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Sarasota Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019 2 years ago

Chabad of Sarasota-Manatee to hold suicide prevention training

The teen division of Chabad of Sarasota-Manatee will host Speak Up, Save a Life on Sept. 8 and 9.
by: Whitney Elfstrom Staff Writer

Teens from Chabad of Sarasota-Manatee want to make sure that those who struggle with suicidal thoughts are not alone.

That’s why CTeens, the teen division of Chabad of Sarasota-Manatee, will host three safeTALK workshops Sept. 8 and 9.

Ella Steinmetz smiles in front of a brick wall.
Ella Steinmetz, director of CTeen, came up with the idea to bring safeTALK to Sarasota after she missed signs of her friend's suicidal thoughts.

The program, which was developed by Livingworks, is a three-hour suicide-alertness and -prevention class that provides tools and knowledge to help recognize the troubling signs.

Organized by CTeen Director Ella Steinmetz, 22, the idea to bring the training to the Sarasota area came after she missed the signs from someone close to her who attempted suicide.

“I [was] very much in touch with this teen, and I missed the signs,” she said. “It really shook me to my core.”

SafeTALK is the second initiative to be enacted by CTeen. The first was One Thing I Wish You Knew, which was held in January. The talk featured four young adults who spoke about their dealings with mental illness and how they have moved forward.

According to Dr. Russell Vega, district 12 chief medical examiner, there were two suicides for ages 14-19 in 2017, four in 2018 and one so far in 2019 in Sarasota County. Since 2004 there have been 50 suicides in Sarasota, Manatee and DeSoto counties. 

The training will take place at Chabad of Sarasota, 7700 Beneva Road. A teens-only session will take place noon to 3 p.m. Sept. 8 followed by a 6-9 p.m. community-wide session. A second community-wide session will be from 9 a.m. to noon Sept. 9. 

“It is a very uncomfortable subject, and (the training is) three hours. But at the end of the day, three hours is worth someone's life,” said Hailey Landry, 17, a board member of You Matter, the sister group to CTeen.

Registration is $10 for youth and $20 for anyone over 18, but Steinmetz said no one will be turned away because of financial constraints. Workshops will also offer refreshments and a Q&A session after the training.

Register at For information, contact Steinmetz at 928-2220 or [email protected].

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I’m the Sarasota community reporter, which means I cover the people, places and things of Sarasota. I graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a degree in journalism and digital communication and a minor in English. 

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