Suicide Prevention



If someone you know is thinking about suicide, persuade them to talk. If you feel that danger is imminent, do not leave them alone:

Call 9-1-1 or call COPELINE at
440-285-5665 or 1-888-285-5665.


The Goal of the
Geauga County Suicide Prevention Coalition is

Reaching Out – Saving Lives

Targeted populations are those at highest risk of suicide:

Youth – Age group 14 to 17 years old
Adults – (specifically males ages 25 to 50)
Older Adults (specifically males over 65)
Survivors of suicide


Establish and maintain a Suicide Prevention Coalition in Geauga County

Objectives: Activities/Strategies: Outcomes:
Stockholders in community will join forces to reach out and save lives Increase active participation of initially identified stakeholders on SPC subcommittees

Offer at least yearly training opportunities to members motivated to become speakers/trainers in the community

Core group of active coalition members is expanded

Core group of Speakers/Trainers is maintained/expanded


Continue and enhance the development and implementation of the County-Wide Public Awareness Campaign, designed to increase knowledge and reduce stigma associated with suicide

Objectives: Activities/Strategies: Outcomes:
Continue to provide print materials featuring suicide prevention information

Continue to involve local media in comprehensive, continuing education for the community

Encourage website links to suicide prevention information on the web

Continue to distribute posters and wallet cards to both previously identified locations and to locations newly identified by the SPC; update or redesign materials as needed and as budget allows

Submit frequent articles and letters to local newspapers

Use Speaker’s Bureau engagements as opportunities for media exposure by submitting press releases before or after speaking engagements

Utilize advertisements in local newspaper, on billboards or public transportation as budget allows

Provide website link access to suicide prevention information to Geauga County human service agencies

Posters and wallet cards will be distributed countywide to public locations in Geauga County

At least 1 suicide prevention article/letter/press release will be published in local media each month

Public awareness of suicide and prevention information will be raised by increased exposure in the media and via the Internet through increased GCBMHRS website usage


Continue and enhance the provision of Gatekeeper Training to identified professionals and social service organizations

Objectives: Activities/Strategies: Outcomes:
Increase knowledge of key individuals by providing training and education on signs and symptoms of depression and risk of suicide Continue contacts offering gatekeeper training to all key people identified by the priority population and resource subcommittees Evidence of attendance at gatekeeper training by key people identified by the priority populations and resource subcommittees


Continue and enhance the Geauga County Suicide Prevention Speaker Bureau to provide education to identified stakeholders, community groups, and civic organizations

Objectives: Activities/Strategies: Outcomes:
Make available at least 10 trained presenters to provide suicide prevention education Offer increased presenter training opportunities for potential presenters

Provide trained presenters with PowerPoint presentations and suicide prevention information notebook to assist with presentations

Utilize evaluation information provided by completed evaluation forms to enhance value of Speaker Bureau presentations

Evidence of number of speaking engagements scheduled and increased competence in recognizing signs and symptoms of suicide risk and appropriate responses as measured by evaluations from attendees


Recommend and adopt an existing evidence-based teen suicide prevention program for Geauga County teen population

Objectives: Activities/Strategies: Outcomes:
Pilot a teen suicide prevention curriculum in one local school. Research existing teen suicide prevention curricula and programs.

Research ability of existing prevention resources to support a school-based teen suicide prevention program (screening, referrals to clinical care)

Identify an appropriate Geauga County school district and specific school to implement the pilot teen suicide curriculum.

Provide any requested training for youth Gatekeepers

Use of pre- and post-test data to measure increased competence in Geauga County teen population in recognizing signs and symptoms of suicide risk and appropriate responses

Goal 6

Establish collaborative relationships with other regional Ohio County Suicide Prevention Coalitions 

Objectives: Activities/Strategies: Outcomes:
Provide a forum for exchange of ideas, successes, and challenges in preventing suicides in Northeast Ohio Make contact with other Northeast Ohio Suicide Prevention Coalitions

Provide venues, through meetings or teleconferences, to meet with regional SPCs to share ideas and experiences

Improved outcomes in suicide prevention goals for all participating Northeast Ohio counties

Current Strategies of the Suicide Coalition

The Geauga County Suicide Coalition was formed in 2005 with the stated goal of reducing suicides in the county. This goal is to be fulfilled by reducing the stigma surrounding suicide by raising public awareness through an education and public awareness campaign by providing gatekeeper training to professionals and social service organizations most likely to be in contact with persons contemplating suicide and by providing suicide prevention education to identified stakeholders, community groups, and civic organizations.

The goals of the Training/Education Subcommittee are to provide Gatekeeper and Speakers Bureau trainings to the Geauga County community. This subcommittee continues to contact community gatekeepers and stakeholders, schedule trainings and suicide prevention awareness and prevention presentations, and provide the core group of Speakers Bureau and Gatekeeper training presenters. The Training/Education Subcommittee has developed PowerPoint trainings and presentations targeted for identified priority populations.

The Crisis Intervention Team, or CIT, is another educational effort of the Coalition. It is designed to provide training for law enforcement to work with crisis in the community, improve communication between law enforcement and mental health providers, track outcomes for calls to law enforcement that involve mental health emergencies, to monitor dispositions and improve both the law enforcement’s mental health provider’s response, and to promote diversions of persons with mental illness from the criminal justice system when treatment is appropriate.

The goal of the Media/Public Relations Subcommittee is to implement the county-wide Public Awareness Campaign to increase knowledge and reduce stigma associated with suicide in Geauga County. To this end, the subcommittee has developed a poster and wallet card brochure and distributed them to locations identified by the Priority Population Subcommittee. The Media/Public Relations Subcommittee continues to identify new locations for these materials at community meeting places and other public access locations, and seeks ways to reach the identified populations through press releases and proposed media campaigns utilizing local media.

Berkshire Local School District – Suzanne Fletcher

Billie Jelenic

Catholic Charities – Michelle Bertman

Family Pride of Northeast Ohio – Angela Daugherty

Geauga County Board of Mental Health and Recovery Services – Jim Adams

Geauga County Board of Mental Health and Recovery Services – Sandy Cohn

Geauga County Coroner’s Office – Mary Kerchelich

Geauga County Educational Service Center – Donna Zoldak-Cook

Geauga County Health Department – Christie Gigliotti

Geauga County Job and Family Services – Craig Swenson

Geauga County Sheriff’s Office – Tracy Jordan

Geauga Youth Led Prevention – Holly Jacobson

Lake-Geauga Recovery Centers – Matthew Petersen

Lake-Geauga Recovery Centers – Kerri Luckner

Lake-Geauga Recovery Centers – Claire Spada

LifeAct – Andrea Floro

NAMI Geauga County – Jenn Bartone

NAMI Geauga County – Billie Olsen

NAMI Geauga County – Lindsay Gates

Ravenwood Health – Brian Ayer

Ravenwood Health – Brittain Paul

Ravenwood Health – Elise Aitken

Ravenwood Health – Kaylee Klepper

Ravenwood Health – Emily Lasko

Torchlight Youth Mentoring Alliance – Tim Kehres

Windsor Laurelwood Hospital – Sue Heiferling


If you think someone you know may be suicidal think QPR;

Question them and ask if they are considering suicide.

Persuade them to talk.

Refer them to the appropriate professional help. 

If you feel that danger is imminent, do not leave them alone. Call 9-1-1 or the Geauga County COPELINE at 440-285-5665 or toll free at 1-888-285-5665.

If you have any questions about the Geauga County Suicide Prevention Coalition, contact NAMI Geauga County at 440-286-6264.

Help to spread the word to stamp out the stigma about suicide.

Make it easier for people to get the help that they need.


  • Weight gain/loss 
  • Sleep problems
  • Sense of exhaustion
  • Overwhelming sadness
  • Loss of interest in hobbies and activities that used to bring pleasure
  • Irritability
  • Confusion
  • Pervasive negative thoughts
  • Withdrawal from friends and family
  • Suicidal thoughts


Individuals who are considering suicide often give verbal clues such as: 

“I don’t want to live any more.”
“I want to end it all.”
“No one really cares if I live or die.”
“People would be better off without me.”

Talking about suicide might cause a person to act.
The Truth Is:
It helps to show the person you take them seriously and care. Many people are relieved with the opportunity to talk.

A person who threatens suicide won’t really follow through.
The Truth Is:
80% of suicide completers talk about it before they make any suicide attempt.

Only “crazy” people kill themselves.
The Truth Is:
Few people who kill themselves have lost touch with reality. They simply feel deep emotional pain and see no other options for relief.

No one I know would do that.
The Truth Is:
Suicide is an equal opportunity killer – striking the rich, poor, beautiful, unattractive, young, and old.

People who attempt suicide are just trying to get attention.
The Truth Is:
They are trying to alleviate their pain.

Suicide is a big city or metropolitan problem. It is not a problem in Geauga County.
The Truth Is:
Many rural areas have higher suicide rates than urban areas.

If a person wants to die, there is really nothing we can do to stop them.
The Truth Is:
They want to end their pain, not their lives.

Previous suicide attempts
Talking about wanting to die or to kill oneself
Looking for a way to kill oneself, such as searching online or buying a gun
Increased substance abuse
Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
Talking about being a burden to others
Withdrawing or feeling isolated
Lack of motivation, or concern for themselves or others
Sudden burst of happiness after a season of depression
Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly
Sleeping too little or too much
Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
Giving away prized possessions
Making a will
Quitting a job or other commitments



If someone you know is thinking about suicide – think QPR
Question them- ask if they are considering suicide.
Persuade them to talk.
Refer them for professional help. If you feel that the danger is imminent, do not leave them alone: Call 9-1-1 or Call Geauga County COPELINE at 440-285-5665 or 1-888-285-5665.

Suicide Prevention Lifeline
1-800-273-TALK (8255) –

American Association of Suicidology –

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention –

Ohio Suicide Prevention Foundation

The focus of the Suicide Coalition is to educate the public about suicide prevention and inform the community about help that is available. Please join us in getting the message out.

The goals of The Geauga County Suicide Prevention Plan are to:

  • To establish and maintain a suicide prevention coalition in Geauga County
  • To implement a countywide public awareness campaign
  • To increase knowledge and reduce stigma associated with suicide
  • To provide gatekeeper training to identified professions and social service organizations
  • To establish a speakers bureau and provide suicide prevention education to identified stakeholders community groups and civic organizations.
  • Increase awareness that depression is the primary cause of suicide.
  • Change public perception about the stigma of mental illness, especially about depression and suicide. Increase the ability to recognize and intervene when someone is suicidal.


Please call NAMI Geauga County at (440) 286-6264 or Ravenwood Health at 440-285-3568 if you would like to become a member of the Geauga County Suicide Prevention Coalition. For further information go to or

Suicide Prevention Lifeline for Veterans

A national suicide prevention hotline is now available to ensure veterans that are experiencing an emotional crisis have free, 24/7 access to trained counselors. Veterans can call the Lifeline number,1-800-273-TALK (8255) and press “1” to be routed to the Veterans Hotline. For further information or to chat live online go to