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Why I am passionate about what I do!


Many of you are aware that one reason I am so passionate about bringing awareness of mental illness to the Church and to our communities is because our own child was diagnosed with a severe mental illness as a teen.  What most of you don't know is that 2 years ago, on September 10, 2015, I lost my younger sister to suicide.  Luanne was just younger than me and this was her third suicide attempt.  Her first attempt was at age 16 when she was rescued within moments of death.  Luanne lived with a severe mental illness.  I'll never forget the day I received the devastating news.  It was September 10, 2015.  I had just gotten home from shopping and was sitting in my car in the driveway, sharing a facebook post in which I was thanking President Barack Obama for declaring September 10th World Suicide Prevention Day.  I had just hit the 'post' button when my phone rang.  It was my older sister with the devastating news that Luanne was gone...that she had completed suicide.  My heart sank.  I was in shock.  It was as if what I was hearing was not even real.  This was the first of my mother's 12 children to leave us and our lives will never be the same.  The grief that comes when a loved one dies by suicide is very deep.  We are left with so many unanswered questions.  Looking back, we realize that Luanne was reaching out for help.  She was looking for a way out of taking her life.  She was looking for hope.  However, no one knew how to help her because we were not trained to recognize when a person was experiencing a mental health crisis and we didn't know how to respond.

September 10th is World Suicide Prevention Day

'Take a minute, change a life'

The theme for this years Suicide Prevention Day is, 'Take a minute, change a life'.  Will you please pray with me this Sunday, September 10th, for all those affected by mental illness and suicide?  Pastors, will you please pray from the pulpit for all those in your community who are living with mental illness, including anxiety and depression and for all those experiencing suicidal thoughts?  There is no better way to break the stigma associated with mental illness than by praying for those in need and mentioning this once taboo topic from the pulpit.  This lets your congregation know that mental illness exists, and that it exists in your community and in your church!  In fact, 1 in 4 people live with a diagnosed mental illness.  That is 25% of YOUR community...25% of YOUR church...25% of pastors, etc.  Mental illness is no respecter of persons.  It affects people from every walk of life, every race, every religion, every social group.

September 11-17th is National Suicide Prevention Week

800,000 people die by suicide every year and 25% more make suicide attempts. 22 veterans die by suicide every day.  Will you please join me in praying for all those affected by mental illness and suicide during the month of September?  Will you please join the faith community across America in praying specifically this weekend of September 10th?  Will you reach out to someone who comes to mind during National Suicide Prevention Week Sept. 11-17th and just let that person know that you care...that they are not alone?  Watch my YouTube video for more info

Thank you for partnering with me to change a life!

If I can assist you in bringing awareness to your community, church or organization through public speaking, ministering, or training in Mental Health First Aid or Support Group Leader Training, please contact me at 815-670-4173 or email: 

Other helpful resources:
Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention:

International Association for Suicide Prevention:




My younger sister, Luanne

Our Nations Doctors, the Surgeon General & the National Institute of Health, state the following facts:
  1. ½ of all adults will suffer from a mental illness in their lifetime
  2. ½ of all chronic mental illness begins by the age of 14
  3. 1 in 5 children will have a mental illness by age 18
  4. 90% of people who die by suicide also had a mental illness
  5. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among 12-34 year olds and the tenth leading cause of death among all other ages
  6. 1/3 of all alcohol abusers and ½ of all drug abusers also battle mental illness
  7. 25% of those in homeless shelters are mentally ill and at least 50% of those living on the streets have a mental illness
  8. 22 veterans die by suicide every day  
60 million Americans will experience mental illness in the coming year which is 1 in 5 people. This means that we all know someone who is struggling with a mental illness, including: depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, eating disorder, bipolar, and some additionally struggle with substance abuse.

Research studies show that when individuals are struggling with a mental illness, usually the first place they turn to is the CHURCH!
I believe the Church is the most influential voice in our communities!

Ministry needs:. 
Our BIGGEST NEED is monthly supporters. 
  • One time donations and monthly financial support in the amount of $4,500 in order to continue reaching the Church in cities and towns in EVERY State.  To support my ministry financially click 
    here and make your donation.  You can also send a check to: Mental Health USA, 7899 Grant Creek RD NW, Bemidji, MN 56601

President, Mental Health USA
7899 Grant Creek RD NW,
Bemidji, MN 56601

Restoration Ministries

Valerie Saviano | Restoration Ministries | 815-670-4173 | 
Giving Address:  7899 Grant Creek RD NW Bemidji, MN 56601
Online Giving:

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