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 launches nation’s first-ever suicide prevention training developed for and by pharmacists
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.”

The convention, which drew over 500 pharmacy professionals from across Washington, Idaho and Montana, offers many continuing education sessions. For the first time in its history (and nationwide), that includes suicide prevention training mandated by state law.

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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. 

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A few of the members of the Huskies for Suicide Prevention & Awareness (HSPA) pose for the Speak Up Project. Photo courtesy of HSPA.

While Husky, Help, and Hope (H3) grant ended late March, its tradition lives on: Footsteps will pound the University of Washington campus pavement for the Husky, Help & Hope (H3) Suicide Prevention Awareness Walk on May 20 – the fourth annual student-produced event since the first walk in 2014.

Beginning with check-in at 10:30AM, opening and closing ceremonies will take place at the beautiful Sylvan Grove and Columns. But more than just getting from Point A to Point B, the walk is about the talk – a healing dialogue.

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Forefront: Innovations in Suicide Prevention