LifeAct teaches students to recognize the warning signs of depression and suicidal behavior so that they know to reach out for help for themselves or for others. LifeAct is not a crisis counseling service, but we give students the tools and professional resources so that they can get the help that they need.
Who is LifeAct?
LifeAct’s mission is to prevent suicide by teaching young people to recognize the warning signs of suicide in themselves and their peers, and to seek professional help. Our trained, credentialed instructors deliver LifeAct’s in-school educational program, Recognizing Teen Depression and Preventing Suicide, to more than 20,000 Ohio youth every year. In the 2013-14 school year alone, 960 students came forward for help after the program.
LifeAct instructors have presented its lifesaving program to over 170,000 students in more than 165 Ohio schools. Research-based analysis shows that students who experience the program are significantly more likely to seek help for themselves or others. LifeAct teaches students to be the first line of defense in preventing suicide. LifeAct saves children’s lives.
LifeAct has entered into new collaborations with University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital and FrontLine Service, partners who we rely upon as vital links in the chain of suicide prevention. They will help expand the educational, assessment, and referral services that LifeAct makes available to teens.
LifeAct was founded in 1992 by Lyman H. (Tim) Treadway who lost his son to suicide. In its first decade, the organization trained more than 5,000 professionals, including teachers, school counselors, social workers, physicians, nurses, clergy, and law enforcement officers, to see the warning signs of suicide and take steps to keep children safe. The organization was originally established as a chapter of the research-focused American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP).
In 2004, the Board of Trustees, with input from a scientific advisory board comprised of experts from University Hospitals Case Medical Center, separated from AFSP to become an independent entity focused on educating Cleveland-area youth and supporting local survivors who have lost a loved one to suicide, Suicide Prevention Education Alliance (SPEA). In 2014 we changed our name to LifeAct, to reflect the positive, pro-active approach we have to educate our youth in the prevention of teen suicide.