Together it gets better-Suicide Prevention Collaborative

UPDATE: JULY 25, 2017

Hello everyone. On January 15, 2017, I posted this article about the Suicide Prevention Collaborative.  My sister, Renee Penticoff, is a co-founder of this organization. I received an email from her today, which is what prompted the idea to rerun this post.

In place of my usual Tuesday nutrition post, I have decided to honor this phenomenal organization by reposting this article. It is a wakeup call to help the thousands of teens across the nation, who are in distress.

Here is my sister’s request, in her own words:

Dear friends,

Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death of teens in the US and MN.  The good news is that suicide is preventable and YOU can help!
The annual Suicide Prevention Collaborative’s (SPC) “Together It Gets Better” 5k run/walk on July 29, 2017 is our main fundraiser each year (see attached flyer).  100% of the monies from this event and other donations have allowed SPC to host several important, educational events in our community over the past seven years.  We realize, though, not everyone can make it to the SPC 5k fundraiser.
If you are unable to make our 5k event, please consider making a donation to support SPC’s ongoing suicide prevention efforts.  
A few examples of how YOUR donation dollars can help:
      — Community education speakers — $1500- $5000.00/ event
      — SPC TLC program — $1000.00/school
      — QPR Gatekeeper Suicide Prevention Training — $100.00/40 community members
      — QPR Facilitator Training — $500.00/facilitator 
Donations can be made directly using this link: 
Here are the events and services SPC has provided in the community in more detail:
Winter 2011 — Dr. Dan Riedenberg, SAVE,  Suicide Prevention and Awareness Community discussion, Woodwinds, Woodbury
Spring 2012 — Maureen Underwood, LCSW, Suicide Prevention, Professional Training and Community discussion
Spring 2013 — Dr. Wendy Lader, SAFE Alternatives, Self-Injury Professional Training
Spring 2014 — Dr. Nimi Sinhg, Adolescent Health and Wellness Community discussion, Woodbury HS
Spring 2015 — Kevin Breel — East Ridge HS, Woodbury
Spring 2016 — Kevin Breel — Apple Valley HS
Mark your calendars!
October 23, 2017 — Dr. Dan Riedenberg, SAVE — date and location TBA
In addition to the annual community events, SPC provides freeQPR Gatekeeper Training to interested community members.  QPR stands for “Question, Persuade and Refer” — QPR -trained Gatekeepers learn to recognize the warning signs of suicide, know how to offer hope and know how to get help to save a life.  The next QPR Gatekeeper Training facilitated by SPC will be August 17th, hosted by Stillwater Public Schools and Washington County Public Health.  
SPC has also been able to provide financial support to District 833 for three important district wellness events for its students and families.
Currently,  SPC is piloting a collaborative partnership with East Ridge High School called SPC’s Teen Leadership Corp (TLC).  East Ridge HS’s TLC will include a staff member and student volunteers who will work together with SPC core leadership to develop and facilitate an event or program which promotes education around health, wellness and/or reducing stigma related to mental health.  SPC will provide ERHS with $1000.00 to support the SPC-TLC event at ERHS, as well as professional guidance and support.
Over the past seven years, SPCs volunteer efforts have reached thousands of community members.  Lets keep it going — together it gets better!!
Renee Penticoff, PsyD, LP
Co-founder of SPC
Here is the original article:

Tonight I have a very special edition of daily inspiration, which  deals with a serious and important topic, teen suicide.


The non-profit for today’s daily inspiration is from the eastern part of the Twin Cities in Minnesota (Minneapolis, Minnesota and St. Paul, Minnesota-for those readers in other parts of the world.) The organization is called the Suicide Prevention Cooperative (SPC). This amazing organization, made up of professionals and volunteers, work to bring awareness to and prevent teen suicide,  as well as remove the stigma associated with mental illness. Their Facebook page is dedicated to teens in the Washington County, Minnesota area discussing these important issues.

The SPC hopes to:

  • Educate the people of the community regarding the problem of suicide in the community
  • Increase awareness for the need to identify and treat teens at risk for suicide
  • Increase understanding of symptoms of mental illness and warning signs of suicide.
  • Increase awareness of area mental health resources and how to access them.
  • Working with community partners, the SPC will establish suicide prevention programs throughout the community.

The mission of the Suicide Prevention Cooperative is: 

SPC is committed to increasing awareness about depression and other mental illnesses, the warning signs of suicide and the need for professional treatment. By educating the public about suicide, individuals at risk can be identified and treated, and the stigma associated with mental illness and suicide can be reduced.

Here are some of these wonderful people:

The SPC will be hosting the 7th annual 5k walk/run on July 29, 2017. If you are interested in participating or know of anyone in the Minnesota area who would be interested,  please pass this information on to them. To sign up, you can find the link here.

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Below is a Ted Talks video of Kevin Breel, a writer, comedian and mental health advocate. In April, 2014, the Suicide Prevention Collaborative hosted Kevin at a public speaking engagement, to help increase awareness of teen suicide and help decrease the stigma of mental illness. Take a look: (It’s 10:56)

[ted id=1830]

This is a link to a Suicide Prevention App. which works anywhere in the world!

The app is: “A free tool that helps you understand the warning signs, but also one that guides you through the questions you should be asking and provides you with plans on how to respond and support someone in need. Also featuring a step-by-step safety plan and linkage to a 24/7 hotline and text platform for additional support. Including a searchable map to find emergency and mental health services near you, anywhere in the world.”


This slide show has the numbers and/or websites for several different suicide prevention hotlines.

UPDATE: JULY 25, 2017 The original article had a different video than the  one below, but has since been removed from youtube. Here is a video, from the Mayo Clinic, describing common signs a teen is contemplating suicide:

For more information on

The Suicide Prevention Collaborative,

click on the following link.

CLICK HERE: About Us | Suicide Prevention Collaborative East Metro Area, Minnesota

ATTENTION:  I am always looking for wonderful non-profits to highlight on my daily inspiration posts. (Preferably small ones) If you have a non-profit you’d like me to highlight, please send me a note with the form on my contact page. THANK YOU!

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