Our Mission

To connect the people of Berrien County to the information and resources they need for emotional wellness,
thereby preventing suicide

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News & Events

9-1-1 and Suicide Prevention

  • Calling 9-1-1 is an option we know we can turn to if needed when preventing a suicide. But do you know:

    • How that call would be handled?
    • What protocols or procedures are in place? 
    • What training the dispatcher has received regarding suicide? 
    • If police are sent, what happens when they arrive? 
    • What training they have and what are their options or limitations? 
    • What happens if an ambulance is needed? 
    • What is involved in a wellness check or a Mental Health Petition?
    Get the answers to these and other questions. Representatives from the 9-1-1 dispatch center, the sheriff’s department, the state police, Medic 1 and the Crisis Intervention Team (C.I.T.) will be our guests.
    This event is great for school personnel, counselors, social workers, anyone working with the mentally ill, anyone who lives with or interacts with someone with mental illness.
  • Tuesday, March 20, 2018
    noon-1 pm
    Berrien Conference Rm, Health Dept, Benton Harbor
    RSVP requested: trentwatford@gmail.com or Facebook

Responding to the State of Emergency: The Opioid Epidemic 

The Tri-County Opioid Abuse Prevention Task Force presents a free event focused on stigma and addiction, ways to manage pain without medication, treating chronic vs. acute pain, and prenatal opioid exposure effects. The conference will further address the dangers of prescription medication abuse. Naloxone overdose response training will also be available.

Wed, March 21, 2018 - 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM EDT

The Mendel Center at Lake Michigan College
1100 Yore Avenue
Benton Harbor, MI 49022

Unveiling Invisible Injuries: Building a Trauma Informed Court & Community

This multi-disciplinary training program will support the Berrien County Trial Court and its community partners to raise awareness about the effects of trauma in children, and help develop trauma-informed responses and systems of care. 
The afternoon portion of the training will include breakout sessions for professional stakeholder groups. In addition, the event will be live-streamed on YouTube.

Thursday, April 19, 2018
9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
The Mendel Center at Lake Michigan College – Upton F-104

Adult Mental Health First Aid (AMHFA)-March

AMHFA, a free eight-hour workshop, is designed for adults to take the fear and hesitation out of starting conversations. When more people are equipped with the tools they need to start a dialogue, more people can get the help they may need. An evidence-based public education and prevention tool offered by Lakeland Health. See more details. Choose from:

Tuesday, March 20, 8:30-5:00, Lakeland Hospital, Niles 

Preregistration is required, and class size is limited. For more information or to register for this free class, call (269) 556-2808 or (866) 260-7544.

Early Intervention for the Traumatized-March 12

Presenter Harvey J. Burnett, Jr., PhD, LP, will speak about Critical Incident Stress Management, a comprehensive intervention system used with first responders and public safety personnel as well as individuals, small groups and family traumatic incident care. Co-sponsored by The Counseling Association of Southwest Michigan (CASM) and LMC.

When: Monday, March 12, 2018, 1-4 pm
Where: Lake Michigan College, Mendel Center (N. Entrance)
Cost: CASM members-$35, students-$30, guests-$45, LMC personnel-complimentary
Deadline: March 4 for reservations. Get reservation form.

See more information

Southwest Michigan Mental Health Community Resources List

The Lakeland Community Health and Wellness Department recently released a list that provides information about mental health resources in our community. They collaborated with Riverwood to produce this list. To view or download the list use the link below

2018 Suicide Prevention Community Technical Assistance Meeting (CTAM)
The 2018 Suicide Prevention Community Technical Assistance Meeting (CTAM) will be held May 2-4, 2018, at the Ralph MacMullan Conference Center in Roscommon. Please view the SAVE THE DATE flyer at the link below, and share it widely.

Suicide Prevention Town Hall Video

The town hall aired on the radio and on Facebook Live. The purposes was to bring awareness to the staggering statistics and effects of suicide on Berrien County and Michigan in general. Panelists provided information and answered questions to callers including those suffering with the thought of suicide.

Watch the video on Facebook Live.

Youth Mental Health First Aid

For adults who regularly interact with adolescents, this FREE eight-hour training teaches how to assist young people experiencing a mental health crisis until help is received or the crisis is resolved. Preregistration is required. Call 269-556-2808 
or 866-260-7544.

Mental Health Screening Online

Mental health is a key part of your overall health. Brief screenings are the quickest way to determine if you or someone you care about should connect with a mental health professional - they are a checkup from your neck up. Andrews University has made a free online screening tool available to our community. This program is completely anonymous and confidential, and immediately following the brief questionnaire you will see your results, recommendations, and key resources.

Upcoming Coalition Meetings

Next Business meeting:

Tuesday, April 17, noon-1 pm
Riverwood Center, Building Two, Benton Harbor

Next Informational meeting (see note below):

9-1-1 and Suicide Prevention (see details under Events)

Tuesday, March 20, noon-1 pm
Berrien Conference Room, Health Dept, BH

Please note: Due to construction at Lakeland, our March meeting will be at the Health Department Campus, 2149 E. Napier Avenue, Benton Harbor (the former Schroeder Motors Mall). We plan to be back at Lakeland when the parking situation improves.

See meeting dates for 2018

In General:

(If we ever need to cancel/reschedule a meeting due to inclement weather, we will post it on this website and on the closings at WSJM.)

The meetings that are scheduled for every other month at Riverwood are primarily for planning and involve the 5-9 coalition members.  The meetings at Lakeland (the other months) will be focused on gathering input from the community and planning events.  Both meetings are open to the public.

See our bylaws for more information.

BerrienCares.org is a:

oalition of organizations and citizens  that is
esources to
uicide in in Berrien County, Michigan

myStrength-A Digital Behavioral Health Solution

Southwest Michigan Behavioral Heath has introduced a new resource for our community. We all struggle with our moods at times. Anxious or depressive thoughts can weigh us down. Some of us may struggle with drugs and alcohol. The myStrength digital solution offers proven web and mobile resources that can help. Click on the link below to read the flyer for more information on how to sign up today. 

Healthy Men Michigan Campaign

Healthy Men Michigan Campaign
Healthy Men Michigan is a campaign designed specifically to promote mental health and well being among middle-aged men who are living in Michigan. The Campaign offers free online screening and referral services such as self-assessments for a number of mental health issues and access to local, quality treatment options. While targeted toward men, the online screening can be accessed and used for free by anyone.
Help get the word out by sharing this link with others.


Please continue to promote safeTALK! This workshop is a great way to increase awareness about suicide to our community and how they can help. Workshops may be scheduled for specific audiences. A group of at least 10-12 and maximum of 25-30 is required, cost is $10/person.

Download a small flyer (3 on a page)

Lakeland's Community Health Needs Assessment

Lakeland recently completed a study of our community and its most critical health needs. Mental health was identified as the top concern. View the full report.

Stay Informed - Join our Email List

If you want to be notified about the time and topics for our meetings as well as other information we share about suicide prevention you will want to be on our emailing list.