Newsmakers Making A Difference: Stephanie Weber, Suicide Prevention Services Of America

Julie Mann
May 01, 2018 - 8:10 am

Suicide Prevention Services of America/Facebook

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Inside a historic home on the west side of Batavia is a resource center with the goal of saving lives. 

Stephanie Weber heads Suicide Prevention Services of America. The organization is 20-years old and built on Weber's own experience with suicide.

"I just felt that we needed to do more in the area of suicide prevention," she said.  

Weber's mother took her own life in 1979. Soon after, Weber started a group for families who experienced a suicide. Today Suicide Prevention Services provides a prevention hotline, individual and family counseling, risk assessments, educational discussions and support for people whose loved one has committed suicide or has attempted too.

"It just seemed to me the answers were in the people who tried to die and didn't," according to Weber. 

Weber's path to help people impacted by suicide started in the 1980's when no one talked about suicide. Today the organization she started works with the young and the old, with schools, provides assessments for those who show signs of trouble and offers therapy.

"If they get the right help, and I often think having family as part of that help is important, that person can go on to live the rest of their life suicide free," she said.

Weber said social media, growing awareness and available resources continues to chance and improve the way Suicide Prevention Services reaches people. 

"We are seeing such an increase in students with anxiety in our young people and if we can give some coping skills they can go on to be successful people," she said. 

While suicide is preventable, Weber said it's not always. 

"When people say suicide is not an option, you can't take that away from someone,"  Weber said.  "It is an option. But my take on this is let's look at every other thing starting from A to Z and we'll put suicide at a Z." 

To reach Suicide Prevention Services go to www.spsamerica.org

As WBBM celebrates its 50th anniversary as Newsradio, this year we’ll be honoring 50 Newsmakers making a difference in the community.  Listen for reports each Tuesday.

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