University of Washington
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Forefront -- innovations in suicide prevention

Dad gives back to help prevent suicides
Thomas Soukakos will cater Forefront’s September celebration and fundraiser again this year. — photo by Sue Lockett John

Everyone has a role in suicide prevention, and Thomas Soukakos participates with all his generous heart. The Seattle restaurateur regularly reaches out to new mothers and fathers facing postpartum depression (PPD), the condition that claimed his wife Carol’s life 12 years ago. His two Vios cafes are known for embracing families and welcoming young children. And, again this year, he will support Forefront’s suicide-prevention mission by serving his Greek specialties at its fall fundraising event.

Training Director Sue Eastgard carries out Forefront's commitment to first-rate implementation of the state's new training requirements. — Photo by Katie M. Simmons

It can be hard to ask someone if he’s thinking of killing himself—especially if you don’t realize that asking is the right thing to do. It’s not easy to put your own fears or cultural biases aside and respond with the calm and compassion a suicidal person so desperately needs. Most front-line professionals will tell you it’s something they didn’t learn in school. So they’re learning and practicing in workshops like one I recently visited at the University of Washington.

  The first wave of the Husky Help and Hope (H3) suicide prevention walk moves toward Drumheller Fountain. — Photo by Alexander Tran

More than $7,000 will go to suicide prevention work at the University of Washington thanks to the more than 300 participants who gathered at Red Square for the Husky Help and Hope (H3) suicide prevention walk on May 18. Organized jointly by Huskies for Suicide Prevention Awareness (HSPA) and Forefront, all funds raised from the walk will benefit H3’s efforts to increase suicide awareness and prevention efforts on campus.