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.