#BehindTheGrant: LifeAct

A group of teens pose outside during LifeAct's Into the Light Walk

In January, we granted $22,500 to LifeAct to broaden the organization’s suicide prevention efforts in Lake and Geauga County. In this guest blog, we invite you to go behind the grant to learn more about LifeAct and its work:    

LifeAct is a nonprofit organization dedicated to saving young lives. Its mission is to prevent suicide by teaching young people to recognize the warning signs of depression and seek help for themselves or others. This early identification helps to initiate the first step in getting assistance: connecting those students with the appropriate professionals through LifeAct’s partnerships with University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital and FrontLine Service. LifeAct’s partners complete the circle of care – in real time.

A LifeAct representative talks to a classroom of students

Last year alone, LifeAct reached more than 50,000 teens and adults through the following programs:

  • Recognizing Teen Depression and Preventing Suicide reached 18,709 high school teens in 116 Northeast Ohio schools. 1,374 of these students reached out to a LifeAct instructor for help and were immediately connected to mental health support.
  • The UROK™ program for middle school youth reached 6,385 students in 76 schools during its first full year. 416 of those students came forward and were linked to mental health support.
  • Two special events attracted more than 2,000 participants: the 21st Annual Links for Life Golf Tournament and 12th Annual Into the Light Walk™, which also serves as a memorial event for those who have lost family and friends to suicide.
  • Community programs focused on suicide prevention, peer social messaging – including the Youth Advisory Board – and LifeAct’s interactive web site with a 24/7 crisis chat and text line served more than 24,000 individuals.

In recognition of its work, LifeAct received three awards in 2016:

  • The Ohio Association of Nonprofit Organizations (OANO)’s All-Ohio Nonprofit Excellence Award for small to mid-sized nonprofits 
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Greater Cleveland chapter’s Mental Health Teen Program Award for LifeAct’s Recognizing Teen Depression and Preventing Suicide program
  • The Cleveland Foundation awarded its Encore Cleveland Prize to LifeAct’s CEO Jack Binder for his organizational turnaround work for LifeAct. Watch Jack talk about his work with LifeAct and the impact of the award here

In 2017, LifeAct is commemorating 25 years of educating teens about depression awareness and suicide prevention. To learn more, please visit www.lifeact.org