American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Indiana Chapter
January 2012Vol 1, Issue 1
BSU Campus Walk1
Breaking the Silence
Monthly Chapter Newsletter
Lifeline - RED
2012 is the beginning of a new year, and a time to begin new opportunities to make a difference in the life of someone living with a depressive illness, an attempt survivor or a survivor of suicide loss.... Opportunities to educate our schools and communities... Opportunities to share your story... Opportunities to encourage change, drive research efforts, educate our public officials, promote change in public policy... just to name a few.  What will you do to help education and awareness efforts in your community this year?  Participate in an AFSP event?  Volunteer on an event committee?  Plan an awareness event for AFSP?  Support the cause by sharing this newsletter and our Facebook links with your friends and family?  Start a team for a walk event? Share the Lifeline Number listed above with someone in need?  We welcome your support in anyway you are willing!  With more than 20 million Americans struggling with a depressive illness annually, and more than 36,000 American lives lost by suicide each year, our mission has never been more important! 
It takes a Village....
A World without Suicide

The latest data indicates that 36,035 suicide deaths were reported in 2008, or one suicide death every 14.6 minutes. This is an increase of 2.6% over 2007. 


Nearly 1 million people make a suicide attempt each year. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. and remains a major health issue. 


For nearly 25 years, AFSP has been working to change this reality. We realize that to have a world without suicide, we need to work to reverse the current upward trend in suicide deaths by pursuing a robust portfolio of research, education, advocacy and outreach.
This is where all of the volunteers across the Country, like you and me, come in....
In This Issue
Letter from our Exec. Director
Training Opportunity
Upcoming Events
Important Initiatives
Survivor Spotlight
Quick Links

Join our Mailing List!
Like us on Facebook
The Bloomington Indiana Out of the Darkness Walk is currently looking for a new Chair, or Co-Chairs to lead the walk planning committee for 2012.
The date has already been set for October 27, 2012 and the IU Stadium site has already been secured with the university.  This event is already a well established event in the Bloomington Community and the team is already a very strong team and will welcome a new leader(s) to help keep the team on track during the planning process.  Please contact Lisa Brattain with your interest or for more information - 317.774.1377 or 
Facilitating a Suicide Bereavement Support Group
Resource and Healing Guide
The Indiana Chapter of AFSP is excited to bring this opportunity to Indiana!
Training Program: 
Facilitating Suicide Bereavement Support Groups - Indianapolis, IN
April 13 & 14, 2012

A 2-day, hands-on training to help survivors of suicide loss, mental health professionals, and interested others learn the "how-to's" of creating and facilitating a support group. 

Conducted by experts in the field of suicide bereavement and experienced facilitators, this comprehensive program combines lecture, interactive discussion, and role-playing with feedback.  It is an opportunity to have your questions answered, hear new ideas, and practice your skills. The program is appropriate for those who would like to start a new group, and current facilitators who want to increase their knowledge and skills. CEU credits are not available

Note: Since this training program is not meant to serve as a healing conference, it's important for survivors to consider where they are in their own journey of healing prior to attending. In order to create an environment in which participants can best develop and practice the skills necessary to facilitate a group effectively, we ask that survivors wait at least 2 years after the suicide of their loved one before attending.  If you have any questions please contact or call 1-888-333-AFSP x2035.


Registration deadline: March 25. Space is limited, so please register early. Your registration is not finalized until you receive a confirmation email from AFSP, which will contain full details on the training location and agenda. Registrations received after the deadline will be accepted on a space-available basis.  

Fee: $175Includes a working dinner on Friday evening, lunch on Saturday, and all training materials (manual, DVD, handouts). Transportation and hotel accommodations are not covered by the registration fee. Limited partial scholarships for the registration fee may be available; call 1-888-333-AFSP x2035 for information. 

Register Here: 


Location: Radisson Indianapolis Airport 

Schedule: Friday 1pm-9pm; Saturday 8am-3:30pm. 


Fly into Indianapolis Airport 
(There will be a FREE shuttle from the airport to the hotel)

Hotel accommodations are available at a special rate of $125/night plus tax (double occupancy). AFSP will make all reservations - please indicate if you need a room on your registration form. You will be asked to present your credit card to the hotel at check-in to cover the room charge and incidentals, so please do not send payment to AFSP for your hotel accommodations. To help keep your costs down, consider sharing a room with another attendee. We can help you find a roommate, or you may choose your own. Roommate assignments are given at check-in.


Cancellation Policy: If you must cancel, please contact us no later than March 27.  If you cancel after that time, the registration fee may be applied to a future AFSP training or may be converted to a tax-deductible contribution.

Upcoming  Events for AFSP Indiana
We currently have one Campus Walk scheduled for Spring 2012, and several others working to secure their dates and locations.  Please watch the  website as walks are secured and dates/locations are added over the next few months.

If your school is interested in hosting a Campus Walk - awareness event (College or High School), now is the time to start planning.  Please contact the Chapter Chair for more details:

Mark your calendar for April 13 & 14th for the Facilitator Training described above and be sure to register through the link provided above to secure your spot for the training, asap.  Space is limited.  We would love to see support group resources around our state increase, however, this training is not restricted to Indiana residents.  Secure your spot today!  This event will be shared with the AFSP national network of chapters.

word motorcycle logo 
June 9th, 2012
Harley Davidson of Indianapolis (96th street)
Registration 9:30- 10:30     Kickstands Up at 10:30
Register Online at     $25 per bike 
Join us to raise awareness!  Join us for the Ride, PRIZES & Food (before and after)
for more information contact Doug at, Jerry at or 317.774.1377

* SAVE THE DATE- Indianapolis Out of the Darkness Community Walk- September 15, 2012  (website will be open for registration in mid-January)
Important Initiatives!

I (Robert Gebbia- Executive Director) would like to highlight some of the programs and activities we are focusing on:

  • Expanding our innovative, anonymous Interactive Screening Program for college/university students, which has been shown effective in getting those at risk into treatment. We are also piloting ISP with the Veterans Administration as part of their online chat service. (IN Chapter to sponsor 3 colleges to use this program)
  • Working with leading experts in suicide prevention, schools of journalism, media organizations and key journalists as well as Internet safety experts to develop Recommendations for Reporting on Suicide. The recommendations are designed to promote safe and responsible reporting on suicide by the media.
  • Partnering with several national LGBT organizations to develop Talking About Suicide & LGBT Populations, a set of recommendations for safe messaging about suicide in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities.
  • Collaborating with the Suicide Prevention Resource Center to produce After a Suicide: A Toolkit for Schools to assist schools in the aftermath of a suicide in the school community. 
  • Distributing our evidence-based More Than Sad: Teen Depression and Suicide Prevention Education for Teachers programs to high schools throughout the country. (IN Chapter interested in giving this program to all Indiana High Schools and Middle Schools for free- Interested schools please contact the chapter)
  • Investing in new research aimed at understanding the causes of suicide and developing ways to identify and treat individuals at risk for suicide. 
  • Expanding our growing network of chapters to 50 who work to carry out AFSP's lifesaving mission at the local level, making us by far and away the largest grassroots suicide prevention organization in the United States.
  • Working through our network of volunteer Field Advocates to promote passage of legislation requiring all school personnel to receive a minimum of two hours of suicide prevention training. (IN Chapter is hopeful to have 2 Field Advocates per Congressional District.  There are 9 Districts in Indiana)
Survivor Spotlight - Clarissa Turner, Gary Indiana
Clarissa Turner

My name is Clarissa Turner and "I AM" a survivor of suicide!

Allow me to go back exactly seven years ago, on December 21, 2004, a cold Tuesday morning and three days before my 23rd birthday, which was Christmas Eve.

            I remember being at the bookstore working and thinking about so many things that were on my mind that day. The pain of being separated from my husband at that time since he was in the military, the financial downfalls of not having enough money to do the things that I desired, the constant questions from others as of why I did not have any children, having to be in a house where I was not accepted warmly by my mother's husband, since my husband had sent me back to the Midwest from the East Coast to be closer with family and friends, and lastly, the depression from suffering from severe acne and not wanting to be around people.

            It had been about six months since I had last seen my husband and I was excited with the thought of knowing that he was going to be coming home soon! In the midst of everything else, I had so many things that nagged and picked at my mind but I held so much in because I was the person that other people would come to be uplifted and to release smiles of joy into their lives, but it seemed like no one was there for me when I needed to be listened to and encouraged.

            As I stood at the counter of the bookstore and waited on my customers, I got a phone call around 10:15 a.m. with my mother on the phone and with my husband on the other end, calling to tell me that "HE COULD NOT COME HOME FOR CHRISTMAS" and that he really did not know when he was going to be able to come home period. In the depths of my stomach, I wanted to throw up and within my eyes, tears felled down like rain. I could not believe what I heard on the phone and on top that, my husband had my mother to call me at my job to break the news.

            I walked a way from the counter and asked my manager if I could go to the break room because I just felt heavy and sad in my spirit. When I sat down in the break room, I remembered that there was a commercial with a mother holding her child and that made me break down even more because I desired children badly.

            My manager came into the break room and told me to go home because she did not like seeing me look the way that I looked: SO SAD! The funny thing is that people act shocked and surprised when they see a "so-call" strong person crying, when the truth is, "EVEN THE STRONG CAN BECOME WEAK AND NEED TO BE UPLIFTED!"

            I asked myself over and over again in the car as I drove to the house what had I done wrong in my life to feel like nothing was going right? Sure, I was a Christian and I believed in God and I still do, but I experienced a season in my life where I felt like God had left me out in the cold and did not care what happened to me or my heart. So, I arrived at the house at 11:15 a.m. and I sat upon the bed thinking about the people who loved me and how they were going to miss me when I was gone because I was tired of so many things in my life that had not gone right.

            As I began to write my suicide letter, I heard Mariah Carey sing on the radio the song "I Am Free" and that was what I wanted to be, because I felt broken, hurt, sad, lost, disappointed and confused in a world where it seemed liked "Good people suffered for doing what was right. I made my way to the medicine cabinet and I swallowed an overdose of pills that could have stopped my heart because I wanted to be numb to the negative side of life and all of the lacks, setbacks, and attacks! I remembered my mom calling me with a panic tone in her voice because I knew she sensed that something was not right.  After swallowing the pills, I felt my head spinning and my heart slowly beating. I got up to go get a second bottle of pills and I fell back onto the bed and urinated on myself because I could not move to go to the bathroom.

            I was waiting for my spirit to leave my body, so that I could enter into a world of TRUE PEACE but I heard someone coming into the front door and it was my mother and my grandmother who had Alzheimer's disease but for some reason, it was like my grandmother knew something was wrong with me in the midst of her illness. The look on my mother's face made tears run down my face, as I remember my grandmother holding me in her arms and saying, "It's going be alright."  My mother was shaking as she called the ambulance and to see the look on her face was a look of fear over the thought that she could have lost her only child that day. I can never forget that look because it was a look that said, "I LOVE YOU TOO MUCH TO LET YOU GO BEFORE ME!"

            When I arrived at the hospital, pills began to come up from my mouth and I overheard the doctor tell my mother that I was "lucky" to be alive but I was going to have to spend some time on the psych ward. I broke down because I realized that I allowed my "bottled-up" depression to take over my actions and to put me into the state that I was in. As I was being transported to the psych ward, I cried like never before because my mother was told that she could not see me until they approved the visit.

            In the midst of everything and as strange as it may sound, God took a negative situation and caused me to win a soul to Him. I am reminded of Romans 8:28, which says: "All things work together for the good of those who love the Lord and who are called according to His purpose."  I had a purpose in going on that psych ward and that purpose was to understand that we all fall short and that no one is "exempt" from experiencing the act of suicide because depression has no name, color, shape, age, size, or religious belief attached to it because it can be anyone who has reached a breaking point in their lives. I remember the psychiatrist asking me, "What are you going to do if everything still does not go the right way for you? Will you keep attempting suicide until you succeed or will you learn how to cope with life and the many obstacles that go a long with living?" Those questions stayed in mind for a very long time because shortly after that, my husband wanted a divorce! My stay in the hospital was exactly four days and I was released on Christmas Day of 2004. I was given a prescription for Zoloft anti-depression pills but I never got the prescription filled because my medication became a man called God! Never in my life did I imagine that I would have come to the point of attempting suicide and I must admit that I use to judge others about how crazy it was to go to that point, but I learned from it all, never to JUDGE ANYONE.

            That following Sunday after Christmas, one of the ladies who was on the psych ward with me, she gave her life to Christ at a church I was visiting and when she stood up and saw me, she began to cry and she told me afterwards, "I thank God that you came onto that psych ward because your spirit was so strong to lift me up in the midst of where we both were." I took her words to heart and God told me in my spirit that even during the midst of your affliction you can STILL BE FRUITFUL!

            My life has been a great journey and on December 24, 2011, I celebrated my 30th birthday with all smiles of true happiness because God allowed me to step out of my 20's and to embrace my 30's with a profound respect for life and to be on a mission to spread the word to others who are hurting that there is JOY IN LIVING and that situations just like the weather will and can change for the better.

            Since then, I have lost much but I have also gained a whole lot as well. I went on to write a book ( ) that poetically speaks about my journey in the form of biographical poems, take part in what I love to do, (speak) to a crowd of people about my testimony, and live my dreams of being an Entrepreneur.

            So to answer the questions from that day that the psychiatrist asked me about, far as what I was going to do if everything did not go right for me; the answer is, I will continue to press forward and know that my life has purpose no matter what I see or what happens to me a long the way, and to answer the next question, whether or not I will keep attempting suicide until I succeed or will I learn how to cope with life and the many obstacles that go a long with living, my answer is this: "I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST WHO STRENGHTENS ME!"

            I chose life and that is what I plan to give to others because I AM A SURVIVOR!


~Clarissa's book has not been reviewed or approved as a recommended resource by AFSP~

Thank YOU to all the participants and volunteers of the 13 Out of the Darkness Walks, 2 Motorcycle Rides, 3 International Survivor Day events, and many other activities in Indiana in 2011.  Your dedication to the cause is inspiring!  Our stories matter, the stories of our loved ones matter, our voices matter and WE DO MAKE A DIFFERENCE!


Community Walks Nationwide Raise Needed Funds and Awareness


Peace & Blessings,


Lisa Brattain - Chapter Chair  

& The AFSP Indiana Board of Directors


 ~ 2010 Chapter of the Year for a Mid-Size Market


American Foundation for Suicide Prevention  

Indiana Chapter  

P.O. Box 1793  

Noblesville, Indiana 46061



Join our efforts to Silence the Stigma of Suicide and Depression!


In the US, a person dies by suicide every 14.6 minutes.  

Every 15 minutes, someone is left to make sense of this tragic loss.