LifeAct In The News

LifeAct In the News

Press Release:  December 7, 2018

Frank Fantozzi Receives The Medical Mutual 2018 Pillar Award For His Service and Dedication to LifeAct


LifeAct: Jack Binder,  CEO, Liz Longenecker,  Development Associate, Frank Fantozzi, Lifeact Board Member, Ruth Clemens,  Development Director

Frank Fantozzi, LifeAct Board Member, received the Medical Mutual 2018 Pillar Award for Community Service as Nonprofit Board Executive of the Year on December 6, 2018 due to his service and dedication to LifeAct. Medical Mutual along with co-founding partner, Smart Business, recognized organizations and individuals based on outstanding service to communities and nonprofit organizations.   

LifeAct has been fortunate to have the tremendous and loyal support of Frank Fantozzi for more than eight years. Frank has served on many committees, and now serves as the Advancement Chair and Co-Chair of the Annual Fund Committee. Frank started with LifeAct when it was still under the name of Suicide Prevention Education Alliance (SPEA) and helped to facilitate the re-branding to LifeAct. Frank explains, “When we changed our name from SPEA to LifeAct, it really marked a cultural shift and focus on the positive work that we do. Our goal was to increase public awareness to get past the negative stigma of mental illness, depression and suicide and bring it to the forefront as something that can be spoken about more easily and openly.” 

A motivation for Frank to get involved with LifeAct was a friend who took his life in high school. Frank often wonders if he had attended one of LifeAct’s programs that teaches teens to recognize the signs and symptoms of depression and suicide that this tragedy could have been prevented. A sentiment echoed by many who experience loss to suicide.


“I am most proud of our increasing outreach. Last year we educated 30,000 students with our signature programming. More than 2,500 came forward seeking help for themselves or someone they know. That is impressive given the size of our staff, board and current funding.  I am proud of our committed team at LifeAct and the trustees who donate their time. We have grown significantly and will continue to do so to meet the demand placed on our organization.”

 – Frank Fantozzi


Frank is the founder and president of Planned Financial Services. He lives with his wife Paulette in Brecksville, Ohio, and has two daughters, Nicole and Natalie. Born and raised in Cleveland, Frank is proud of, involved in, and committed to his city and its surrounding communities. We are proud to have Frank as a member of the LifeAct Team and congratulate him on his well-deserved award!

For more information about volunteering with LifeAct go to the volunteer information page on our website or fill out a volunteer application.

Press Release:  February 22, 2018

John Trautwein, founder of The Will to Live Foundation named Keynote Speaker for LifeAct’s Into the Light™ Walk 2018

LifeAct is thrilled to announce that John Trautwein, founder of The Will to Live Foundation has been named the Keynote Speaker for LifeAct’s 14th Annual Into the Light™ Walk which will be held at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo on Sunday, April 22, 2018. Back by popular demand, John was LifeAct’s inspirational Walk Keynote Speaker in 2013. His motivational message of hope and healing after the tragic loss of his son to suicide will surely touch and transform each and every person in the audience.

John, a former professional baseball player for the Expos and Red Sox, suffered the tragic loss of his oldest child, Will, who took his life in October of 2010. Just 15 years old, Will was a freshman in high school, and his death devastated not only the Trautwein family, but the entire North Atlanta Community.

Taking this pain and using it to prevent others from experiencing a similar loss, John and his wife Susie started a nonprofit foundation called The Will To Live Foundation to help spread the message of suicide awareness and to help teens recognize the wonderful bonds of friendship. Friendships that encourage each other find the good in life!

Since the foundation started, John has made well over 500 speeches and presentations to parents, coaches, teachers, kids and communities across America, spreading the message of “love” and “hope”. The Trautweins have turned the tragedy of losing their son into a positive message that improves the lives of “Will to Live” kids everywhere.

The Will To Live Foundation has raised over one million dollars in an effort to spread teen suicide awareness and mental health education through their positive Life Teammates platform. In 2012, John and Susie were awarded the Presidential Point of Light award for their work with The Will To Live Foundation.

Press Release: September 29, 2017

LifeAct Celebrates 25 Years of Saving Lives

CLEVELAND, OH –  LifeAct (formerly known as Suicide Prevention Education Alliance) will be celebrating 25 years of saving lives at the special evening event, Celebrate, which will be held at LAGO on the East Bank on Friday, October 6. This momentous occasion will honor the legacy of the suicide prevention organization’s founder, Lyman H. “Tim” Treadway. Tim, who lost his beloved son to suicide, developed an adolescent education program on depression and suicide risk so that other families would not have to endure the loss of their child to this epidemic.

Since 2000, LifeAct’s trained instructors have reached more than 250,000 teens with their signature programs “Recognizing Teen Depression and Preventing Suicide” & “UROK” at no cost to the schools. Approximately 25,000 students are educated each school year and just last year alone, 2,130 teens were identified as at-risk and referred for help. Elaine Myers, a retired school teacher who’s been a LifeAct instructor for 12 years, says “Just the fact that we are willing to go in and talk about subjects that most people aren’t comfortable talking about – depression, suicide, stress – is a help to students who might be struggling. It gives kids permission to open up.”

Tim’s tiny nonprofit has grown into something truly remarkable.

John Trautwein, former professional baseball player for the Expos & Red Sox, will be the keynote speaker for the Celebrate program. John and his wife Susie tragically lost their son, Will, to suicide in 2010. As a result, the Trautwein’s created “The Will to Live Foundation” to work closely with kids to help spread the message of teen suicide awareness. John has delivered more than 500 speeches and presentations to parents, coaches, teachers kids, and communities across America.

Approximately 300 guests are expected to attend Celebrate in support of LifeAct’s mission to prevent teen suicide by educating youth to recognize depression and the warning signs of suicide and access help for themselves and/or their peers.

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See below for more information about founder, Tim Treadway & keynote speaker, John Trautwein:

Lyman H. “Tim” Treadway III, LifeAct Founder
December 29, 1929 – September 3, 2016

It says a great deal about Tim Treadway that not long after his beloved son took his life, Tim launched a nonprofit in Cleveland with a mission of preventing suicide. Enlisting the expertise and collaboration of top mental health professionals, Tim developed an adolescent education program on depression and suicide risk. Relentless, Tim dedicated countless hours and provided tremendous financial support to his cause. He tirelessly raised funds from friends, family, and foundations, many who have generously supported LifeAct since its inception.

Twenty-five years later, Tim’s tiny nonprofit has grown into something truly remarkable. Since 2000, LifeAct has reached more than 250,000 young people, through its program “Recognizing Teen Depression and Preventing Suicide”. Just last year alone, 2,130 teens were identified as at-risk and referred for help. While we are gathered this evening to celebrate this most important achievement of Tim’s full life, we also pledge that our efforts to prevent suicide will continue as the need never goes away. If Tim were here, he would modestly ask that we focus on the mission, and not the man. This evening, we do both!

John Trautwein, Keynote Speaker & Honorary Co-Chair

  John Trautwein, former professional baseball player for the Expos & Red Sox, suffered the tragic loss of his oldest child who took his own life in October, 2010. Will, just 15 years old, was a freshman in high school, and his death devastated not only the Trautwein Family but the entire North Atlanta community.

As a result, John and his wife Susie started a nonprofit foundation called “The Will to Live Foundation” to work closely with kids to not only help spread the message of teen suicide awareness in the community but also to help these teens recognize the wonderful bonds of friendship – “life teammate bonds” that help each other find the good in life!

Since the foundation started, John has made well over 500 speeches and presentations to parents, coaches, teachers and kids communities across America, spreading not only the suicide awareness message, but also the foundation’s message of “love” and “hope” turning the tragedy of the loss of his son, into a positive message that improves the lives of the “Will to Live” kids everywhere.

The Will to Live Foundation has raised over one million dollars in an effort to spread the message of teen suicide awareness, and mental health education through their positive Life Teammates platform. In 2012, John and his wife Susie were awarded the “Presidential Point of Light” award for their work with The Will To Live Foundation.

 

November 2, 2016

PRESS RELEASE

Mt. Sinai Awards LifeAct with Important Efficacy Grant

The Mt. Sinai Health Care Foundation awarded a grant of $32,500 to LifeAct to support a one-time special project to evaluate the efficacy of LifeAct’s suicide prevention program for high school students, “Recognizing Teen Depression and Preventing Suicide”.  LifeAct is headquartered in Cleveland.   

LifeAct has entered into a partnership with University Hospitals to perform a rigorous scientific evaluation using SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Agency) criteria.  Programs that meet SAMHSA “Best Practices” standards are listed on its National Registry.  Registry listing would make LifeAct’s programs eligible for SAMHSA program support, adding a sustainable earned revenue stream to its annual income sources. 

Last school year, LifeAct’s depression awareness and suicide prevention programs were delivered to over 25,000 high school and middle school students in Northeast Ohio.  1,790 of those students came forward seeking help for themselves or a friend.  Shockingly, suicide is the leading cause of death for Ohio teens, after accidents, and the situation is escalating. 

LifeAct was founded in 1992 by Lyman H. Treadway.  For information about the middle school or the high school education programs or other services provided by LifeAct, contact Mary McKenna at (216) 464-3471 or mmckenna@LifeAct.org.

Press Release: 5/3/16ohio non profit excellence awardsoano logo

LifeAct is Awarded All-Ohio Nonprofit Excellence Award

13151671_10209560367231042_1351815664937690735_n (2)LifeAct was awarded the All-Ohio Nonprofit Excellence Award at the 2016 Ohio Nonprofit Conference in Columbus on Tuesday, May 3, 2016. This award recognizes creativity, execution, achievement, and overall excellence of a specific project or program completed by an Ohio nonprofit organization for Small to Mid-Size Budget Category (operating under one million dollars).

In 2017, LifeAct will be celebrating 25 years of educating teens about depression awareness and suicide prevention.  LifeAct’s mission is to prevent suicide by teaching young people to recognize the warning signs of depression and to come forward seeking help for themselves or others. This early identification helps to initiate the first step in getting assistance – connecting those students with the appropriate professionals. In 2014, LifeAct formed a strategic partnership with University Hospitals Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital and Frontline Service to complete the circle of care.

“This important recognition is a testament to our volunteers, staff, Board of Trustees and especially our instructors. Receiving this award is truly a validation of the results that we are achieving with Northeast Ohio teens” said Jack Binder, LifeAct CEO. “LifeAct’s dedicated instructors have taught well over 180,000 middle and high school students at no cost to the schools.  In 2015 alone, LifeAct instructors taught 23,283 students in Northeast Ohio, and 1,635 came forward asking for additional help.”

For more information about LifeAct call 216-464-3471 or visit our website at www.lifeact.org                 

Pictured: Andrea Floro -Office Manager

Press Release 6/24/15

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COMMUNITY WEST AWARDS GRANT TO BE USED IN WESTERN CUYAHOGA AND LORAIN COUNTIES

The Community West Foundation awarded a grant of $10,000 to LifeAct, formerly known as Suicide Prevention Education Alliance (SPEA), headquartered in Cleveland.  The grant will support the delivery of LifeAct’s in-school suicide prevention program for high school students in Western Cuyahoga and Lorain Counties.  The program, “Recognizing Teen Depression and Preventing Suicide,” has been delivered to over 170,000 high school students in eight counties in Northeast Ohio.   

During the in-school sessions, taught by LifeAct instructors, high school students learn how to identify the signs of depression in themselves and other individuals and where to go for help. LifeAct teaches students to be the first line of defense in preventing suicide.

During the past school year, the program was delivered to nearly 20,000 high school students, of which over 1,200 came forward seeking help for themselves or a friend.  Shockingly, one in five high school students seriously consider suicide, which is the leading cause of death for Ohio teens after accidents.  And the situation is escalating. 

LifeAct was founded in 1992 by Lyman H. Treadway.  For information about educational programs provided by LifeAct, contact Mary McKenna at (216) 464-3471 or mmckenna@LifeAct.org.

 

Press Release 10/12/15

 

LifeAct Welcomes Three New Trustees

LifeAct is pleased to announce three new board members who will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the organization.  Dr. John Hertzer, Division Chief of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, UH Case Medical Center, joined the Board as President of LifeAct.  Daniel G. Berick, Partner at Squire Patton Boggs and Jim Hopkins, CEO of CPI-HR joined LifeAct’s Board of Trustees at the Annual Meeting bringing the total number of board members to 20. 

Mike deWindt, Senior Managing Director and CEO of Gates Group Capital is Chairman of the Board and has been actively involved with LifeAct for seven years.

LifeAct (formerly known as Suicide Prevention Education Alliance) is a non-profit organization that focuses on educating teens about depression awareness and suicide prevention in Northeast Ohio.   In the 2014-2015 school year alone, LifeAct educators taught over 20,000 teens in 120 middle schools and high schools.  It was reported that 1,354 students came forward needing help for themselves or someone they know just last year.

Daniel G. Berick, Trustee

 

John Hertzer

Dr. John Hertzer, M.D.
LifeAct President

Jim Hopkins

Jim Hopkins, Trustee

Mike DeWindt

Mike deWindt, Chairman of the Board    

Press Release 3/11/15

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THE RIDGECLIFF FOUNDATION AWARDS LIFEACT $20,000 TO SUPPORT SUICIDE PREVENTION EDUCATION

The Ridgecliff Foundation awarded a grant of $20,000 to LifeAct (formerly known as Suicide Prevention Education Alliance), headquartered in Cleveland.  The grant will support the delivery of LifeAct’s educational program, “Recognizing Teen Depression and Preventing Suicide”, which has been delivered to more than 150,000 high school students in 155 high schools in Northeast Ohio.    

LifeAct teaches students to be the first line of defense in preventing suicide.  During the in-school sessions, taught by LifeAct’s trained, credentialed instructors, students   learn how to identify individuals who may be suffering from major depression or are at risk of suicide. The lifesaving program teaches teens how to respond when a friend threatens suicide and where to go for help. 

In the 2013-14 school year, 960 students came forward seeking help for themselves or a friend.  Shockingly, one in five high school students seriously consider suicide, the leading cause of death for Ohio teens after accidents, and the situation is escalating. 

The Ridgecliff Foundation provides grants to mental health agencies, chemical dependency agencies and organizations that have a mental health or chemical dependency component in order to fund programs which promote research, education, and patient care in the field of mental health and chemical dependency in Northeast Ohio.  Emphasis is placed on programs affecting children and families, early diagnosis, prevention, dual diagnosis (co-morbidity) and minority populations.

LifeAct was founded in 1992 by Lyman H. Treadway.  For information about either the high school or the middle school education programs or other services provided by LifeAct, contact Mary McKenna at (216) 464-3471 or mmckenna@lifeact.org.

 

Press Release 3/10/15

Dan Berick Photo

LIFEACT ANNOUNCES NEW TRUSTEE DANIEL BERICK

LifeAct, formerly known as Suicide Prevention Education Alliance (SPEA), is pleased to announce Daniel Berick to LifeAct’s Board of Trustees.  Daniel, Partner at Squire Patton Boggs, is the Americas Chair of the Global Corporate Practice. Dan focuses his practice on mergers and acquisitions, securities law, corporate finance and corporate transactional matters. Daniel will join a board of 22 LifeAct trustees.  LifeAct’s mission is to educate Northeast Ohio teens to recognize the warning signs of depression in themselves and others and prevent suicide.

Press Release 9/11/2014

The Honor Project awarded a  $25,000 grant to LifeAct, formerly known as Suicide Prevention Education Alliance, to support delivery of LifeAct’s proven suicide prevention program, “Recognizing Teen Depression and Preventing Suicide” to 9th and 10th grade students in Northeast Ohio.   

The second tier distribution of The Honor Project, organized by Judge John J. Russo of Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court and administered by NE Ohio law firm Dworken & Bernstein, provided more than $6 million in excess money from class-action lawsuits to 226 charities in every county of Ohio.

LifeAct instructors teach students how to identify individuals who may be suffering from major depression or are at risk of suicide. The program also teaches teens how to respond when a friend threatens suicide and where to go for help.  LifeAct teaches students to be the first line of defense in preventing suicide.

LIFEACT IN THE NEWS