Suicide Prevention & Youth Mental Health

Suicide prevention aligns with Greater Mankato Area United Way’s mission to convene the community around important issues and improve lives in the region.


Our focus is on youth in the Greater Mankato area. We intend to eradicate barriers for seeking help and eliminate stereotypes, myths, urban legends and fears related to talking about and seeking assistance with mental health issues. We aspire to build a sense of connection and belonging and to create communities that work cross functionally with each other.

Initiatives and focus areas:

  • Emma Benoit's My Ascension documentary and presentations
  • Hope Squad school-based, peer-to-peer prevention program
  • Resource hub and parent resources
  • Anti-bullying efforts
  • Provider education and quality of care
  • Student feedback groups

More Information: 

Thanks to community members, area schools, businesses and sponsors, we have had the opportunity to bring mental health advocate Emma Benoit to our area several times since 2022 to share her important message of hope and suicide prevention as she shares her documentary My Ascension. More than 10,000 students and community members in our area have been touched by Emma's story.

Now 22, Benoit became dedicated to suicide prevention after surviving a suicide attempt as a 16-year-old. Her attempt resulted in a spinal cord injury that left her paralyzed but helped her find faith and purpose, propelling her on a mission to use her painful experience and miraculous recovery to help others. Visit to learn more about the film.

If you are interested in helping bring Emma to your school, please contact United Way at 507-345-4551 or LauraM[at]


If you are having an emergency, dial 911.

988 is the new national dialing code that offers 24/7 access to trained crisis counselors who can help people experiencing mental health-related distress. People can call or text 988 or chat for themselves or if they are worried about a loved one who may need crisis support. This could be thoughts of suicide, mental health or substance use crisis, or any other kind of emotional distress.