Forefront Suicide Prevention Moves to Digital Delivery with Support from Pivotal Ventures

Forefront Suicide Prevention in the School of Social Work at the University of Washington announced today that it has received a gift from Pivotal Ventures, an investment and incubation company created by Melinda Gates, to support programs to reduce suicides across Washington state.

This generous gift enables Forefront to expand its key programs, Forefront in the Schools, Safer Homes, Suicide Aware, and Training & Consultation. It also supports Forefront’s two-part response to COVID-19: first, transitioning from in-person events to digital delivery for Forefront’s key programs, and second, partnering with other groups at UW to develop a series of free webinars on suicide prevention and mental wellness that are open to the general public, ensuring that critical mental health and suicide awareness skills are available for all to learn during the pandemic.

Forefront in the Schools establishes a long-term collaboration between high schools and the University of Washington. Participating schools develop suicide prevention strategies and crisis response plans. Forty public, private and tribal schools are enrolled in the multi-year program.

Safer Homes, Suicide Aware educates Washingtonians on how to make their homes safer from the risk of suicide by reducing access to lethal means such as medications or firearms, which are commonly used in suicide attempts.

Forefront Training & Consultation provides customized suicide prevention training, particularly for industries and communities that experience higher-than-average rates of suicide.

The gift from Pivotal Ventures supports a fourth Forefront in the Schools cohort, expanded Safer Homes, Suicide Aware outreach across the state, and greater Training & Consultation engagement with groups that are at increased risk of suicide, such as tribal communities, the construction industry and veterans.

“We’re grateful for this gift, particularly during this pandemic when so many are vulnerable.  So many in our state need a message of hope, and support from Pivotal Ventures will help us reach more people than ever,” said Dr. Jenn Stuber, Forefront Center Director.

Forefront Suicide Prevention is a Center of Excellence in the School of Social Work at the University of Washington focused on reducing suicide by empowering individuals and communities to take sustainable action, championing systemic change, and restoring hope.