The VA Keep It Secure program promotes awareness about the simple steps you can take to protect yourself and your family.
  • Lethal Means Safety Guide for Military –  The Defense Suicide Prevention Office (DPSO) exists to promote awareness and prevent suicide within the military.  The mission of the office is unwavering pursuit of a mission-ready, suicide-free military community.   Other DPSO resources can be found HERE.
  • Project Child Safe – has a searchable map where you can locate a free Project ChildSafe Safety Kit (includes a cable-style gun lock and safety instructions) in your area. Also provide a number of resources for parents and educators on talking about gun safety with kids and more.
  • Gun Storage for your Lifestyle – handout describing different types of gun storage and safety to help you best find one that will work for you. 
  • Virginia Lock & Talk – a suicide prevention initiative in the state of Virginia that strives to encourage community conversation around mental wellness and promote safe care of lethal means, including firearms and medications.  Lock and Talk’s partners provide free safety devices to secure guns and medications and offer free educational materials and guidelines about storing and securing lethal means
  • How to Remove Means When Its a Gun – by AnneMoss Rogers. This article is written based on the laws in Virginia.  And, while the laws will vary from state to state,  this will offer a guide for other areas.
Community Events - Get Involved
  • Out of the Darkness WalksThe Out of the Darkness Walks are proof that when people work together they can make big changes in the world. They are AFSP’s largest fundraiser – they produce millions for suicide prevention programs, unite those who have been affected by suicide, and create communities that are smart about mental health.  
    • Community Walks, held in hundreds of cities across the country, are the core of the Out of the Darkness movement, which began in 2004. These events give people the courage to open up about their own connections to the cause, and a platform to create a culture that’s smarter about mental health. Friends, family members, neighbors and coworkers walk side-by-side, supporting each other and in memory of those we’ve lost.  Available in all 50 states.
    • Campus Walks are the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s (AFSP) signature student fundraising series, designed to engage youth and young adults in the fight to prevent suicide, the third leading cause of death among people ages 15-24.
    • Overnight Walks are held once a year, and thousands join together to walk through the night to fight suicide.  As you walk over 16 miles from dusk till dawn, you’ll find support and understanding in a community of others affected by suicide. 
  • International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day –  International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day is an event in which survivors of suicide loss come together to find connection, understanding, and hope through their shared experience. This day occurs in November and always falls on the Saturday before American Thanksgiving.
  • National Suicide Prevention Month –  The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) recognizes the entire month of September as National Suicide Prevention Month: a moment in time in which we rally the public to create awareness of this leading cause of death, and inspire more and more people to learn how they can play a role in their communities in helping to save lives.  
  • World Suicide Prevention Day – Occurring annually on September 10th, this is a day that the entire world recognizes and comes together to raise awareness about suicide and advocate for prevention. 
  • NAMI Walks – the walk that has no finish line…only countless new beginnings for the people we serve – as we raise funds to power NAMI’s life-changing free programs and fuel growing awareness of our cause.
For Those Living with Suicidality
  •  Living Through This – A collection of portraits and true stories of suicide attempt survivors across the United States. Ultimately, this collection of diverse voices illustrates that suicide can affect any of us—not just those we can imagine being our friend. Please read with care.
  • NAMI Connection is a support group for people with mental health conditions. Groups meet weekly, every other week or monthly, depending on location. Many support groups are virtual and attendance is open to everyone across the country. This program is also available in Spanish, NAMI Conexión.
  • Coping with an Emotional Emergency – by AnneMoss Rogers. Provides coping strategies with real examples of how to manage extreme emotions.
  • Suicide Safety Plan Template – A safety plan is a prioritized list of coping strategies and sources of support. It can help you to identify what leads to your thoughts of suicide, and how to feel better when you are having these thoughts. As a result, you can help yourself to stay safe.
  • A Letter to Oneself – Writing a letter to yourself that you can read when you are feeling suicidal or in crisis is a healthy coping strategy that can be used to prevent suicide.  This link is to a blog post where a guest, Anna, shared her letter which she uses to stay alive when her brain is telling her she is worthless.
  • Coping Card Activity – by AnneMoss Rogers.  Free eBook.  This activity helps students, youth and adults define what’s important, and how to cope when life gets rough. Ages 7th grade and up.
  • What Really Happens When You Reach Out to Crisis Lines? – by Melina Acosta. This article debunks the common myths about privacy and provide clarification on what a call to a crisis line will actually be and feel like.
  • TrevorSpaceTrevorSpace is an affirming international online community for LGBTQ young people ages 13-24.  With over 400,000 members across the globe, you can explore your identity, get advice, find support, and make friends in a moderated community intentionally designed for you.  Go HERE to sign up
  • The Social Work Podcast hosted by Jonathan Singer
  • Suicide Prevention Apps – Professionally reviewed apps for suicide prevention.  These will keep you safe when you are having thoughts of suicide. You can enter contact names, some of them you can upload pictures to remind you why you should stay.
    • Safety Plan – Safety Plan helps individuals identify suicide warning signs, create coping strategies, identify positive contacts and social settings to distract from the crisis, identify family members and friends available to help, find professional help and resources, and make their environment safe from lethal means that may be used in a suicide attempt. Available in iOS and Android.
    • Stay Alive – by Grassroots Suicide Prevention- From the UK – Available in iOS and Android. and a downloadable PDF. Reviewers liked that the app allowed for the upload of pictures.
    • NotOK a pre-crisis and connection building tool.  Marketed as a free digital panic button to get you immediate support via text, phone call, or GPS location when you’re struggling to reach out.  Available in iOS and Android.
    • Suicide Safe – For healthcare providers to use in their practice.  Suicide Safe is a free mobile app that helps providers integrate suicide prevention strategies into their practice and address suicide risk among their patients.
For Friends & Famlly
  • Talk Saves Lives – From the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) this guide can help you navigate a conversation with someone who is living with anxiety, depression, and/or suicidal thoughts.
  •  Conversations Matter – a suite of online resources developed to support community discussion about suicide. The resources provide practical information for communities and people working with communities to guide conversations about suicide. The resources have been developed with the support of academics, service providers, people with lived experience and community members. Courtesy of the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia.  Note:  I like the podcast
  • NAMI Family Support Group is a support group for family members, significant others and friends of people with mental health conditions. Groups meet weekly, every other week or monthly, depending on location. Many support groups are virtual and attendance is open to everyone across the country.
  • Challenge Success – Challenge Success partners with families and school communities to elevate student voice and implement research-based, equity-centered strategies that improve student well-being, belonging, and engagement. Their vision is that educational systems value each student for their unique identities, assets, and individual definitions of success and effectively prepare them for the variety of opportunities and challenges they will encounter in school and beyond.
  • VA Caregiver Support Program – services to family members and friends who care for Veterans, including on-line courses, face-to-face classes, telephone support, and peer support. These services are offered in addition to the support provided to families and caregivers across VA by clinicians as part of a Veteran’s care. Every VA medical center has a Caregiver Support Coordinator (CSC) who assists with information and referrals to these programs. Many of the programs are also available to Veterans who serve as the family caregiver to a non-Veteran. *For more information, please contact your local CSC.   A summary of services available can be found here.
  • Adam’s Story – Community outreach throughout Kansas and Missouri.  Volunteer advocates and family who have survived a suicide loss working with local, state and federal mental health and wellness agencies throughout Kansas and Missouri. The purpose and mission are to offer at no charge a display for distribution of gathered mental health crisis line numbers, mental health and wellness pamphlets, to include suicide prevention resources like bracelets, magnets, pins, and more. They will travel to any community, business, church, faith-based group, veterans’ group, or committee within a reasonable distance of the Kansas/Missouri area.
  • Netflix series 13 Reasons Why – This Netflix series was created from a book and it’s designed for entertainment. It’s riveting and easy to see why teens are intrigued. But it’s also dark and potentially a trigger for teens at risk.  Here are some thoughts and perspectives on this series:
Websites & Additional Resources

The sites listed here have great information and/or have links to additional resources specifically related to suicide that you may find helpful.  Note: General mental health resources, which also include suicide, are listed in the Mental Illness further down the page, so check there for additional resources.

  • Mental Health America – offers a number of online self-screening tools for mental health conditions including depression, anxiety, ADHD, PTSD, and more.  Several tests are also offered in Spanish and there is a parent option to evaluate a child’s mental health.  The site provides the ties between suicide and other mental health issues (anxiety, depression) and dealing with suicidal thoughts.
  • American Foundation for Suicide Prevention – AFSP is dedicated to saving lives and bringing hope to those affected by suicide, including those who have experienced a loss.
  • American Association of Suicidology – an inclusive community that envisions a world where people know how to prevent suicide and find hope and healing. Their mission is to promote the understanding and prevention of suicide and support those who have been affected by it.
  • Suicide Prevention Resource Center – The Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC) is the only federally supported resource center devoted to advancing the implementation of the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention. 
  • Active Minds – Active Minds prioritizes the student voice to ensure a student-driven and student-focused approach in mental health promotion. They inspire mental health advocates to have conversations that have the potential to save lives.  Using a peer-to-peer approach, Active Minds changes the conversation about mental health among adolescents and young adults, reduces stigma associated with mental health conditions, and establishes a culture of caring on college and university campuses.
  • The Trevor Project –   The Trevor Project is the leading suicide prevention and crisis intervention nonprofit organization for LGBTQ young people.  They provide information & support to LGBTQ 
young people 24/7, all year round.
  • The Jed Foundation – The Jed Foundation is a nonprofit that protects emotional health and prevents suicide for our nation’s teens and young adults, giving them the skills and support they need to thrive today…and tomorrow.
  • The Quell Foundation – The Quell Foundation strives to reduce the number of suicides, overdoses and the incarceration of people living with a mental health illness. They accomplish this by encouraging people to share their stories, increasing access to mental health services, providing a pipeline of future mental health care professionals with scholarships, and training first responders to recognize mental health crisis warning signs amongst their own.
  • DBT Skills – Courtesy of Rutgers University, this series of videos demonstrate the skills used Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) that can be used for emotional regulation. 
  • Suicide Prevention Interventions and Treatments – There are many helpful approaches for individuals and their loved ones, when someone is in distress or at risk for suicidal behavior. Interventions and treatments have been developed in recent years for individuals who are experiencing suicidal thoughts or who have made a suicide attempt.
  • Suicide Prevention Resource for Action – CDC’s Suicide Prevention Resource for Action (Prevention Resource) details the strategies with the best available evidence to reduce suicide. The Prevention Resource can help states and communities prioritize suicide prevention activities most likely to have an impact. The programs, practices, and policies in the Prevention Resource can be tailored to the needs of populations and communities.
  • Suicide Prevention Guide for Youth and Young Adults – Provides advice and strategies for young people to recognize and help friends who may be having thoughts of suicide, including when it is time to involve a trusted adult and ask for additional help.
  • A Letter to Oneself – Writing a letter to yourself that you can read when you are feeling suicidal or in crisis is a healthy coping strategy that can be used to prevent suicide.  This link is to a blog post where a guest, Anna, shared her letter which she uses to stay alive when her brain is telling her she is worthless.
  • Coping Card Activity – by AnneMoss Rogers.  Free eBook.  This activity helps students, youth and adults define what’s important, and how to cope when life gets rough. Ages 7th grade and up.
  • Speaking of Suicide – website by Stacey Freedenthal PhD, LCSW. Great resources and blog! Highly recommended. She has great books, too including Loving Someone with Suicidal Thoughts.   You can see my interview with Stacey here.
  • A Collection of Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Resources – curated by a dentist (don’t be surprised when you go to a dental office website!), this list of resources includes information on warning signs, precautions to take, and what to do after an attempt.
  • NAMI Support GroupsNAMI support groups are peer-led and offer participants an opportunity to share their experiences and gain support from other attendees.
    • NAMI Connection is a support group for people with mental health conditions. Groups meet weekly, every other week or monthly, depending on location. Many support groups are virtual and attendance is open to everyone across the country. This program is also available in Spanish, NAMI Conexión.
    • NAMI Family Support Group is a support group for family members, significant others and friends of people with mental health conditions. Groups meet weekly, every other week or monthly, depending on location. Many support groups are virtual and attendance is open to everyone across the country.

State-Specific Resources

  • Beacon Tree Foundation (Virginia) – Supporting Families Struggling with Mental Illness by Providing Education, Facilitating Access to services and helping pay for those services for children 21 or under.
  • AFSP Virginia – the Virginia Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. This chapter serves all of Virginia except for Fairfax, Loudoun, Prince William and Arlington Counties and the City of Alexandria.
  • AFSP National Capital Area – The local Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention serving Northern Virginia and Washington D.C. areas. 
  • Virginia Veteran and Family Support (Virginia) – provides outreach, connection and support to veterans and their families as they address the challenges of military service, transition, deployments, post traumatic stress or other behavioral health concerns as well as traumatic brain injuries and physical injuries.
  • Ryan Bartel Foundation (Virginia) – Their mission is to prevent youth suicide through awareness, upstream educational programs and activities that support and empower youth, families and the community at-large through acceptance, connection, resiliency and hope.  They offer a number of virtual support groups for parents, teens and professionals. 
  • Mitchell Hash Foundation (Charlottesville, VA) – Encouraging those who struggle with suicide or have lost someone to suicide.  Founded by a mother remembering her veteran Marine son who died by suicide.
  • Living the Dream Foundation (Culpeper, VA) – The Living the Dream Foundation works to increase community awareness and education about substance abuse, depression and suicide; provides information on available resources for those in need of services; and raises funds to support local prevention programs of RRCS and Healthy Culpeper and its Community Partners that reduce associated risk factors.
  • The Sarah Michelle Peterson Foundation (Hampton Roads, VA) – the mission is to save lives by providing educational programs for teens and adults at schools, colleges, churches, work places, community centers, gyms, libraries, and other locations. 
  • Virginia Lock & Talk – a suicide prevention initiative in the state of Virginia that strives to encourage community conversation around mental wellness and promote safe care of lethal means, including firearms and medications.
  • Richmond Behavioral Health Authority (Richmond, VA) – Crisis Hotline – 804-819-4100
  • Community Service Boards in Virginia– Community Service Boards or CSBs are the behavioral health and developmental disability service connections. Search for your county, city, or zip code and contact 24/7.
  • Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS) – supports individuals by promoting recovery, self-determination, and wellness in all aspects of life.
  • NAMI Virginia – an organization of families, friends and individuals whose lives have been affected by mental illness.  Their mission is to promote recovery and improve the quality of life of Virginians with serious mental illness through support, education, and advocacy.
  • Children’s Mental Health Resource Center (Virginia) – This is an 8am-4pm call service to match child’s age, insurance with who has openings near you. They also help you navigate the mental health system. This is statewide.  Call 804-828-9897
  • Virginia Peer Warm Line (Not a crisis line)
    • Call 866-400-MHAV (6428)
      • Monday – Friday 9am – 9pm
      • Saturday, Sunday, and Holidays 5pm – 9pm
      • Spanish – Friday & Saturday 5pm – 9pm
    • Text/Chat  866-400-6428
      • Wednesday, Friday & Saturday 5pm – 9pm
Books & Recommended Reading
  • Diary of a Broken Mind: A Mother’s Story, A Son’s Suicide, and The Haunting Lyrics He Left Behind – by AnneMoss Rogers and Charles Rogers.  This book focuses on the relatable story of what led to his suicide at age twenty and answers the why behind his addiction and this cause of death, revealed through a mother’s story and years of Charles’ published and unpublished song lyrics. The closing chapters focus on hope and healing-and how the author found her purpose and forgave herself.
  • Emotionally Naked: A Teacher’s Guide to Preventing Suicide and Recognizing Students at Risk – by AnneMoss Rogers and Kimberly McManama O’Brien, PhD, LICSW.  This best-sellning book covers key strategies for prevention, intervention, and postvention, emphasizing student wellness, social-emotional learning, and collaboration among educators at all levels.  Includes scripts and scenarios that can help with these conversations.
  • Suicide in Schools – by Terri A. Erbacher, Jonathan B. Singer, and Scott Poland. The extensively updated second edition of Suicide in Schools provides school-based professionals with practical, easy-to-use guidance on developing and implementing effective suicide prevention, assessment, intervention, and postvention strategies. This book is essential reading for school-based administrators, crisis team members, and mental health professionals as well as for outside providers who work collaboratively with school districts.
  • Loving Someone with Suicidal Thoughts: What Family, Friends, and Partners Can Say and Do – by Stacey Freedenthal PhD  with foreword by David A. Jobes PhD. If you love someone who has suicidal thoughts, you may struggle with profound fear of saying or doing the wrong thing. You desperately want to help, but you’re unsure of where to start. This book can guide you as you support your loved one—without sacrificing your own needs and well-being.
  • The Suicidal Thoughts Workbook: CBT Skills to Reduce Emotional Pain, Increase Hope, and Prevent Suicide – by Kathryn Hope Gordon, PhD with foreword by Thomas Ellis Joiner, Jr. PhD. Grounded in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), this compassionate workbook offers practical tools to guide you toward a place of hope. It will help you identify your reasons for living, manage intense emotions and painful thoughts, and create a safe environment when you are in a crisis.
  • Guts, Grit & The Grind: A MENtal Mechanics MANual: Basic Mechanics – by Sally Spencer-Thomas, Sarah Gaer, and Frank King.  This is volume one of “Guts, Grit & The Grind,” a book series akin to a “Chicken Soup for the Man’s Soul.” Here you will find stories of mental health challenges of men, written by men, for men in similar circumstances – inspiring stories of resilience, recovery and transformation. The resource is also a workbook, similar to an automobile owners manual, using car metaphors many men can relate to like “preventative maintenance,” “troubleshooting,” and “check engine.”
  • How I Stayed Alive When My Brain Was Trying to Kill Me: One Person’s Guide to Suicide Prevention – by Susan Rose Blauner. A survivor of multiple suicide attempts, Blauner eloquently describes the feelings and fantasies surrounding suicide. In a direct, nonjudgmental, and loving voice, she offers affirmations and suggestions for those experiencing life-ending thoughts, and for their friends and family.  Recommended by Karla Helbert, LPC.
  • How to Not Kill Yourself: A Personal Guide for Embracing Life – by an anonymous author.  A very personal and practical guide from someone who struggles with suicidal thoughts and ideation. The author discusses his experiences, and the big (and little) things that help him choose to stick around through his lowest lows.  The tools the author offers are accessible, straightforward and useful.    Recommended by Dr. Mark Miller, College Counselor.
  • Free Mental Health eBook Library – by AnneMoss Rogers.  These free eBooks have been written from personal and professional experience as well as in collaboration with colleagues and friends who share their experience and expertise. The titles you’ll find include How to Recognize Symptoms of Depression, 10 Tips for Preventing Suicide in Our Children, and My Child Has Been Suicidal. What Do I Do Now?  
For Educators & Schools
  • Suicide Prevention: A Model Policy – This is a very concise and thorough school policy that covers, prevention, memorials, intervention, postvention. Trevor will even consult with school districts to modify it for their state and school districts. A must to download.
  • Emotionally Naked: A Teacher’s Guide to Preventing Suicide and Recognizing Students at Risk – by AnneMoss Rogers and Kimberly McManama O’Brien, PhD, LICSW.  This best-selling book  covers key strategies for prevention, intervention, and postvention, emphasizing student wellness, social-emotional learning, and collaboration among educators at all levels.  Includes scripts and scenarios that can help with these conversations.
  • Resources and Helplines For Teachers and School Counselors – resources that will be helpful if a student needs support beyond what you are able to offer, as well as resources to support your own well-being.
  • LGBTQ+ Ally Training – Designed for youth-serving professionals, this training program provides a basic framework for understanding LGBTQ identities and the unique challenges young people often face.  This training is designed to create dialogue around being an adult ally for LGBTQ youth by informing participants about common terminology, the “coming out” process, and challenges at home, in school, and the community.
  • LGBTQ+ CARE Training – The Trevor Project’s CARE (Connect, Accept, Respond, Empower) Training is an interactive training program for youth-serving adults that focuses on suicide prevention and mental health for LGBTQ youth, including the different environmental stressors that contribute to their heightened risk for suicide.
  • It’s Real: College Students and Mental Health – The AFSP-produced film It’s Real: College Students and Mental Health is designed to raise awareness about mental health issues commonly experienced by students, and is intended to be used as part of a school’s educational program to encourage help-seeking.
  • It’s Real: Teens and Mental Health for High School StudentsIntended for high school classes or community settings with groups of teens, ages from 14 to 18, It’s Real: Teens and Mental Health for High School Students is a 45-minute program that provides young people with mental health education and resources. The AFSP program raises awareness about mental health issues, how to start a conversation about mental health, the importance of self-care, and how to reach out for help.
  • It’s Real: Teens and Mental Health for Middle Schools Students – Intended for middle school classes or community settings with groups of teens, ages from 11 to 15, It’s Real: Teens and Mental Health for Middle School Students is a 45-minute program that provides young people with mental health education and resources. The AFSP program raises awareness about mental health issues, how to start a conversation about mental health, the importance of self-care, and how to reach out for help.
  • The Cult of Pedagogy Podcast hosted by Jennifer Gonzalez
    • Suicide Prevention: What Teachers Can Do with AnneMoss Rogers.  The key takeaways: common misconceptions, contributing factors, signs and risk factors to look out for, and other things teachers can do to prevent youth suicide.
  • Aevidum.org  The word Aevidum, which means “I’ve got your back,” was created by students after a classmate died by suicide. Aevidum inspires schools and communities to adopt cultures of care and advocacy, encouraging all members to have their friends’ backs. Aevidum exists in elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, and colleges across the nation. What started in one tiny school in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania has now become a nationwide movement.
    • Little Aevidum – At the elementary level, the concept of Aevidum helps to teach kids about the importance of supporting and caring for each other.  The Little Aevidum program currently consists of Schoolwide Overview Materials to help introduce the program in your building, six sets of Classroom Lessons, and Club Resources to assist schools in launching Little Aevidum clubs.
    • Aevidum Curriculum – The Middle and High School Mental Health & Suicide Prevention Curriculum was developed by a team of school counselors, school principals, teachers, and psychologists. The curriculum is currently structured into five modules, which vary in length and build by topic.
    • AevidumU – At the college level, Aevidum’s “I’ve got your back” message assists students in seeking help for themselves and for their friends. While some schools incorporate Aevidum campaigns into already-existing programs and department activities, others create Aevidum as a club or student organization.
    • Aevidum Clubs – A healthy school is a place where students feel accepted, appreciated, acknowledged, and cared for; a place where students and staff embrace Aevidum and have each others’ backs. Not just one day. Every day. Clubs focus on support and prevention, and work to transform their school cultures to focus on care and advocacy so all members of their school communities feel accepted, appreciated, acknowledged, and cared for.
    • Aevidum Friend to Friend – Aevidum Friend to Friend is an empirically-supported peer support program schools can adopt to embed helping skills and extend an added layer of connection within their school communities. The goal of the program is to provide students with the basic helping skills they need to make a difference in the life of a friend who is struggling emotionally.
    • Aevidum MIND – Aevidum Mind consists of two resources: 10 Tools to Find Calm Amidst Chaos in Your Classroom tip sheet and accompanying videos (includes 5 tips teachers can use for themselves and 5 tips teachers can use with their students) and Guided Mindfulness for Educators: a collection of guided mindfulness practices for time-crunched teachers who want to find some time for self-care based around Aevidum’s four characteristics of a healthy community.
College Student & Campus Resources

From re-entry back into college after medical withdrawal to groups that can support your student. Helpful resources for students living with mental illness and suicidal ideation.

  • Fountain House College Re-Entry – This program is dedicated to helping students with re-entry into college after having withdrawn from their studies. This could be due to any issue including a suicide attempt to loss of a parent or even due to cancer treatment.
  • Colleges with SUD Recovery Programs – Universities and colleges across the nation are leading the way in supporting students in recovery from addiction. Each member University or College listed below incorporates recovery on their campus in a way that is unique to their population and culture.  The main point of a CRP is that it focuses on student support in higher education.
  • The Jed Foundation – The Jed Foundation is a nonprofit that protects emotional health and prevents suicide for our nation’s teens and young adults, giving them the skills and support they need to thrive today…and tomorrow. Look for a JED Campus if you want to find a school that is working to prevent suicide.
  • AevidumU – At the college level, Aevidum’s “I’ve got your back” message assists students in seeking help for themselves and for their friends. While some schools incorporate Aevidum campaigns into already-existing programs and department activities, others create Aevidum as a club or student organization.
  • Active Minds – Active Minds prioritizes the student voice to ensure a student-driven and student-focused approach in mental health promotion. They inspire mental health advocates to have conversations that have the potential to save lives.  Using a peer-to-peer approach, Active Minds changes the conversation about mental health among adolescents and young adults, reduces stigma associated with mental health conditions, and establishes a culture of caring on college and university campuses.
  • Hold a campus Out of the Darkness Walk – the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s (AFSP) signature student fundraising series, designed to engage youth and young adults in the fight to prevent suicide, the third leading cause of death among people ages 15-24.
  • Interactive Screening Program (ISP) – The Interactive Screening Program (ISP) is an online program created by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) that is utilized by mental health services at institutions of higher education, including medical and professional degree schools, hospitals and health systems, law enforcement agencies, and organizations and workplaces through their Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs). Those who exchanged anonymous online messages with an ISP counselor were three times more likely to enter treatment. This program is successfully used at many US colleges. It’s an anonymous online tool for students experiencing mental health issues or suicidal ideation. It’s anonymous until they make the choice to reach out.
    • Advocates – Ask your college to implement this program.
For Law Enforcement & Correctional Facilities
  • Suicide Prevention in Corrections – According to the U.S. Department of Justice, suicide is the leading cause of death in jails, and the suicide rate in prisons continues to increase. The National Commission on Correctional Health Care (NCCHC) and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) have created an authoritative resource on preventing suicide in correctional facilities.
For Media & Reporters

  • Reporting on Suicide – Best practices and recommendations for reporting on suicide. Over 100 studies worldwide have found that risk of contagion is real and responsible reporting can reduce the risk of additional suicides.
  • Preventing Suicide: A Resource for Media Professionals – Created by the American Association of Suicidology, this guide outlines the essential role media play in suicide prevention including responsible reporting, appropriate dissemination of information and provision of resources and awareness-raising.
  • AFSP Safe Reporting Guidelines for MediaJoin the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) in pledging to cover suicide-related deaths through safe reporting practices to protect those who are most vulnerable, respect surviving families, and save lives. Also provides contact information for consult or questions for journalists or public on reporting/writing on suicide. 
For Funeral Directors
  • Supporting Survivors of  Suicide Loss: A Guide for Funeral Directors – Provided by the Suicide Prevention Resource Center, this guide provides critical information and practical advice to help funeral directors better serve people who are bereaved by a suicide loss. A collaboration of Education Development Center (EDC) and Samaritans, Inc., with input from funeral directors, psychologists, and suicide loss survivors.
  • The Emotionally Naked Funeral Director – by AnneMoss Rogers. Free eBook. As a mother who lost a son to suicide, I’ve written this eBook specifically to help funeral directors answer the tough questions and know what to say to families who have lost someone to suicide.
For Faith Leaders
For Workplace
For Healthcare Workers
  • Ask Suicide-Screening Questions (ASQ) Toolkit –  a set of four brief suicide screening questions that takes 20 seconds to administer.  While the toolkit materials are mostly the same for all ages, thereare Youth and Adult versions of some of the tools.  In addition, The ASQ toolkit is organized by the medical setting in which it will be used: emergency department, inpatient medical/surgical unit, and outpatient primary care and specialty clinics.
  • Suicide Safe – For healthcare providers to use in their practice.  Suicide Safe is a free mobile app that helps providers integrate suicide prevention strategies into their practice and address suicide risk among their patients. 
  • For clinical practices, below are links to handouts and templates for handouts used by other pediatricians/PCPs for suicide screening tools:
Shareables - Posters and Social Media

The following collection of links will take you to various site rpositories where you can find posters to hang in the classroom or workplace breakroom as well as other graphical content that can be shared on social media, etc. Sharing is caring!

  • 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline (USA)
    • Partner Toolkit – tons of resources including social media shareables, handouts, videos and reels, virtual meeting backgrounds, and more.  Example text content is also included to make sharing even easier.
    • Media Resources – 988 logo and branded materials for use. Available in English and Spanish.
    • Youth Suicide Warning Signs PosterThis poster is designed to be placed in school counseling offices, clinics, pediatrician offices, and other settings relevant to families. 18×24 
    • 988 “Hope” Poster –  This poster is designed to be placed in community centers, counseling offices, clinics, and other settings where people gather. 18×24
    • 988 Poster (Spanish) –  This poster is designed to be placed in community centers, counseling offices, clinics, and other settings where people gather. 18×24
    • Safety Plan Pads 
    • Safety Plan Pads (Spanish)
    • 988 Oklahoma – All posters are 988, only a few are minimally branded with Oklahoma info.  Some are funny & sassy.  English and Spanish
  • Crisis Text Line 741 741
  • Veterans Crisis Line

Suicide Intervention

For Educators & Schools

Survivors of Suicide Loss & Postvention

For Children & Teens

The following resources are intended to assist children and teens who have experienced a suicide loss. In some cases, the resource is written for an adult to be used as a tool when communicating with the child about the loss.

  • Children, Teens, and Suicide Loss – an eBook created by the Dougy Center and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) on what to say to children and grief after a suicide loss.
  • Returning to School After a Suicide Loss: For Younger Children – Article by AFSP on grief and how to open dialogue with children about what to expect when they return to school.
  • Returning to School After a Suicide Loss: For Teens – Article by AFSP on grief and how to open dialogue with teens about what to expect when they return to school.
  • Aevidum.org – The word Aevidum, which means “I’ve got your back,” was created by students after a classmate died by suicide. Aevidum inspires schools and communities to adopt cultures of care and advocacy, encouraging all members to have their friends’ backs. Aevidum exists in elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, and colleges across the nation. What started in one tiny school in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania has now become a nationwide movement.
  • Suicide Loss Camp – Suicide Loss Camps, offered by Comfort Zone Camp in partnership with A Little Hope Foundation, are specifically designed to bring together children, young adults, parents and guardians who have lost a loved one to suicide, allowing them to grieve, heal and grow surrounded by those who have shared a similar loss.
  • My Teen Just Lost a Friend to Suicide. How Can I Help My Child? – a blog post from emotionallynaked.com with a ton of information and example conversations to help get you started.
  • Someone I Love Died by Suicide: A Story for Child Survivors and Those Who Care for Them – This book is designed for adult caregivers to read to surviving youngsters following a suicidal death.
  • After a Suicide: An Activity Book for Grieving Kids – This is a hands-on, interactive activity book for children who have been exposed to a suicide death so they can learn from other grieving kids. The activity book includes drawing activities, puzzles, stories, advice from other kids, and helpful suggestions for how to navigate the grief process after a suicide death.
For Community & Individual Support
  •  Alliance of Hope – created by survivors for survivors. It provides online healing support and other services for people who are coping with devastating loss to suicide. This online forum is available for loss survivors 24/7.
  • United Suicide Survivors InternationalAn organization that serves as a home for people who have experienced suicide loss, suicide attempts, and suicidal thoughts/feelings, and their friends and families — collectively known as people w/ lived experience with suicide – to leverage their expertise for large-scale change.
  • American Foundation for Suicide Prevention – many resources for those living with a suicide loss,including:
    • Healing Conversations – a one-time visit (phone, virtual, in-person)  that connects those who have lost a loved one to suicide with trained volunteers who are also survivors of suicide loss. The goal of this connection is to help recent survivors navigate this challenging journey by offering support, connection and resources.
    • Support Group Search – AFSP lists U.S. and international suicide bereavement support groups as a public service to loss survivors.  Search by zip/postal code and distance.  
    • Digital Memory Quilt – an online photo quilt created in memory of lost loved ones
    • Lifekeeper Memory Quilt – Each square in the quilt tells the story of someone who took their life. The squares are lovingly stitched together, and displayed at AFSP and other events to remind us that no survivor of suicide loss stands alone.
For Educators & Schools
  • After a Suicide: A Toolkit for Schools – An evidence-based guide from the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention (AFSP) for schools that have suffered a suicide of one of their students.
  • After a suicide at a school or college. What do you do? – by AnneMoss Rogers.  An effective response includes communication, connection, healthy grieving, commemoration, stabilization, coping skills and resilience development, as well as advocacy.
  • Suicide Deaths on School Campus: Tips for Managing Emotionality – an immediate list of to-dos in an aftermath of a suicide on a school campus.
  • Postvention: A Guide for Response to Suicide on College Campuses – This resource is intended for use by colleges and universities that are affected by and/or want to be prepared for campus crises and campus deaths.
  • Memorials After a Suicide – When a school community experiences the death of a student, there is often the very human tendency to want to do something in memory of the deceased student. The task for schools, of course, is to develop a consistent policy that addresses all requests for memorials in the same way, regardless of the circumstances of the death. Here are some of the common questions raised about memorials by administrators, faculty, and students. Both the questions and the responses can provide talking points for your school and assist as you proactively craft policies, procedures and protocols that guide your school in addressing this very important topic.
  • Suicide Clusters and Contagion – Adolescents are the most susceptible age group for imitating suicidal behavior; therefore, discussions of contagion often center on prevention efforts in the school environment, necessitating that school psychologists play a central role. Recognizing and addressing suicide contagion are essential to successful suicide postvention efforts.
  • Support Students Grieving a Suicide Loss – an article by AnneMoss Rogers in Richmond Family Magazine. Educators can be catalysts for important conversations about death, which start with that group of students who wants to hear from someone they know. These 7 important strategies can help educators respond to a suicide death appropriately and effectively. 
  • Scripts on how teachers facilitate discussion with their class after a suicide – by AnneMoss Rogers. Students struggling with no outlet for their grief facing silence about the subject are likely to cope in unhealthy ways. They want to talk to you.
  • The stories you share about our beloved dead mean the most – by AnneMoss Rogers.  We want the stories about our child that we don’t know because we’re not getting new ones.
  • Talking with Children: A Teacher’s Guide Video – This video describes ways students benefit from grief support. It provides strategies for starting a conversation with a student. It identifies common and well-meaning statements that may not be helpful, then offers alternatives to help you feel confident your conversation will be constructive.
  • Guidelines for Responding to a Student or Staff Death – These guidelines are designed to help school administrators, teachers, and crisis team members respond to the needs of students and staff after a loss has impacted the school environment, such as after the death of a student or staff member or when deaths occur that affect many people in the community.
  • Postvention Response to Suicide – Postvention (interventions that are conducted after a suicide) assists students in ways that promote the mental health of the entire school community and supports students experiencing a mental health or suicidal crisis after the suicidal death of a school community member. These interventions are meant to help manage the various aspects of the crisis and prevent contagion. Support and resources are provided for students, staff, parents and the entire community.
  • Riverside Trauma: Suicide Prevention, Intervention, & Postvention – A library of resources available for K-12 and Higher Education.
For Workplace
  •  A Managers Guide to Postvention in the Workplacea collaboration between the American Association of Suicidology and the National Alliance for Suicide Prevention, this guide provides managers the 10 action steps for dealing with the aftermath of a suicide in the workplace.
For Faith Leaders

Mental Illness

Mental Health Training & Education
  • Mental Health First Aid for Adults Mental Health First Aid for Adults teaches people how to recognize signs of mental health or substance use challenges in adults ages 18 and older, how to offer and provide initial help, and how to guide a person toward appropriate care if necessary. Topics covered include anxiety, depression, psychosis, and addictions.  Also offered in Spanish.
  • Youth Mental Health First AidYouth Mental Health First Aid is designed to teach parents, family members, caregivers, teachers, school staff, peers, neighbors, health and human services workers, and other caring citizens how to help an adolescent (age 12-18) who is experiencing a mental health or addictions challenge or is in crisis. Youth Mental Health First Aid is primarily designed for adults who regularly interact with young people. Topics covered include anxiety, depression, substance use, disorders in which psychosis may occur, disruptive behavior disorders (including AD/HD), and eating disorders.
  • Teen Mental Health First Aid (tMHFA) – Teaches teens in grades 10-12, or ages 15-18, how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental health and substance use challenges among their friends and peers.
  • Emotional CPR (eCPR) – an educational program designed to teach people to assist others through an emotional crisis by three simple steps: C = Connecting, P = emPowering, and R = Revitalizing.
  • Family to FamiliyNAMI Family-to-Family is a free, 8-session educational program for family, significant others and friends of people with mental health conditions. It is a designated evidenced-based program. This means that research shows that the program significantly improves the coping and problem-solving abilities of the people closest to a person with a mental health condition.
  •  National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) offers many programs for mental health support, education, and training nationwide. You can review their offerings and search for your state NAMI and find offerings local to you or offered virtually.
  • National Certified Peer Specialist (NCPS) – NCPS certification is a professional, advanced-level peer support credential for people providing peer specialist services in behavioral, physical, and related healthcare settings.
    • Peer Specialist Certification is also available at the state level.  Each state has its own requirements and regulations, but the Doors to Wellbeing maintains a list of each state and the related webpage and contact information as a starting point.

State-Specific Programs

  • NAMI Youth Move Virginia – Youth MOVE (Motivating Others through Voices of Experience) is a platform for young people to share their stories and inspire others. YMV is Virginia’s Statewide Youth Network and voice for young people with systems experience. In addition to the mental health system, YMV is open to youth and young adults (ages 14-29) who have experience in the child welfare, education, or juvenile justice systems, including foster care and substance use/recovery services.
  • Vocal Virginia – Vocal Virginia is the only state-wide mental health organization in Virginia that is 100% staffed and governed by individuals living with mental health challenges.  They provide training, education and support services for mental health peers and peer specialists to help them build resilience and serve the needs of the community.
  • How to obtain a Temporary Detention Order (TDO) in Virginia -A court or magistrate may issue a medical TDO, with the advice of a licensed physician who has attempted to obtain informed consent of an adult person to treatment, if the court or magistrate finds that probable cause exists to believe the person is incapable of making or communicating an informed decision regarding treatment of a physical or mental condition due to a mental or physical condition and the medical standard of care calls for observation, testing, or treatment within the next 24 hours to prevent injury, disability, death or other harm to the person resulting from such mental or physical condition. Minors cannot be the subject of a medical TDO issued under § 37.2-1104.
Websites & Additional Resources

The sites listed here have great information and/or have links to additional resources related to mental illness you may find helpful.  Note: Suicide-specific resources are listed in the Suicide Awareness & Prevention section above, so check there for additional resources.

  • Mental Health America – offers a number of online self-screening tools for mental health conditions including depression, anxiety, ADHD, PTSD, and more.  Several tests are also offered in Spanish and there is a parent option to evaluate a child’s mental health.
  • Challenge Success – Challenge Success partners with school communities to elevate student voice and implement research-based, equity-centered strategies that improve student well-being, belonging, and engagement. Their vision is that educational systems value each student for their unique identities, assets, and individual definitions of success and effectively prepare them for the variety of opportunities and challenges they will encounter in school and beyond.
  • Pediatric Research & Advocacy Initiative (PRAI) – Finding answers for kids with neuroimmune disorders such as PANDAS/PANS that presents itself as onset of symptoms such as severe anxiety or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).
  • DBT Skills – Courtesy of Rutgers University, this series of videos demonstrate the skills used Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) that can be used for emotional regulation.
  • Self-Harm Safety Box – by Jody Betty & AnneMoss Rogers.  A free eBook outlining a coping strategy to end self-harming behavior and self-help for those who harm.  Includes creation of a self-harm safety box and testimonials from those who have used this method to recover from self-harm behaviors.
  • A Letter to Oneself – Writing a letter to yourself that you can read when you are feeling suicidal or in crisis is a healthy coping strategy that can be used to prevent suicide.  This link is to a blog post where a guest, Anna, shared her letter which she uses to stay alive when her brain is telling her she is worthless.
  • Coping Card Activity – by AnneMoss Rogers.  Free eBook.  This activity helps students, youth and adults define what’s important, and how to cope when life gets rough. Ages 7th grade and up.
  • Wellness Redcovery Action Plan (WRAP) – The WRAP process supports you to identify the tools that keep you well and create action plans to put them into practice in your everyday life. All along the way, WRAP helps you incorporate key recovery concepts and wellness tools into your plans and your life.
  • National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA) – NEDA supports individuals and families affected by eating disorders, and serves as a catalyst for prevention, cures and access to quality care. Whether you have been personally affected by an eating disorder or care about someone who has, NEDA’s programs and services are designed to help you find the help and support you need.
    • Athletes and Eating Disorders Toolkit –  Sport is a great way to build self-esteem, promote physical conditioning, and demonstrate the value of teamwork, but not all athletic stressors are positive. The pressure to excel in sport and an overemphasis on body weight, body composition, and body shape can pose a significant risk for athletes
  • NAMI Support Groups – NAMI support groups are peer-led and offer participants an opportunity to share their experiences and gain support from other attendees.
    • NAMI Connection is a support group for people with mental health conditions. Groups meet weekly, every other week or monthly, depending on location. Many support groups are virtual and attendance is open to everyone across the country. This program is also available in Spanish, NAMI Conexión.
    • NAMI Family Support Group is a support group for family members, significant others and friends of people with mental health conditions. Groups meet weekly, every other week or monthly, depending on location. Many support groups are virtual and attendance is open to everyone across the country.

State-Specific Resources

  • Beacon Tree Foundation (Virginia) – Supporting Families Struggling with Mental Illness by Providing Education, Facilitating Access to services and helping pay for those services for children 21 or under.
  • Virginia Veteran and Family Support (Virginia) – provides outreach, connection and support to veterans and their families as they address the challenges of military service, transition, deployments, post traumatic stress or other behavioral health concerns as well as traumatic brain injuries and physical injuries.
  • Stay Strong Virginia – an eating disorder resource for families, friends, and professionals.  Includes information on support groups, treatment, as well as a directory for providers and facilities that treat eating disorders state-wide.
  • Richmond Behavioral Health Authority (Richmond, VA) – Crisis Hotline – 804-819-4100
  • Community Service Boards in Virginia– Community Service Boards or CSBs are the behavioral health and developmental disability service connections. Search for your county, city, or zip code and contact 24/7.
  • Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS) – supports individuals by promoting recovery, self-determination, and wellness in all aspects of life.
  • Side by Side (Virginia) – Side by Side is dedicated to creating supportive communities where Virginia’s LGBTQ+ youth can define themselves, belong, and flourish.  They offer support groups for LGBTQ+ youth as well as for family and caregivers looking for understanding and support.
  • In S.T.R.I.D.E. Program (Henrico, VA) –  In S.T.R.I.D.E (Steps, Toward, Recovery, Insight, Development and Empowerment) is a program designed to build therapeutic relationships and provide early intervention to individuals between the ages of 16 and 25, who are experiencing early symptoms of psychosis.
  • Voices for Virginia’s Children – This is the mental illness state task force in Virigina.  View current legislative priorities and past legislative outcomes
  • Cameron K. Gallagher Mental Health Resource Center (Richmond, VA) – Located at the Virginia Treatment Center for Children, this center serves as a hub for community education, resources and support.  Call center for Virginia parents to navigate the mental health system.  Call 804-828-9897
  • Tucker Pavillion (Richmond, VA) – Tucker Pavilion is a safe haven and treatment center for children, teens, adults and seniors who need mental health services.
  • NAMI Virginia – an organization of families, friends and individuals whose lives have been affected by mental illness.  Their mission is to promote recovery and improve the quality of life of Virginians with serious mental illness through support, education, and advocacy.
  • Virginia Peer Warm Line (Not a crisis line)
    • Call 866-400-MHAV (6428)
      • Monday – Friday 9am – 9pm
      • Saturday, Sunday, and Holidays 5pm – 9pm
      • Spanish – Friday & Saturday 5pm – 9pm
    • Text/Chat  866-400-6428
      • Wednesday, Friday & Saturday 5pm – 9pm
For Pediatricians and PCPs - USA
  • National Network of Child Psychiatry Access Programs –  an informal association to support existing and emerging child psychiatry consultation programs and further national progress toward effective integration of the management of mental health and substance use disorders with primary care.
USA Warmlines by State (peer-to-peer support, NOT crisis lines)

If you need someone to talk to who has ‘been there” –  maybe just to vent or be comforted – a warmline might be just what you need.  Warmlines are peer-run listening line staffed by people in mental health recovery themselves.

A warmline is an alternative to a crisis line that is run by “peers,” generally those who have had their own experiences of trauma that they are willing to speak of and acknowledge.  Most warmline operators have been through extreme challenges themselves and are there primarily to listen. A warmline has the purpose of reducing hospitalization and forced treatment, being a cost effective and non-intrusive, voluntary intervention.

You can learn more about warmlines HERE and HERE.  These sites have some great resources and articles that explain what they are and how they work. 

  • To find a warmline near you, you can access the USA directory HERE.
  • AliveRVA Peer Recovery Warm Line (Richmond, VA) – 1-833-473-3782 (1-833-PEERRVA).  Available 8am-midnight 7 days per week, including holidays.  The AliveRVA Warm Line is a Peer Recovery and Resource Warm Line staffed by Peer Recovery Specialists, trained individuals with lived experience in substance use, behavioral health, trauma and recovery. AliveRVA is for people struggling with addiction, their loved ones, and members of the community. Our AliveRVA peers are there to listen and offer safe and confidential support and information on resources, including Substance Use Treatment, Recovery Supports, Health Care, Food, and Recovery Housing.
Culturally Specific Directories & Search Engines for Therapists

It is important for minorities and marginialize groups to have therapists and mental health resources and support that are also part of those same minorities and groups, but finding one can be challenging.  This list is sourced from an article by Araya Baker in Teen Vogue :

In addition to the above, the following non-traditional therapy resources may be of interest:

Substance Use Disorder / Addiction

SAMHSA’s National Helpline

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

SAMHSA’s National Helpline is a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders.  This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations.  Services available in English and Spanish.

  • Call 800-662-HELP (4357)
  • TTY 800-487-4889
  • Text your zip code to 435748 (HELP4U) to find help near you
  • Use the online treatment locator
Treatment and Recovery Programs

The majority of resource recommendations on this list were provided by Evelyn ZakCertified Substance Abuse Counselor

  • SMART Recovery – SMART Recovery supports people in the United States, Canada, and all over the world to manage addictive and problematic behaviors.  It is the leading, evidence-informed approach to overcoming addictive behaviors and leading a balanced life. SMART is stigma-free and emphasizes self-empowerment.
  • Narcotics Anonymous – NA is a nonprofit fellowship or society of men and women for whom drugs had become a major problem. We are recovering addicts who meet regularly to help each other stay clean. This is a program of complete abstinence from all drugs. There is only one requirement for membership, the desire to stop using.
  • Heroin Anonymous – HA Heroin Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from heroin addiction. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop suffering from heroin addiction. 
  • Gamblers Anonymous – GA is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from a gambling problem. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop gambling.
  • Refuge RecoveryRefuge Recovery is a practice, a process, a set of tools, a treatment, and a path to healing addiction and the suffering caused by addiction. Refuge Recovery is a non-profit organization grounded in the belief that Buddhist principles and practices create a strong foundation for a path to freedom from addiction. National but located in Oregon.
  • Celebrate Recovery – Celebrate Recovery is a Christ-centered, 12 step recovery program for anyone struggling with hurt, hang-ups, habits or addictions of any kind. Celebrate Recovery is a safe place to find community and freedom from the issues that are controlling your life.
  • Y12SR (Yoga of 12-step Recovery) – Addiction is often spoken of as a physical, mental and spiritual disease – making yoga a powerful adjunct to 12-step programs. 
  • The Center for Motivation and Change – A unique, private group practice of dedicated clinicians and researchers in New York City specializing in the treatment of substance use and compulsive behaviors. As a group of dedicated clinicians and researchers, we are driven by an optimism about people’s capacity to change and a commitment to the science of change.
  • Northstar Communitya group of people who have survived something hard. Things like trauma, substance use disorder, mental illness, loss, fractured family relationships, harmful church experiences, and more.  They work together to find hope and healing through personal and spiritual growth. This is done through offering support groups, mental health and substance use counseling services, addiction education for family members, and faith-based community.  Note:  It is an open and accepting, “un‐churchy” church.
  • Find Support Groups Near You – Use this search tool to search for USA support groups by location, state, or support group treatment type. 

 State-Specific Programs

  • The Healing Place (Louisville, KY) – The Healing Place truly is where hope is found. Every day, we provide food, shelter, clothing, and our nationally-recognized recovery program to nearly 1,000 men and women at no cost to the client. All a person has to have is a desire to get sober. We want there to be no barriers to recovery.
  • Healing Transitions (Raleigh, NC) – We believe all people struggling with addiction (especially the homeless, uninsured and underserved) deserve services on demand. That’s why we offer both a men’s campus and a women’s campus tailored to serve their unique needs.
  • RAMS in Recovery at VCU (Richmond, VA) – Rams in Recovery is VCU’s Collegiate Recovery Program which works to ensure that students do not have to choose between their recovery and their education. We support students inside and outside the classroom, organize events and trips, offer recovery housing and scholarships, and provide space and support for recovery meetings. Listing of campus and near campus recovery meetings and events listed on website.
  •  Other Colleges with SUD Recovery Programs – Universities and colleges across the nation are leading the way in supporting students in recovery from addiction. Each member University or College listed below incorporates recovery on their campus in a way that is unique to their population and culture.  The main point of a CRP is that it focuses on student support in higher education.
  • REAL LIFE Community Center (Richmond, VA) – The REAL Life Community Center (RLCC) opened in December 2017 as a catalyst for overcoming adversities, (primarily due to substance use disorders, homelessness, or incarceration), sustaining sobriety, and providing a pathway to a thriving future through cultivating stronger families, gaining meaningful employment, and improving personal interaction skills, while building a foundation of faith. Due to an additional need we quickly began to see with women who are pregnant and battling addiction, or pregnant and recently released from incarceration, we also have an ​Expectant Mother​ Program that utilizes a specialized Case Manager who works directly with women in these situations.
  • RVA Light (Richmond, VA) – VA Light is a leveling ground where we meet people “where they’re at” by offering a welcoming environment with a neutral coffee shop setting. Coffee shops provide physical warmth and comfort, and coffee is a social beverage that sets the mood for conversation. We also host a variety of classes on life skills designed to empower our neighbors to meet their own personal goals and to find stability and hope in their lives. Coffee, Community, Christ.
  • The Healing Place (Richmond, VA) – The Healing Place is a long-term peer-driven residential recovery program serving the Greater Richmond community.  Here, men and women suffering from substance use disorder carve pathways to sobriety, employment, and spiritual wellness. The Healing Place program includes a workforce development program, a transitional sober living community, and an active Alumni Association to support lifelong sobriety.  They offer services at no cost. 
  • Daily Planet Health Services Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) Program (Richmond, VA) – The purpose of the Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) program is to provide quality treatment for individuals living with Substance Use Disorder. Recovery from Addiction is possible.  MAT is for individuals who want to stop using substances and who can adhere to our program standards.
  • Substance Abuse and Addiction Recovery Alliance (SAARA) of Virginia – a grassroots recovery community organization. ​We transform communities through hope, education and advocacy for addiction prevention, treatment and recovery​. All friends of recovery are invited and welcome to join us. Our members include individuals in recovery from alcohol and other drug addiction, their families, friends and dedicated community supporters.  SAARA is a statewide organization that advocates, educates, and supports individuals, families, and communities affected by substance use disorder (SUD) and the disease of addiction.
  • Community Service Boards in Virginia– Community Service Boards or CSBs are the behavioral health and developmental disability service connections. Search for your county, city, or zip code and contact your local CSB 24/7.  CSB provide an array of emergency, local inpatient, outpatient, case management, day support, employment, residential, and wellness and prevention services to adults with serious mental illnesses, children who have or are at risk of serious emotional disturbance, individuals with an intellectual disability or who are receiving Medicaid developmental disability waiver services, or individuals with substance use disorders.
  • Helping Addicts Recover ProgressivelyHARP (Chesterfield County, VA) – This in-jail recovery program started in Chesterfield County, Virginia in 2016 and includets treatment for all substance addictions. HARP continues to save lives and return productive members back into the community.  I have spoken to participants in this program, and you can read about that HERE.
  • Tucker Pavilion Adolescent Partial Hospitalization Program (Chippenham, VA) – The outpatient partial hospitalization program (PHP) is designed for the treatment of adolescents.  An adolescent PHP is available as a step down from an inpatient care program. Patients who need additional structure and more intensive outpatient support will benefit the most from this program. PHP provides flexible treatment options for teens. They may need intensive outpatient support, evaluation by a psychiatrist or a gradual transition from an inpatient setting. Our program allows your teen to receive treatment during the day with the convenience of being home with loved ones in the evening.
  • VCU MOTIVATE Clinic (Richmond, VA) -The MOTIVATE Clinic provides medical staff with a specific place to send substance abusers after they’re treated emergently at the hospital. For more information about the Motivate Clinic call (804) 628-6776.
  • VCU OB MOTIVATE Clinic (Richmond, VA) – the only program in central Virginia that provides an interdisciplinary, integrated approach to women with substance use disorders. We treat women across their life course – including during and after pregnancy.
  • The Journey House Foundation (Henrico, VA) – We are committed to lowering the stigma of addiction and raising the standard of faith-based recovery support services through community outreach.  Recovery services- Detox, peer recovery, transportation, sober living, family support, and more.
  • The JHW Foundation  (Virginia) The JHW Foundation is a not-for-profit foundation aimed at raising awareness about substance use disorders in young adults and supporting young adults in recovery.  They provide financial and technical assistance to collegiate recovery programs; financial support to programs and organizations that provide quality care for substance abuse and addiction and support to individuals to assist with gaps in insurance coverage for treatment and sober living housing – and are opening their first recovery high school in 2024.
  • REAL LIFE (Virginia) – Transition from jail/prison back into the community, recovery houses, and more. Focused on long-term change, helping Lifers understand, apply and establish lasting change.
  • McShin Recovery Resource Foundation (Virginia) – Peer to peer addiction recovery and recovery high school through Henrico County.
  • Sink or Swim -Find help in Virginia. Whether it is for you or a loved one, there are several options available for help with drug abuse/addiction. Use the map provided for links to counseling and treatment centers in your area.
Education & Support Groups - for Family & Friends

Resource recommendations provided by Evelyn ZakCertified Substance Abuse Counselor

  • Families AnonymousFA is a 12 step fellowship for the family and friends of those individuals with drug, alcohol or related behavioral issues. 
  • Nar-Anon Family GroupsThe Nar-Anon Family Groups is primarily for those who know or have known a feeling of desperation concerning the addiction problem of someone very near to you.
  • NaraTeen GroupsNarateen is part of the Nar-Anon program for teens affected by someone else’s addiction. Narateen groups, which are part of the Nar-Anon fellowship, are formed to provide support to teenage family members and friends of addicts. A Narateen group is a safe environment where teenagers can share and work on their recovery.
  • Mar-Anon GroupsGroup for those with loved ones who are addicted to marijuana and high THC concentrates like dabs which can trigger psychosis symptoms and suicidal tendencies.
  • Al-Anon Groups – Al‑Anon is a mutual support program for people whose lives have been affected by someone else’s drinking. By sharing common experiences and applying the Al-Anon principles, families and friends of alcoholics can bring positive changes to their individual situations, whether or not the alcoholic admits the existence of a drinking problem or seeks help.
  • AlaTeen Teen Corner – part of the Al-Anon Family Groups, is a fellowship of young people (mostly teenagers) whose lives have been affected by someone else’s drinking whether they are in your life drinking or not. By attending Alateen, teenagers meet other teenagers with similar situations. Alateen is not a religious program and there are no fees or dues to belong to it.
  • SMART Recovery Family & Friends – online and in-person meetings are run by trained facilitators who often have their own experiences as a family member affected by a loved one’s relationship with alcohol, drugs, gambling or other problematic behaviors.
  • Every Brain Matters – The Every Brain Matters community educates about the health and environmental dangers of marijuana and the drug culture expansion by providing support for families and advocacy, all based on lived experiences and science.
  • Family Education Group – This is a virtual group focused on educating families on substance abuse disorder (addiction). You will find resources, what to do next, and how to use the opioid trainers. These are structured with speakers and topics each week. For anyone with a loved one with an addiction, this is a fantastic group started by area expert, Tom Bannard and hosted by Scott and Theresa McBean.  Joining the group is free and open to anyone impacted by addiction.   Sign up here – you’ll be so glad you did!
  • Community Reinforcement Approach to Family Training (CRAFT) – Teaches family and friends effective strategies for helping their loved one to change and for feeling better themselves. CRAFT works to affect the loved one’s behavior by changing the way the family interacts with him or her.
  • Northstar Communitya group of people who have survived something hard. Things like trauma, substance use disorder, mental illness, loss, fractured family relationships, harmful church experiences, and more.  They work together to find hope and healing through personal and spiritual growth. This is done through offering support groups, mental health and substance use counseling services, addiction education for family members, and faith-based community.  Note:  It is an open and accepting, “un‐churchy” church.
  • Find Support Groups Near You – Use this search tool to search for USA support groups by location, state, or support group treatment type. 

State-Specific Programs

  • Family Education Programs at Caron (Pennsylvania) – At Caron, we believe that the patient is the family and the family is the patient, meaning that families are just as deserving and in need of care as their addicted loved ones. Our interactive, educational Family Education Programs at Caron Pennsylvania allow families dealing with an addict to participate in the healing process. Through our programs, patients and families receive a solid understanding of addiction, coping skills, healthy boundaries, the process of enabling addiction and 12-Step programs. 
  • Substance Abuse and Addiction Recovery Alliance (SAARA) of Virginia – a grassroots recovery community organization. ​We transform communities through hope, education and advocacy for addiction prevention, treatment and recovery​. All friends of recovery are invited and welcome to join us. Our members include individuals in recovery from alcohol and other drug addiction, their families, friends and dedicated community supporters.  SAARA is a statewide organization that advocates, educates, and supports individuals, families, and communities affected by substance use disorder (SUD) and the disease of addiction.
  • Sink or Swim -Find help in Virginia. Whether it is for you or a loved one, there are several options available for help with drug abuse/addiction. Use the map provided for links to counseling and treatment centers in your area. 
College Student & Campus Resources

From re-entry back into college after medical withdrawal to groups that can support your student. Helpful resources for students struggling with mental illness and/or Substance Use Disorder (SUD).

  • Fountain House College Re-Entry – This program is dedicated to helping students with re-entry into college after having withdrawn from their studies. This could be due to any issue including a suicide attempt to loss of a parent or even due to cancer treatment.
  • Colleges with SUD Recovery Programs – Universities and colleges across the nation are leading the way in supporting students in recovery from addiction. Each member University or College listed below incorporates recovery on their campus in a way that is unique to their population and culture.  The main point of a CRP is that it focuses on student support in higher education.
  • Active Minds – Active Minds prioritizes the student voice to ensure a student-driven and student-focused approach in mental health promotion. They inspire mental health advocates to have conversations that have the potential to save lives.  Using a peer-to-peer approach, Active Minds changes the conversation about mental health among adolescents and young adults, reduces stigma associated with mental health conditions, and establishes a culture of caring on college and university campuses.
  • Interactive Screening Program (ISP) – The Interactive Screening Program (ISP) is an online program created by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) that is utilized by mental health services at institutions of higher education, including medical and professional degree schools, hospitals and health systems, law enforcement agencies, and organizations and workplaces through their Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs). Those who exchanged anonymous online messages with an ISP counselor were three times more likely to enter treatment. This program is successfully used at many US colleges. It’s an anonymous online tool for students experiencing mental health issues or suicidal ideation. It’s anonymous until they make the choice to reach out.
    • Advocates – Ask your college to implement this program.
For Faith Leaders
  •  Opioid epidemic practical toolkit: Helping faith and community leaders bring hope and healing to our communities – This toolkit was created to equip faith-based and community leaders to be able to respond to the current opioid health crisis while advancing their efforts to usher in a culture of compassion toward those who are struggling with addiction, and its often severe consequences. The toolkit, which is segmented into seven key areas, briefly covers practical ways communities and faith communities use their compassion and local understanding to bring hope and healing to those in need.
Books & Other Relevant Reading

The following resources were recommended by Tom Bannard, CADC, MBA, the Administrative Director for COBE and Program Coordinator for Rams in Recovery at Virginia Commonwealth University, and a person in long-term recovery.

The following resources were recommended by Evelyn Zak, Certified Substance Abuse Counselor.

Film, Video, & Online Courses
  •  Higher Truths: On Drugs and Addiction – Season 2, Episode 7: Heidi Swan.  Information on cannabis-induced psychosis and stigma. Interview with Heidi Swan who is the co-author of the (then) only fictional story illustrating the negative mental health impacts of youth marijuana use: “A Night In Jail,” which was inspired by her brother’s true life as a homeless drug addict with schizophrenia who went to jail eighteen times.

Shared by Tom Bannard, CADC, MBA, the Administrative Director for COBE  and Program Coordinator for Rams in Recovery at Virginia Commonwealth University, and a person in long term recovery.

  • Pleasure Unwoven – An in-depth look at the debate over whether or not addiction can really be considered a “disease.”
  • Memo to Self: Protecting Sobriety with the Science of Safety – by Dr. Kevin McCauley.  Addiction is a potentially fatal illness – but it is also eminently recoverable. Certain professionals struggling with substance use disorders enjoy phenomenal success rates getting through early sobriety and into long-term remission of their addiction problems. What do they do? And what can we learn from them?
  • Parent CRAFT – A fast-paced and engaging video-based course that teaches parents the skills they need to meet the challenge of substance abuse.  CRAFT – short for Community Reinforcement Appraoch and Family Training –  is a skills-based program for families of people who struggle with addiction. It is designed to support family members across multiple areas, including self-care, pleasurable activities, problem-solving, and goal-setting, while at the same time teaching behavioral and motivational strategies for interacting with their loved one and addressing resistance to change.

Shared by Evelyn ZakCertified Substance Abuse Counselor

  • 28 Days
  • When a Man Loves a Woman
  • Beautiful Boy
  • Everything Must Go
  • The Anonymous People
  • My Name is Bill W
  • When Love is Not Enough: The Lois Wilson Story Clean and Sober
  • Owning Mahoney
  • Flight
  • Unguarded (by ESPN)
  • Andy Irons: Kissed by God Pleasure Unwoven Memo to Self
Websites and Additional Resources

The sites listed here have great information and/or have links to additional resources related to SUD you may find helpful:

  • YouTurn Health – The resource page has resources from infographics to videos and podcasts all organized by category including substance misuse, treatment centers, and family support.
  • Parents Opposed to PotToday it’s socially acceptable to smoke pot and pushed by the Media as “medicinal.”  Parents from every corner of the country have heard their teens say marijuana is “harmless” and “safer than alcohol.”  They are misinformed and misguided. If we educate the parents, perhaps this message can change.   For that reason, we send the message that no amount of marijuana use for your children is ok.
  • Johnny’s Ambassadors – Johnny Stack was born on February 7, 2000 and died by suicide on November 20, 2019 at the age of 19. Three days before he passed, he came over for dinner. He lived in our condo a couple miles down the street and would often pop in for a home-cooked meal. “I need to tell you that you were right,” he said to me. “Right about what?” I ask. “Right about the marijuana. You told me weed would hurt my brain, and it’s ruined my mind and my life. You were right all along. I’m sorry, and I love you.” He died by suicide three days later.
  • The Addict’s Mom – Sharing without shame.  Site offers multiple avenues of support for members, including bereaved parents, grandparents, and siblings. 
  • Smart Approaches to MarijuanaThis site goes beyond slogans and clichés to give you a data-driven and tested approach to marijuana use and its consequences.
  • The Sober World – I am the mother of an addict who overdosed on a prescription drug at a young age, a tragedy that no parent expects or forgets; but this inspired me to help the thousands of other families that are struggling with addiction. I started the magazine and website in 2012, in memory of Steven.
  • Chesterfield SAFE – The coalition focuses on community-wide initiatives to prevent substance abuse rather than on programs or activities that target individuals or small groups.  Many links for prevention, volunteering, addiction help, and additional outreach.
USA Warmlines by State (peer-to-peer support, NOT crisis lines)

If you need someone to talk to who has ‘been there” –  maybe just to vent or be comforted – a warmline might be just what you need.  Warmlines are peer-run listening line staffed by people in mental health recovery themselves.

A warmline is an alternative to a crisis line that is run by “peers,” generally those who have had their own experiences of trauma that they are willing to speak of and acknowledge.  Most warmline operators have been through extreme challenges themselves and are there primarily to listen. A warmline has the purpose of reducing hospitalization and forced treatment, being a cost effective and non-intrusive, voluntary intervention.

You can learn more about warmlines HERE and HERE.  These sites have some great resources and articles that explain what they are and how they work. 

  • To find a warmline near you, you can access the USA directory HERE.
  • AliveRVA Peer Recovery Warm Line (Richmond, VA) – 1-833-473-3782 (1-833-PEERRVA).  Available 8am-midnight 7 days per week, including holidays.  The AliveRVA Warm Line is a Peer Recovery and Resource Warm Line staffed by Peer Recovery Specialists, trained individuals with lived experience in substance use, behavioral health, trauma and recovery. AliveRVA is for people struggling with addiction, their loved ones, and members of the community. Our AliveRVA peers are there to listen and offer safe and confidential support and information on resources, including Substance Use Treatment, Recovery Supports, Health Care, Food, and Recovery Housing.

Grief

Grieving Children & Teens

These resources are intended to assist children with grief.  In many cases, they may be tools for adults to use to facilitate conversations with the children.  It’s very important to address the grief of our youth. Unresolved grief heightens suicide risk and can lead to unhealthy coping behaviors including addiction.

  • Sesame Street Workshop has a series of short videos and interactive activities to assist kids (and the adults helping them) with understanding feelings of grief.    The list belowi s a small sampling of what you’ll find on their site. Some titles are also available in Spanish.
    • Elmo Learns How to Deal with the Loss of a Loved One
    • Jesse Expresses Grief Through Play
    • Express Yourself with Elmo and Jesse
    • Something New
    • The Complexities of Loss
    • Re-grieving as Seasons Change
    • How Children Grieve and How to Help
    • Elmo and Jesse Remember Uncle Jack
    • New Family Roles
    • What Happened?
    • Coping with Big Feelings
    • Memory Boxes
    • Art to Celebrate & Remember
  • The Dougy Center has a wealth of resources for kids and teens organized by age and type of loss
  • Children, Teens, and Suicide Loss – an eBook created by the Dougy Center and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) on what to say to children and grief after a suicide loss.  Best book for parents ever!
  • Returning to School After a Suicide Loss: For Younger Children – Article by AFSP on grief and how to open dialogue with children about what to expect when they return to school.
  • Returning to School After a Suicide Loss: For Teens – Article by AFSP on grief and how to open dialogue with teens about what to expect when they return to school.
  • My Teen Just  Lost a Friend to Suicide. How Can I Help My Child? – a blog post from emotionallynaked.com with a ton of information and example conversations to help get you started.
  • Someone I Love Died by Suicide: A Story for Child Survivors and Those Who Care for Them – This book is designed for adult caregivers to read to surviving youngsters following a suicidal death.
  • After a Suicide: An Activity Book for Grieving Kids – This is a hands-on, interactive activity book for children who have been exposed to a suicide death so they can learn from other grieving kids. The activity book includes drawing activities, puzzles, stories, advice from other kids, and helpful suggestions for how to navigate the grief process after a suicide death.
  • Rainbows for All Children – Supports children experiencing grief of all kinds through facilitated peer groups within their communities.  The website has resources for children experiencing all types of loss (death, divorce, military separation, etc.) – and also offers free support groups with a searchable map found HERE.
Bereaved Parents
  • Lost Travelers Club – The mission of the Lost Travelers Club (LTC) is to provide a supportive and empowering community for parents who have outlived their beloved children. Through charitable work, travel groups, and retreats, the LTC aims to break through isolation, cope with grief, and honor the memories of the children as we step back into the world with purpose and power.
Books - Grief from Suicide Loss

These grief books have been recommended by my tribe here on Emotionally Naked– both men and women.  You can see the original post with my comments HERE.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention also has a list of books on loss due to suicide – including books that are suitable for teens and young adults.  You can find their list HERE.

Books - Grief from Child Loss

These grief books have been recommended by my tribe here on Emotionally Naked– both men and women.  You can see the original post with my comments HERE.

  • A Broken Heart Still Beats: After Your Child Dies – by Anne McCraken and Mary Semel.  Organized by a journalist and a psychotherapist, each of whom has lost a child, this book is a remarkable compilation of poetry, fiction, and essays about the pain, stages of grief, and the coping and healing process that follows the death of one’s child.
  • Finding Hope When a Child Dies: What Other Cultures Can Teach Us – by Sukie Miller. Western culture has limited language for expressing grief, and a consuming guilt that undermines the recovery process. Dr. Sukie Miller, author of the landmark work After Death, turns to the beliefs and healing stories of other cultures to present a unique perspective that is both surprising and comforting.
  • When a Child Dies: Stories of Survival and Hope – by Richard Hipps. The book is ten chapters, each written by a bereaved parent. When a Child Dies gives help and encouragement based on the reality of God’s love and covenant with God’s children.
  • Tracks of a Fellow Struggler: Living and Growing Through Grief – by John R. Claypool. John Claypool had been a pastor for almost two decades. He ministered to others when the loss came home with the death of his eight-year-old daughter. This book is the story of Claypool’s own journey through the darkness, written through four sermons.
  • Tomorrow Was Yesterday: Explosive First-Person Indictments of the U.S. Mental Health System – by Dede Ranahan. This book includes a story about an Emotionally Naked tribe member’s loss. Nautilus Book Awards 2020 Silver Medalist winner. In these snapshots from on-going sagas, you’ll read about grim realities — terrible group homes, suicides, adult children killed by police, incarcerations, solitary confinement, lack of beds, family chaos, substance abuse, ineffective medications, heart-breaking HIPAA restrictions, hallucinations, homelessness, sorrow, hurt, and anger. Simultaneously, you’ll read about profound love, caregiving, gratitude, forgiveness, hope, strength, persistence, resilience, generosity, leadership, courage, pursuing dreams, understanding, and heroism.
  • “Grief Journey in a Jar” Kit – by AnneMoss Rogers. Free eBook/eKit.  If you want to give someone who has lost a child something more meaningful and more thoughtful than a drugstore card, this is the gift to give. Ninety-six quotes and sayings reflect how we feel when we’ve been devastated by the loss of a child.
Books - Grief from Sibling Loss

These grief books have been recommended by my tribe here on Emotionally Naked– both men and women.  You can see the original post with my comments HERE.

  • Rock On: Mining for Joy in the Deep River of Grief – by Susan E. Casey. I read this when it was in manuscript form and I know how few books there are on sibling loss. Rock On focuses solely on sibling loss because it’s a tragedy the author experienced in her own life.
  • Sibling Grief: Healing After the Death of a Brother or Sister – by P. Gill White, PhD. Sibling Grief is White’s validation of the emotional significance of sibling loss. She draws on both clinical experience and her own deeply personal experience. Add to that the wisdom from hundreds of bereaved siblings, to explain the five healing tasks unique to sibling grief. White also describes the dream patterns of bereaved siblings, showing how healing is reflected in the dream state.
Books - Grief & The Afterlife

These grief books have been recommended by my tribe here on Emotionally Naked– both men and women.  You can see the original post with my comments HERE

  • Signs: The Secret Language of the Universe – by Laura Lynn Jackson. The author’s goal is able to bring the mystical into the everyday. She relates stories of people who have experienced uncanny revelations and instances of unexplained synchronicity, as well as others drawn from her own experience. 
  • Already Here – by Leo Galland, MD. Already Here tells of the death of Leo Galland’s son, Christopher, at age 22; the direct visual evidence Christopher showed Leo that our souls do go on; and the communications from Christopher’s spirit that dramatically changed Leo’s understanding of life and its meaning.
Books - Non-Specific Grief & Loss

These grief books have been recommended by my tribe here on Emotionally Naked– both men and women.  You can see the original post with my comments HERE

  • Bearing the Unbearable: Love, Loss, and the Heartbreaking Path of Grief – by Joanne Cacciatore. When a loved one dies, the pain of loss can feel unbearable—especially in the case of a traumatizing death. The process of grieving can feel wild and nonlinear—and often lasts for much longer than other people, the non-bereaved, tell us it should. Organized into fifty-two short chapters, this book serves as a companion for life’s most difficult times, revealing how grief can open our hearts to connection, compassion, and the essence of shared humanity.
  • Getting Grief Right – by Dr. Patrick O’Malley. When the New York Times ran Patrick O’Malley’s story about the loss of his infant son—and how his inability to “move on” challenged everything he was taught as a psychotherapist—it inspired an unprecedented flood of gratitude from readers. 
  • Grief Works: Stories of Life, Death, and Surviving – by Julia Samuel. Especially illuminating in its coverage of how people cope with different kinds of losses.
  • Yoga for Grief and Loss: Poses, Meditation, Devotion, Self-Reflection, Selfless Acts, Ritual – by Karla Helbert. Just as grief is an experience that affects us physically, mentally, emotionally, cognitively, and spiritually, yoga sustains and strengthens us in all of those same areas. This book demonstrates how the principles and practices of yoga can help relieve symptoms of grief allowing those who have experienced loss to move toward wholeness, peace, and feelings of connection with loved ones who have died.
  • It’s OK That You’re Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn’t Understand – by Megan Devine. Why does our culture treat grief like a disease to be cured as quickly as possible? In this book, Megan Devine offers a profound new approach to both the experience of grief and the way we try to help others who have endured tragedy.
  • Finding Your Own Way to Grieve: A Creative Activity Workbook for Kids and Teens on the Autism Spectrum – by Karla Helbert. Children and teens with autism can struggle to cope with the loss of a loved one, and the complicated and painful emotions of bereavement. This book explains death in concrete terms that the child with autism will understand, explores feelings that the child may encounter as a part of bereavement, and offers creative and expressive activities that facilitate healing.
  • Flowing with the Go: A Jiu-Jitsu Journey of the Soul – by Elena Stowell. Winner of three awards this book is the story of one woman’s path through grief. For what seemed like a lifetime and probably was, the author wandered aimlessly in a personal prison of self-doubt and lack of purpose after her fifteen-year-old daughter Carly died suddenly before her eyes. By some combination of miracle and necessity, she walked into a Seattle area Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu gym.
  • Healing After Loss: Daily Meditations for Working Through Grief – by Martha Whitmore Hickman. Written in 1994, this is the classic guide for dealing with grief and loss. It has chronological entries with dates of the year to work through that journey starting your day with thoughtful words to strengthen, inspire and comfort. That way, you don’t have to take in multiple pages but just one entry at a time.
  • When Bad Things Happen to Good People – by Rabbi Harold S. Kushner. If you are struggling with your faith after loss, this one is for you. This is a classic.  It is a #1 bestselling inspirational classic and source of solace and hope for over 4 million readers.When Harold Kushner’s three-year-old son was diagnosed with a degenerative disease that meant the boy would only live until his early teens, he was faced with one of life’s most difficult questions: Why, God? 
  • Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy – by Sheryl Sandberg. #1 New York Times Best Seller and named a Best Book of 2017 by Barnes & Noble and Amazon. From Facebook’s COO offers a powerful, inspiring, and practical book about building resilience and moving forward after the sudden death of her husband, Sheryl Sandberg felt certain that she and her children would never feel pure joy again.  
  • A Time to Grieve: Meditations for Healing After the Death of a Loved One – by Carol Staudacher. A classic. A collection of truly comforting, down-to-earth thoughts and meditations — including the authentic voices of survivors — for anyone grieving the loss of a loved one.
  • Coping Strategies for Grief and Loss – by Anne Moss Rogers, Karla Helbert LPC, and contributing author Charlotte Moyler.  Short, easy-to-read strategies for managing the pain of grief.  Free eBook.
  • “Grief Journey in a Jar” Kit – by AnneMoss Rogers. Free eBook/eKit.  If you want to give someone something more meaningful and more thoughtful than a drugstore card, this is the gift to give. Ninety-six quotes and sayings reflect how we feel when we’ve been devastated by the loss of someone special in our lives. 

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