Skip to Main Content
Group of Medical Professionals


Sep 15 2022

Press Release: Northwest Indiana Suicide Prevention Council works to educate, train community in suicide awareness and mental health aid

MERRILLVILLE INDIANA – While September is recognized as Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, the Northwest Indiana Suicide Prevention Council works year-round to increase public awareness about the seriousness of suicide.

Eric Evans, the director of prevention services at Geminus, has worked with the council for 10 years. Evans said he has dealt with the struggle of suicidal thoughts and has helped individuals through severe loss through training. He currently works to help others who have faced similar situations by advising individuals on how to prevent suicide and find accessible resources.

Suicide can be caused by a plethora of things, such as environmental issues like stress or health issues such as depression or anxiety.

“We need to continue to talk about mental health and suicide to help break the stigma associated with them,” Evans said. “While the conversation around mental and emotional health has been more prevalent, especially regarding the impacts of COVID, there are still a lot of misunderstandings and misconceptions of both mental illness/suicide and treatment/recovery.”

The council invests primarily in its volunteers and the community by training in two evidence-based programs addressing suicide prevention and mental health promotion: QPR (Question-Persuade-Refer) Gatekeeper Training and Mental Health First Aid. Participants learn strategies to approach individuals and connect with them in a non-judgmental way and eventually help them find professional support.

“We need more conversations around recovery, so individuals know and better understand that they seek help, services, and at times treatment to help them through their struggles or illness and recovery is possible,” said Evans.

More organizations, schools and agencies are recognizing the need for suicide prevention and mental health promotion training, and community-level training is open to the general population.

“The more we can get people to understand it takes strength and courage to ask for help, the better we all will be,” said Evans. “Until then, we will continue to train as many people as possible because we know that each person has the potential to save a life.”

During the program, the children had a great experience learning more, interacting with other children their age and becoming prepared for their next steps in life.

Geminus Prevention Services will hold their annual Faces of Suicide Conference: Call to Action: ‘How are you? No, Really?’ November 3rd, 2022, at the Dean and Barbara White Community Center in Merrillville. The conference focuses on veterans, military, first responders, and law enforcement. To learn more about how to get involved with suicide training, contact Prevention Services at 219-757-1849 or email Northwest Indiana Suicide Prevention Council coordinator Mariaelena Trejo at If you or someone you know is dealing with suicide or suicidal thoughts, call or text the 24-hour National Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988; don’t be afraid to speak up.

Geminus promotes health, well-being and education for all children in Northwest Indiana. To learn more about Geminus and other programs, please visit If you or anyone you know needs assistance, please get in touch with Geminus at 219-757-1800.


Geminus partners with community-based health care providers, social service organizations and early childhood education programs to help increase access to high-quality social health care for children and families across Northern Indiana. Geminus  isa member of the Regional Care Group.