UW Research

Forefront Suicide Prevention



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

Our Vision: To foster a world that openly addresses suicide and mental health with compassion, and where every individual acts on their capacity to prevent suicide

At Forefront Suicide Prevention, we know that most suicides are preventable and that the time to act is now. A social impact center at the University of Washington’s School of Social Work, Forefront Suicide Prevention is focused on ending suicide by championing suicide prevention, leading systemic change, and advocating for the many family and community members affected.

Core Services Offered

Individuals and Communities Take Sustainable Action to Prevent Suicide: Forefront has trained more than 30,000 health and school professionals and community members statewide in suicide awareness, intervention and response skills. Our LEARN ™ Suicide Prevention training is achieving widespread recognition coupling life-saving skills with additional emphasis on locking and limiting access to lethal means. Our Safer Homes, Suicide Aware campaign focuses on safe storage of medications and firearms, especially in communities with high suicide rates.

Championing Systemic Change: Our signature effort is collaborative advocacy with lawmakers, state agencies, and public and private partners. This strategic approach resulted in the passage of nine innovative state laws, a comprehensive suicide-prevention state plan, new prevention programs in health care organizations, and increased funding for crisis response resources. Our education and intervention programs in schools, colleges and universities, and consulting services to health care organizations are delivering life-saving training and critical systems change.

Restoring Hope: The Forefront Community Organizers volunteer program empowers people who have attempted suicide and those who have lost a loved one to suicide. The program builds resilience and restores hope through support networks that help end the isolation often associated with suicide. Newly bereaved individuals can contact our peer-to-peer Forefront Cares mentoring program. Mainstream media can access our tools to write resources-oriented stories that reduce stigma by portraying those with mental illness and thoughts of suicide in a sensitive and accurate light.

Programs: http://www.intheforefront.org/programs/

Funding Information

SAMHSA 2013-2016
DOH 2015-2020
Facebook, Inc. 2014 – Current
Washington Womans Foundation 2015-2017
Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction 2015-2016
Mark Torrance Foundation 2013-2018
Jolene McCaw Family Foundation 2014-2016
Private Contribtions, ongoing
Revenue generation from provision of suicide prevention training, ongoing

Reporting Structure

Dean of Social Work

Related UW Entities

School of Social Work
College of Arts & Sciences: Department of Communication
School of Nursing
College of Education

External Partners

National Association of Social Workers – Washington Chapter