How much does your program cost?
We are proud to offer our program to every school at no cost to them. Thanks to our dedicated development team, and the support of individuals, foundations and corporations that are committed to bettering the lives of young people in our community, we make it so that there are no barriers between young people and the critical information/skills they learn in our program. To find out more about how we are supported, click here.
Why is your program over 2 days?
Depression, suicide, anxiety, and stress are heavy, yet important topics for young people to understand. We split our program into two days to give students time to process the information, come up with questions/concerns, and really think about how what they are learning applies to their life. It also gives our instructors time to gather questions/concerns from the students, and prepare answers and information for them to share the next day.
Do students really open up to your instructors?
Yes! Teenagers are not known for being very open with their personal, private thoughts and feelings, but during our program we give students numerous ways to share how they’re feeling with us, and many of them take that opportunity.
Often students share not only concerns about their mental health, but other struggles they may be experiencing, such as gender identity/sexual orientation and abuse. LifeAct instructors will share all concerns with the school.
What happens if a student is in crisis?
If, at any point during our program, we believe a student to be at high risk of harming themselves or someone else, we immediately pass that along to the crisis/emergency response team at the school. If a student is acting out, or experiencing behavioral difficulties, we ask the classroom teacher to step in and we follow their guidance.
Additionally, we read through everything that students turn in to us before we leave a school—so that way, anything concerning can be shared immediately with appropriate staff.
At the start of our program, we let students know that we will be talking about depression and suicide—at that time, we invite anyone that is uncomfortable or immediately upset to step out. The teacher will provide them with a pass to the school counselor’s office.
What can I do to prepare students for your program?
It’s important for students to know that people at their school care about this topic, and are ready to talk about it with them. At least one week prior to the program, LifeAct contacts the school via email and provides them with talking points to help prepare students. We also encourage that this email be shared with students’ families.
We also have some great resources for educators on our website, including in-class and take-home activities related to our program, as well as links to videos, articles and webinars related to depression and suicide prevention.
What happens if I need to reschedule or there’s a snow day?
If you need to reschedule for any reason, contact the instructor with whom you scheduled originally as well as the main LifeAct office at 216-329-9538 as well as the emails below, and they will let you know when their next availability is. If you cannot find alternate dates that work, the Programming Department will find the next instructor who is available.
Abby Brown- Program Director: firstname.lastname@example.org
Anna Love- Program Development and Logistics Manager: email@example.com
What can my school do to prepare for LifeAct programs?
LifeAct Instructors are not counselors or clinicians. Please alert your counseling staff that LifeAct is coming to your school to ensure they are prepared to follow-up with students. LifeAct believes in trauma-informed care. If there are any students who may have past experiences or trauma related to suicide, depression, anxiety, in themselves or in family/community circles, please be prepared to make accommodations and to support that student. If you utilize an outside counseling service, please loop them into communication and ensure they are also prepared. As you work to schedule LifeAct programs, please let the Programming Department know if there is anything sensitive occurring at your school that would impact our programming. (Ex: recent loss, special celebrations, high number of students with differing abilities, many students with suicidal ideation, etc.)
How can I give my feedback after getting the program?
We love hearing from teachers, counselors, and administrators who have interacted with our program about ways that we can improve. If you have had LifeAct at your school and would like to provide feedback, please fill out our electronic form here.
Additionally, the Programming Department sends out surveys after you receive the program so you can give your feedback in a constructive and honest way!
Do you have any other programs?
LifeAct now offers Gatekeeper training for Adults from the QPR Institute. This 60-minutes, no cost training teaches the participant to know how to Question a person who may be having suicidal ideation; Persuade them to talk and agree to get help; and Refer them to appropriate mental health resources. Gatekeeper training is offered virtually or in-person. Click here for more information.
Additionally, LifeAct offers a stress management lesson to help students in grades 5-12 learn how to manage stress and anxiety. Click here for more information.
Who are your instructors? What are their backgrounds?
We have an amazing team of passionate instructors—and they represent a wide variety of professional backgrounds and life experiences. When choosing our instructors, what we look for most is a passion for suicide prevention and mental wellness and the ability to connect with kids in the classroom and confidently convey this critical information to them. All of our new instructors undergo program-specific training and shadow seasoned instructors before teaching the program on their own—in addition to the continuous professional development that our whole team participates in.
Here are some of the previous experiences they’ve had before delivering the LifeAct Program:
- Prevention specialist and chemical dependency counseling
- School Counselor
Our instructors are all licensed Registered Applicants and have two years to get their OCPSA (Ohio Certified Prevention Specialist Assistant) certification.
How do I know LifeAct programs are safe for my students?
LifeAct partners closely with the adolescent psychiatric specialists at UH Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospitals to ensure our programs provide up-to-date, evidence-based information. LifeAct medical director Dr. John Hertzer and his team completed a research study in 2017 that proved the following:
- LifeAct’s program is safe—not only was there no increase at all in suicidal thoughts or behavior after seeing our program, but students were actually more comfortable with the topic.
- LifeAct’s program is educational—students reported being dramatically more able to recognize the warning signs of depression and suicide after seeing our program.
- LifeAct’s program is dramatically effective—students were far more willing to reach out to an adult for help (for themselves or a friend) when they needed it.
How can I support your organization?
There are several ways that you can support LifeAct—we have events to participate in, volunteer opportunities, as well as numerous ways to make an impact with a donation. Each year, we hold two primary events:
- Into the Light Walk: an event to celebrate and honor people that we’ve lost to suicide, we have vendor tables, speakers, resources, and a guided walk around the Cleveland Metropolitan Zoo
- Links for Life Golf Tournament: a golf outing hosted at Kirtland Country Club with food, drink, and our signature “Trip of a Lifetime” raffle.
Find out more about our events here.
How can my students get involved with your organization?
Our Youth Advisory Board is an amazing opportunity for students to engage with their community, make a difference, experience how a non-profit works, and bolster their college applications. We have a great group of students from many different schools that take part, and the group is an integral part of our organization. To learn more about our Youth Advisory Board, go here.
Do you offer programs for adults?
Yes! In addition to our two-signature school-based programs, we now offer QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) training to teachers, administrators, parents, families, and any adults interested in becoming a QPR gatekeeper. For more information about this offering, go here.
Do you offer your program to out-of-school time programs?
Yes—we want as many students as possible to hear our message. There are several requirements we need to have met to deliver our program anywhere, but we are happy to be flexible in unique environments. If you are interested in bringing LifeAct to your program, please reach out to:
Abby Brown, Program Director
firstname.lastname@example.org ; email@example.com