Our Mission – Suicide Prevention

Elyssa’s Mission® provides resources to help prevent teen suicide. The community-based organization was founded in 2006 in honor of Elyssa, a bright, gifted and outgoing Chicagoland girl who bravely but unsuccessfully battled post-traumatic stress disorder and depression. Elyssa’s Mission® provides hands-on support to area public and private schools and community organizations in order to educate students, staff and parents on how to recognize and assist those teens most at-risk. We have helped educate over 70,000 students since inception.

Elyssa’s Mission® funds and implements the evidence-based SOS Signs of Suicide® program in approximately 50 middle and high schools in Illinois through our partnership with Screening for Mental Health®, a Massachusetts-based organization that pioneered the concept of large-scale mental health screening and education programs. We assist with all components of the SOS program including planning, teaching and training for staff and parents.

Upcoming Events

 Please join us for the Race to Save Young Lives“ at  Arlington Park Racetrack on Sunday, September 7, 2014. Please save the date!




In the News

Please read  The North Shore Weekend’s recent profile on Elyssa’s Mission President, Joanne Meyers. She is on a mission to help depressed teens… “Everyday I can’t wait to get to work because I’m extremely motivated to save lives.” Read full story here






The Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) is a national survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that identifies priority health risk behaviors among high school students.  The newly-released 2013 results demonstrate that suicide continues to be a significant concern, nationally, as well as locally:


With gratitude and thanks Elyssa’s Mission would like to acknowledge the Northbrook Woman’s Club for their generous support of our work and to help fund the Elyssa’s Mission SOS Signs of Suicide® program in Northbrook schools (Field Middle School, Northbrook Junior High, Wood Oaks Junior High, Glenbrook South High School and Glenbrook North High School) for the upcoming 2014-2015 school year.

The Northbrook Women’s Club/Foundation in Northbrook is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to supporting the community through philanthropy and service, while fostering personal fulfillment through shared interests. Since the inception of the Northbrook Woman’s Club in 1955, the Club and later the Foundation have raised and donated more than $800,000 for college scholarships and grants to local service organizations.

The Karen Colina Wilson Foundation recently granted funds to Elyssa’s Mission in support of the  EveryBody Matters program. The EveryBody  Matters program is designed to build resiliency in  teens, giving them the tools they need to face life’s  adversities.

The Karen Colina Foundation grant will allow Elyssa’s Mission to implement the EveryBody Matters program at Field Middle School in Northbrook Illinois in the winter and spring of 2014.

Started in 2006, the Karen Colina Wilson Foundation has as its mission statement “Making a positive difference in the lives of woman and children.” The foundation provides grants and programs to children, youth and women to enhance their health, safety, and well-being and provide development opportunities in the areas of education, art, literature and music to improve their quality of life.

Windy City Live After Dark Features Elyssa’s Mission
In todays WCL After Dark segment about mental health awareness and suicide prevention, Joanne Meyers, founder of Elyssa’s Mission, talks about her daughter Elyssa and why she started Elyssa’s Mission to Save Young Lives. To view click here

National Screening Day, October 10, 2013 CBS Channel 2 News highlighted the importance of National Screening Day by featuring Elyssa’s Mission, Alan Meyers and Cornerstone Counseling Center in Chicago discussing the importance of screening and the signs of suicide. Click here for full live segment



The Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) Foundation recently granted funds to Elyssa’s Mission in support of our mission to provide resources to support at-risk teens and prevent suicide. We would like to acknowledge their support and generous grant that will fund the complete SOS Signs of Suicide® program (SOS) in two new middle and/or high schools.

CBOT provides a valuable service to a number of not-for-profit agencies serving the Chicagoland area through their grant program. The CBOT Foundation is specifically interested in “organizations and projects that support children in need, education, seniors, wildlife, social and human services within the global communities where we live and do business.”

Sponsors for Elyssa’s Mission Race to Save Young Lives: