Center for Suicide Awareness
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Our History

Who We Are

The Center for Suicide Awareness is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit headquartered in Kaukauna, Wisconsin. In 2010 Barb Bigalke founded the Center and serves as the Executive Director. The Center for Suicide Awareness is dedicated to preventing suicide through proactive education, training, emotional support, collaboration, and intervention. The vision of the Center is compassionate, readily accessible, barrier free and sustained support for any individual or entity in need, while free of any mental health stigma.

The Center for Suicide Awareness brings help, hope, and resources to families and individuals in our communities through programs that reach others where they are at and when they need it most. Of the many Center programs and initiatives, bringing HOPELINE™ to all of Wisconsin, has given individuals across our state free emotional support anytime, from anywhere by simply texting: HOPELINE™ to 741741.

In addition to HOPELINE™, the Center is proactive in the fight against Veteran Suicides. Every day approximately 22 Veterans die by suicide in the US. Veterans and service men and women deserve our help and support. As a result, the Center began the “I Challenge You to 22” program with all efforts focused on getting a Challenge Coin in the hands of a Veteran that is struggling. The Center produced a Challenge Coin reflecting messages of hope, support, and encouragement to share their struggle. The Challenge Coin also has the number for HOPELINE™. Today, Police Departments across the Wisconsin and beyond are equipping their Officers with Challenge Coins to share with any Veteran that is struggling.

Ending the Stigma, and Saving Lives

The prevalence of mental health stigma continues to be a significant concern. Mental health stigma produces harmful attitudes and behaviors towards those struggling with a mental health concern. Stigma often prevents individuals from seeking help and may prevent family, friends, or loved ones from reaching out. Anyone struggling with a mental health concern must be treated with the same respect, compassion, and dignity as those who are struggling with physical health. The Center for Suicide Awareness is in the “business” of saving lives. The focus will continue to be our mission of being dedicated to preventing suicide through proactive education, training, emotional support, collaboration, and intervention.

Testimonials

"I believe I have been with the Center for Suicide Awareness for the past ten years helping in whatever I could do to make known to the public that the Center is here to give support to those lost a loved one to suicide. Having the experience of wanting to end my life because I no longer could bear the pain of depression. By the grace of God I did not complete my route to suicide. I was fortunate that my brain chemistry slowly began to stablize and was helped by a police sargeant who had experience with mental illnesses and helped me back to my family. Because of this experience, I have been able to help families what may have been happening in their loved ones' lives that caused them to consider suicide."

~ G.P.S.

"As an educator, I have participated in professional development surrounding youth mental health on various occasions. I am also QPR (question, persuade, & refer) certified. Throughout these trainings, I have learned so much about the Center for Suicide Awareness and the hopeline they have created. I have the call-in and text-in number saved in my contacts and have personally used the text-in line myself during moments of high anxiety and stress. I also share the number to my students or to anyone who might need it. Please call or text in if you need help. They are there for you."

~ S.V.

"The Center for Suicide Awareness is an amazing organization working to reduce suicide rates, eliminate stigma, train communities in resilience and inform communities about mental health. These individuals at the center are kind, passionate, and do good in the community. The center created the hopeline for individuals in need of immediate suicide intervention. I highly recommend participating in their events, utilizing their resources if necessary, and/or getting involved in some way so that we can combat suicide together!"

~ J.K.

"Don’t count your blessings, let your blessings count! Enjoy life!"
~ Bernard Kelvin Clive, 52 Seconds