Mission, Goals and History
The mission of SAVE is to prevent suicide through public awareness and education, reduce stigma and serve as a resource to those touched by suicide.
Brain illnesses such as depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia or other mood or anxiety disorders, when left untreated, unfortunately may also result in suicide.
The brain as an organ can get sick, just like other organs in the body. SAVE is committed to educating the general public about depressive brain illnesses, the symptoms, possible causes and the need for professional assessment and treatment. By educating the general public about these illnesses, treatment is encouraged, and the stigma associated with suicide and brain illnesses is reduced or removed.
SAVE's prevention and education programs are designed to:
- Increase knowledge about depression, other brain illnesses and the need for assessment and treatment as suicide prevention.
- Increase knowledge about symptoms of depression and the warning signs of suicidal thinking and behavior.
- Increase understanding and the use of intervention skills that can help avoid the tragedy of suicide.
- Increase knowledge about community resources and how to access and use them.
History and Beginnings of SAVE
In 1979, Adina Wrobleski lost her daughter to suicide. Despite searching endlessly for information, resources, and support to help her and her family through the tragedy, Adina was unable to find what she needed. So she began a quest to learn everything that she could about depression and suicide.
By the early 1980's, Adina had become a local expert in suicide and was speaking publicly and writing about the topic. By the late 1980's, Adina had become a nationally known suicidologist, taking part in research, writing journal articles and books and lecturing with some of the top scientists of the time.
|In 1989, Adina met with 6 other suicide survivors (people who have experienced the loss of a loved one to suicide) and collectively they decided there was a great need for an organization to address suicide prevention.|
By 1990, SAVE was incorporated, with Adina as the first Executive Director. For 10 years, SAVE was an all-volunteer organization. An annual Suicide Awareness Memorial event was started, brochures were created, and support groups were facilitated across Minneapolis and Saint Paul.
A strategic planning process yielded a decision to hire staff, and in 1999 SAVE hired its first paid Executive Director, with other staff soon following. In 2001, SAVE began an initiative to become a leader in the suicide prevention field by using the media and mass marketing to get a message to the public that suicide was a public health issue.
SAVE's 20th Anniversary Video
SAVE's 25th Anniversary Video
SAVE also embarked on several educational programs including a school-based curriculum called ASK, creating and widely distributing support and information resources nationally and internationally. In 2008, SAVE produced a new, best-practices classroom curriculum LEADS: For Youth, Linking Education and Awareness of Depression and Suicide.
SAVE is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization governed by an all volunteer Board of Directors and operating under the nonprofit laws of the State of Minnesota. Over the years, SAVE's Board of Directors, volunteers and staff often include survivors who bring a special affinity for suicide prevention and depressive illnesses along with other skills to ensure organizational growth, development and effective management and operational talents to the agency.
Click here to view a list of past members of SAVE's Board of Directors.
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