September is Suicide Awareness & Prevention Month

According to the American Counseling Association, “While suicide is often associated with feelings of loneliness and isolation, it is a shared and far-reaching public health problem. As the tenth leading cause of death in the United States in 2019, suicide affects all ages and types of people. But thanks to an increase in awareness and resources, prevention efforts have become more common and effective.

Despite outdated misperceptions, suicide is neither a personal failure nor the evidence of mental illness, but rather a common human response to difficult environmental factors and emotional pain. Improving life circumstances, enhancing social connection and reducing emotional pain are the most effective ways to reduce the frequency and intensity of suicidal thoughts and feelings.

Mental health organizations around the country recognize National Suicide Prevention Week and Suicide Prevention Awareness Month during the month of September each year. However, working together to develop our collective understanding and awareness of suicide in order to prevent it is something we need to be doing every day. Talking to your school counselor or a mental health provider about any questions you have about how to help support others or how to get help for yourself is a great place to start.”

If you need assistance or wish to learn more about prevention, please take advantage of the resources below:

Batavia City School District Resources

Sources of Strength is our main prevention program at Batavia High School.

A best practice youth suicide prevention project designed to harness the power of peer social networks to change unhealthy norms and culture, ultimately preventing suicide, bullying, and substance abuse. 

The mission of Sources of Strength is to prevent suicide by increasing help-seeking behaviors and promoting connections between peers and caring adults. Sources of Strength moves beyond a singular focus on risk factors by utilizing an upstream approach for youth suicide prevention. This upstream model strengthens multiple sources of support (protective factors) around young individuals so that when times get hard, they have strengths to rely on.

For more information about the Sources of Strength program, please reach out to Heidi Meides-Judge, Project Coordinator,, 585-343-2480 x2011. 

Batavia City School District Counselors        

Batavia High School: 585-343-2480, ext. 2002
Ashley Cuyle (9th grade): 
Gregory Ciszak (A-F): 
Kelly Garner (G-M): 
Joseph Hussar (N-Z):
Heidi Meides-Judge:

Batavia Middle School: 585-343-2480, ext. 3002
Sherry Crumity (5th grade): 
Rachael Saeva (6th grade):      
Elena Blood (7th grade):   
Elizabeth Caputi-Schlant (8th grade):

John Kennedy Intermediate: 585-343-2480, ext. 5000
Erick Knapp: 
Michelle Nanni: 

Jackson Primary: 585-343-2480, ext. 4000
Carina Bamann:

Robert Morris: 585-343-2480, ext. 4000
Lisa Bonarigo (Social Worker):

National Crisis Lines

National Suicide Prevention LifelineThe 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 are thinking about suicide, are worried about a friend or loved one, or would like emotional support, the Lifeline network is available 24/7 across the United States. You can call 988 or 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Contact 988 if you are: 

  • Suicidal

  • Experiencing a mental health or substance abuse-related crisis

  • Experiencing any kind of emotional distress

  • Worried about someone in distress

Crisis Text Line
Text Line is free, 24/7 support for those in crisis. Text 741741 from anywhere in the U.S. to text with a trained Crisis Counselor. Crisis Text Line trains volunteers to support people in crisis. With over 79 million messages processed to date, they are growing quickly, but so is the need.

Trevor Lifeline
The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning (LGBTQ) young people under 25. The TrevorLifeline is a crisis intervention and suicide prevention phone service available 24/7 at 1-866-488-7386. TrevorText is available by texting “START” to 678678.

TrevorSpace is an online international peer-to-peer community for LGBTQ young people and their friends.

Trans Lifeline
Trans Lifeline is a national trans-led 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to improving the quality of trans lives by responding to the critical needs of our community with direct service, material support, advocacy, and education. Fighting the epidemic of trans suicide and improving overall life outcomes of trans people, the Trans Lifeline facilitates justice-oriented, collective community aid. Their peer support hotline is run by and for trans people. The line is available daily from 7 a.m.–1 a.m. PST / 9 a.m.–3 a.m. CST / 10 a.m.–4 a.m. EST. Volunteers may be available during off hours. Call 877-565-8860 to speak to someone now.

Veterans Crisis Line
The Veterans Crisis Line is a free, confidential resource that’s available to anyone, even if you’re not registered with VA or enrolled in VA health care. The caring, qualified responders at the Veterans Crisis Line are specially trained and experienced in helping veterans of all ages and circumstances; many of the responders are veterans themselves. If you’re a veteran in crisis or concerned about one, there are caring, qualified VA responders standing by to help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call 1-800-273-8255 and press 1 or text 838255.

Youth and Family Resources

Help a Friend in Need: A Facebook and Instagram Guide
Facebook and Instagram are proud to work with The Jed Foundation and The Clinton Foundation, nonprofits that work to promote emotional well-being and to share potential warning signs that a friend might be in emotional distress and need your help.

#Chatsafe: A Young Person’s Guide for Communicating Safely Online About Suicide
The #chatsafe guidelines have been developed in partnership with young people to provide support to those who might be responding to suicide-related content posted by others or for those who might want to share their own feelings and experiences with suicidal thoughts, feelings, or behaviors.

Seize the Awkward
Nobody likes an awkward silence. But when it comes to mental health, awkward silences don’t have to be a bad thing. This campaign encourages teens and young adults to embrace the awkwardness and use this moment as an opportunity to reach out to a friend. The campaign focuses on that moment to break through the awkward silence to start a conversation about how they’re feeling.

What to Do if You’re Concerned About Your Teen’s Mental Health: A Conversation Guide
This guide is meant to help parents and families who are concerned about their teen’s mental health and emotional well-being have important conversations with their child. Although parents often pick up on concerning signs that their teen is struggling, not everyone feels well-equipped to approach their child to have a conversation about how they are feeling.

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 addiction challenge or is in crisis.