Welcome to Real Talk about Suicide

Suicidal?  Love someone who is?  This website is for you.


TEDx Talk: Are You In? Addressing Emotional Pain and Saving Lives is now available!

New blog post out! https://realtalkaboutsuicide.wordpress.com/

TEDx Talk Link

About Jennifer and Real Talk

My mission is to save lives by helping you save lives

From my experience, suicide prevention starts with every single community member.  It is my theory that activating ourselves as citizens that heal and save, we can prevent suicides. 

When we have a flat tire someone often stops to help.  When we get ill, people ask if they can do anything, bring us food, or go to the store for us.  When we are grieving, people often send cards, flowers, or pay us a visit.  But what about visiting the suicidal person?  What about lifting them up in the same way we do with other serious life crossroads?  Why should a suicidal person cross that road by themselves?  

Let us be a community of people who cross the road with each other.


I have a PhD in Social Work from Indiana University and nearly 20 years in the mental health field. I have 15 years of experience in clinical work, and about 10 years of experience in mental health consulting, training, and research.

You can follow me on Twitter @jenlwberry

Facebook- Community that Saves: https://www.facebook.com/groups/570052439801619/

My story

In my small community of Columbus, Indiana, we had a series of adolescent suicides. In our initial crisis mode, I rallied our community strengths and resources to start a movement to prevent suicides.  We are still working toward this goal together.  Since then, I have developed a community-based suicide prevention model that I have spoken about nationally and regionally.

I am the lead researcher of a nationally implemented school-based, peer-to-peer suicide prevention program called Hope Squad.

I am currently working with schools throughout the country to implement and study the effectiveness of the Hope Squad program, and am on a team at Grant Us Hope doing a large, scaled implementation in Cincinnati, OH and the surrounding areas. 

Grant Us Hope

Saving lives in YOUR community

Saving lives is about establishing a community of love and support, through which you offer good suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention efforts.  I'm here to help you do that through a variety of means.  Please take time to peruse my website to learn how I can best help and support you.

How can I help you?


I offer training for communities and groups on how to start your own community-based suicide prevention initiative. This will include how to use social media to build community, develop and administer a needs and strengths assessment, connect your stakeholders, build your infrastructure, and strategically initiate programs.

I offer training on how to recognize risk factors and warning signs, and how to help, using the Question Persuade Refer gatekeeper model (I am a certified QPR trainer). For more information, see the QPR website at www.qprinstitute.com

I am also able to  connect and assist in implementation of a Hope Squad, a peer-to-peer, school-based (elementary, middle, high, and college) suicide prevention program.  I am the national lead researcher for the Hope Squad program, and a Master Trainer. Hope Squads are in over 500 schools and 18 states nationwide and in Canada.

Hope Squad Website


I will share with you my own publications in suicide prevention and also include publicly available articles, book references, and summaries that are easy to read and understand, so that you are up-to-date on the current research in suicide prevention.  

Feel free to let me know topics of interest to you.

Hope Squad article

My Blog

My blog is about suicide-related stories, insights, and resources. Please leave comments.  I love to spark discussion. Links to my blog can be found at the bottom of this page.

Real Talk about Suicide Blog



Hotline/Crisis Line

National Suicide Lifeline 1-800-273-8255

For Veterans: Same number as above, and Press 1

Crisis Text Line: Text START to 741741

Best Prevention and Treatment Practices

Dialectical Behavior Therapy


Counseling on Access to Lethal Means (CALM)


Hope Squads- School-Based Peer Suicide Prevention Programs


QPR Gatekeeper Training (Question, Persuade, Refer- learn the risk factors, warning signs, and how to help)


Signs of Suicide- mental health and suicide screening in schools


National Resource Sites

Suicide Prevention Resource Center


Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration


National Action Alliance


American Foundation for Suicide Prevention


American Association of Suicidology


Suicide Prevention Apps

1. Operation Reach Out

2. SEESAY Teen Suicide Prevention

3. Suicide Safe (SAMHSA)

4. Suicide Safety Plan

5. Suicide Safer Home

6. HELP Prevent Suicide

7. Suicide Lifeguard (Missouri and National)

8. SAFEUT (Utah and National)

9. Ask & Prevent (Texas and National)

Suicide Myths

1. Talking about suicide does NOT "put the idea in their head"

*Talking out loud about suicide reduces stigma and helps those suffering to feel less afraid to reach out for help

2. Asking if someone is suicidal does NOT "put the idea in their head"

*Asking can SAVE A LIFE

3. People often think that restricting access to lethal means isn't necessary because "they'll just find another way to kill themselves".  

*The research in lethal means restriction (e.g. removing guns from the premises) is effective in reducing numbers of suicide deaths.

4. Suicidal people always have a mental health issue.  

*Although many do, not all present that way, especially children. Know the risk factors and warning signs of different populations.

5. How the media report suicide doesn't impact suicide rates.  *Contagion is a real thing- Media should remove names, methods, and gruesome details.

6. People who self harm and/or talk about killing themselves are "just trying to get attention"

*People who self harm and/or are having suicidal thoughts can benefit from good treatment that can help reduce those behaviors

Jennifer's Curriculum Vitae

For copies of my published articles, please email me at jenniferwrightberryman.com

My updated Vitae can be found below.

My Blog


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Contact Jennifer at Real Talk

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Please contact me for information on how I can help you and your community save lives.

Your communication is confidential.  If you're feeling suicidal, please contact the National Suicide Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255