University of Washington
Need help now?  Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1.800.273.8255
Need Help Now? Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. 1.800.273.8255

Forefront: Innovations in Suicide Prevention

Forefront-Lakeside Industries keynote paves the way to end construction suicides
Handouts from Jennifer Stuber's keynote, "Everyone has a role: what construction managers and supervisors need to know about mental health and suicide prevention." - Photo by Forefront

It was almost business as usual at the Lakeside Industries Leadership Conference at the Semiahmoo Resort: Lively chatter about asphalt mix designs and contract bids, while checking weather apps to see if rain would thwart a highway project deadline.

Then Mike Lee, president of this third-generation family-owned hot mix asphalt producer and paving contractor, kicked off the March 15 keynote session with a bombshell: “It turns out that in the construction industry, death by suicide is quite common.”

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To raise awareness about suicide, the Suicide-Safer Homes Memorial soberly reflects a statistic: 1,129 WA resident lives lost to suicide in 2015. - Photo by Jo Arlow

It was a day that shouted hope: On Feb. 16, over 100 converged in Olympia for Suicide Prevention Education Day – for the third year in a row since Forefront’s inaugural Education Day in 2014. Constituents from 48 districts scurried through the Capitol campus to meet with legislators. For the second year in a row, the Suicide-Safer Homes Memorial’s color-coded headstones represented the toll of suicide loss in this state – 1,129 deaths in 2015.

Every year, the numbers change – but never the mission.

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The Husky, Help & Hope (H3) Walk has become an annual tradition and one of H3's many areas of impact. -- Photo by Sarah Rothman

The federal grant that made the Husky, Help & Hope (otherwise known as H3) initiative on the University of Washington’s Seattle campus possible comes to an end in late March after three whirlwind years. A JED Campus: Forefront partnership will provide the vehicle to continue innovations in social and emotional health and suicide prevention. 

Three years after a stakeholder group banded to launch H3, the University of Washington has remarkably improved its ability to support student mental health and crisis protocols.

Husky, Hope & Help (H3): Then and now

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Insights Blog

Insight Blog

Apr 20, 2017 -- “You have to treat the root of the problem, and not just operate on the symptoms,” explained Ebbem, a Norwegian medical student and my seatmate on a recent flight from Oslo to Amsterdam. “When I did my psychiatric rotations in northern Norway, I would ask people ‘How are you today?’ and they... more
Apr 06, 2017 -- Men in the middle years — that is, men between the ages of 35 to 64 — make up less than a fifth of the U.S. population. They also account for 40 percent of suicides. As I mentioned in the Suicide Prevention Resource Center’s (SPRC) Spark Talk video, because of the large number of... more
Mar 08, 2017 -- It is easy for people (and the media) to blame suicide on one factor — like bullying. But suicide is complex, and usually involves a mix of factors such as depression and anxiety. Similarly, it is also easy for people to praise one factor for decreasing suicide rates. A recent Los Angeles... more

First Person

First Person

We need better mental health resources for our kids
By Matthew Thompson, M.D. A teenage boy has had a fight with his sibling that included choking and threats. The teen tells his parent that he felt bad about the fight, but everything lately has been building up. He feels like he wants to kill himself and shares some disturbingly... more
Understanding why adoptees are at higher risk for suicide
By Maureen McCauley Evans, M.A. Most people view adoption as a happy, even blessed, event. A child finds a new family: nothing but joy, right? Adoption can be happy, a blessing, joyful. For some adoptees, though, adoption is complex, and can be filled with as much loss as love.... more
78 years after Hans Maier’s death, his legacy is recalled, renewed & honored
I never met my grandfather, Hans Maier, who died before I was born as a result of suicide in 1937 when he was 49 years old.  I was surprised and amazed when I learned that so many years after he “gave up on his life,” his legacy was being honored in Frankfurt where he had lived and worked... more

Forefront: Innovations in Suicide Prevention