The September 5 Village Board meeting includes the presentation of a proclamation recognizing September as National Suicide Prevention Month, which raises awareness about suicide as a serious public health problem, as well as the resources available to assist those in crisis.
As part of National Suicide Prevention Month, the Village’s Health and Human Services Department reminds community members of the following resources and Village programs available to assist them.
The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is available 24/7 and provides free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals. Dial 988 or chat 988lifeline.org/chat.
An alternative to 911, the 988 Lifeline connects callers to mental health professionals rather than law enforcement. Counselors who answer the phone are trained to provide immediate counseling, de-escalate suicidal or distressed thoughts, and connect people with local resources. In cases where the crises requires an immediate in-person response, mobile (mental health) response teams will respond to the caller’s location to assist them through the crisis.
Skokie Health and Human Services licensed clinical social work staff are available to guide community members with information about area resources to help with education, access to support services, and prevention. Call 847-933-8208 for information.
In addition to the 988 Lifeline, the following resources are available to assist community members in crisis or who need support:
Village’s Co-Responder Program
The Skokie Police Department’s two-person Co-Responder Team responds to individuals in crisis, linking them to services, monitoring individuals post-initial response, and providing follow-ups with individuals in need of ongoing services. The team includes Skokie Police Officer Kimberly Blue, who has completed Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training for law enforcement, and Village social worker Brian McHugh.
Skokie Police Department Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Training
The Skokie Police Department has a goal of sending every sworn officer to Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training, a State-certified 40-hour course that provides officers with information and tools to help them in interacting with individuals suffering mental health crisis and connecting them to services. As of August 2023, 68 percent of sworn Skokie officers have completed CIT training. Every year, the department works to enroll as many officers as possible given the program’s high, statewide demand.
Village’s Medical Reserve Corps Seeking Mental Health Professionals
The Skokie Health and Human Services Department’s Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) is a group of volunteer health professionals that enhances the Village’s emergency preparedness and response capabilities. The Village’s MRC has expanded to include mental health professionals. Interested in volunteering your skills and expertise? Complete the application (PDF).
Know the Warning Signs
Becoming familiar with warning signs may help a loved one who might be at risk for suicide, especially if the behavior is new, has increased, or seems related to a painful event, loss, or change. If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, call or text 9-8-8 or chat 988lifeline.org/chat.
- Talking about wanting to die or to kill themselves
- Looking for a way to kill themselves, like searching online or buying a gun
- Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live
- Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
- Talking about being a burden to others
- Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
- Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly
- Sleeping too little or too much
- Withdrawing or isolating themselves
- Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
- Extreme mood swings