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

Two years later, a look at suicide prevention in three rural Washington counties
Deception Pass at Whidbey Island of Island County. Photo by Rain Rannu.

After making inroads in areas with the state’s highest suicide rates, Forefront’s rural initiative has closed one chapter – while continuing another.

Coalitions have been forged and thousands have received suicide prevention training and resources since the 2015 launch of a rural initiative funded by a pooled grant with Washington Women’s Foundation and the state Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI). In the first year, the grant focused on three counties with the state’s highest suicide rates: Island, Okanogan, and Stevens County.

The Washington Women Foundation (WWF) grant, which provided $50,000 in each of two consecutive years, ended June 31. But this month, a renewed grant from the OSPI begins its third fiscal year.


Pharmacy professionals engage in a suicide prevention role-play exercise. Photo courtesy Lejla Mlivic. 

A message of proactive suicide prevention – and hope – reached a critical audience last weekend: A packed house of about pharmacy professionals at the Northwest Pharmacy Convention.

Jennifer Stuber, faculty director of Forefront, a social impact center at the University of Washington School of Social Work, co-delivered a seminal three-hour training with Brandy Singer, Pharm. D., BCPP: “Suicide Awareness & Referral for Pharmacy Professionals.”

“Talk to every patient about secure storage and disposal of medications,” they urged. “If we do this routinely, it will save lives.”


By Lisa Wahbe

On a rainy Saturday in April, they came together at the University of Washington to showcase projects and share ideas for a Day of Hope: Young Leaders Suicide Prevention Conference.

Hands shot up in the air, with Forefront in the Schools teams – ranging from three to 12 students with one to two adult advisors or sponsors – eager to share strategies and showcase projects their high schools had implemented over the past year to address mental health and suicide awareness.

Many students had been personally touched by anxiety, depression, or the loss of a friend. School counselors and mentors had come in support of their students, and with their own stories to tell. 


Insights Blog

Insight Blog

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Forefront: Innovations in Suicide Prevention