Program Director for Suicide Prevention Education

Elyssa’s Mission® is a 501©(3) non-profit organization that provides resources to help prevent teen suicide. 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. Elyssa’s Mission® funds and implements the evidence-based SOS Signs of Suicide® Prevention Program in over 200 middle and high schools in Illinois.

Elyssa’s Mission is affiliated with MindWise Innovations, the premier provider of mental health screening programs.


Elyssa’s Mission seeks a full-time employee who can support suicide prevention education in middle/high schools and communities (all ages) in Chicago and surrounding suburbs. This individual will assist with grant writing and fundraising efforts. We are looking for a high-energy, self-starting, creative individual who can work independently and in a team setting.

Suicide Prevention Education:

The Program Director will oversee suicide prevention education in the Chicagoland area. This individual will continue the ongoing relationships with key stakeholders in the Chicagoland area and also develop new partnerships. This individual will train schools (staff, students and parents) in suicide prevention education and will be able to provide hands-on support to junior high and high schools for the implementation of the SOS Signs of Suicide® Prevention Program. This individual will further our reach by leading our efforts to bring suicide prevention education into communities and the workforce. This individual will continue to foster working relationships with behavioral health hospitals and community mental health agencies. In addition, they will join task forces related to suicide prevention and keep the mission up-to-date on state policies.

Additional Responsibilities:

The Program Director will be responsible for collaborating on grant writing proposals to foundations and other grant-making organizations and will persuasively communicate the organization’s mission. This individual will share this responsibility in assembling and submitting grant requests, establishing and maintaining relationships with foundation’s contacts, conducting prospect research and maintaining a calendar of submissions and other deadlines. In addition, this individual will assist with fundraising events.


The job responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

Key Responsibilities:

  • Collaborate with the President to create a plan which will increase visibility in the city of Chicago
  • Represent EM on the IL Suicide Prevention Alliance (ISPA)
  • Know and be up-to-date on suicide prevention policies relevant to our work
  • Market the suicide prevention program in the city of Chicago to key stakeholders and surrounding suburbs
  • Implement the SOS program at designated schools (planning, training, teaching and follow-up on data collection)
  • Train school staff and parents on suicide prevention education
  • Maintain relationships with selected schools that are currently using the SOS Program
  • Develop working relationships with MindWise Innovations.
  • Attend and/or train at conferences and workshops related to suicide prevention education
  • Help launch suicide prevention education in the workforce and in other community settings
  • Lead communication efforts with partnering law firm pertaining to contracts
  • Share responsibility for writing and submitting grant proposals
  • Assist with planning and implementation of upcoming fundraisers


  • Master’s Degree in social work/counseling or other related field required
  • Minimum 3-5 years of relevant work experience
  • Understanding mental health and related issues strongly desired
  • Strong public speaking skills with previous experience
  • Excellent written communication skills
  • Self-motivated, detail-oriented, highly-organized
  • A high level of computer literacy required, including familiarity with Microsoft Excel and PowerPoint
  • Candidate possesses a positive attitude and can work flexibly, both independently and within teams

The employee will report directly to the President of the Board of Elyssa’s Mission.

Starting salary negotiable based on qualifications and experience.

Please submit resume and cover letter to

Cover letter should address the following questions:

  • Why do you want to work in suicide prevention?
  • What relevant work experience makes you qualified for this position?
  • What are your salary requirements?