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The Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide, Inc. (SPTS) announced that it has received a grant from the American Legion Child Welfare Foundation, Inc. to provide the remote delivery of Lifelines Suicide Prevention training program to schools. Lyndsay Fritz, daughter of SPTS President and Co-Founder, Scott Fritz, and Dawn Doherty, SPTS Director of Operations worked together to apply for the grant.  Working with IVCi, a leading provider of collaborative technology, SPTS determined the optimal package to ensure a high quality remote presentation of the training material. It is estimated that SPTS will be able to increase training capacity by 25% with the introduction of the distance learning equipment funded by this grant by reducing the amount of time for travel and being able to offer the remote training at a less prohibitive rate.

In 2008 SPTS successfully introduced an online platform for its University Site, home of Making Educators Partners in Youth Suicide Prevention, a 2 hour online suicide prevention training, available at no cost, and recognized on the Best Practice Registry for the Suicide Prevention Resource Center (sprc.org). Since its inception, there have been over 50,000 educators across the country to complete the course. SPTS Co-Founder and President, Scott Fritz, refers to this course as “Suicide Prevention 101.” The training reviews the basic characteristics and warning signs of suicide; utilizes vignettes to examine potential situations an educator may encounter and stresses the importance of referring any child who may be at risk to the school counselor or psychologist.

Since 2009, SPTS has offered in-person training of the Lifelines Trilogy: Suicide Prevention, Intervention and Postvention. Lifelines is a comprehensive suicide prevention program that addresses training for the entire school. SPTS Clinical Advisor and co-author of the Lifelines curriculum, Maureen Underwood, LCSW currently administers the training in person and presented to over 1300 educators across the country in 2013. “I am looking forward to reach more educators and ultimately save more of our youth by using this technology” says Underwood.

The Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide was founded in 2005 by New Jersey dads, Scott Fritz and Don Quigley, who had both lost teenage children to suicide. The mission of the Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide is to reduce the number of youth suicides and attempted suicides by encouraging overall public awareness through the development of educational training programs to provide competent communities. SPTS is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt public charity.

If you are depressed, or suicidal, call 1-800-273-TALK, there is help out there.

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If you’d like more information about the Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide, please visit the website www.sptsusa.org or contact Director of Operations, Dawn Doherty, at sptsusa@gmail.com or (732) 410-7900.