Umatter for Schools Youth Suicide Prevention


(For resources, this is the publication date. For programs, this is the date posted.)


Center for Health and Learning

Cost of two-day (6 hours per day) Umatter training is $5,000 plus travel and lodging for two trainers. Additional consultation is available at a rate of $100/hour. Individual arrangements may be possible. The Umatter Facilitator’s Guide costs $100. The participant materials, Umatter Handbook, and Umatter CD-ROM cost $75/person. Umatter public information materials including posters, brochures, and wallet cards may be purchased and customized for your audience. The Lifelines curriculum is $225 and is available from Hazelden ( A Training of Trainers in Umatter for Schools is in development.

Umatter for Schools Youth Suicide Prevention is a two-day training program that provides school teams with the knowledge and skills to develop comprehensive, asset-based approaches to suicide prevention in their schools. Teams may include teachers, administrators, counselors, and other staff, and are encouraged to bring a representative from a local mental health agency in their area. The program includes gatekeeper training with an emphasis on building assets and protective factors for all youth, developing school protocols, learning to use a student curriculum, and making an action plan to implement suicide prevention strategies in the school community. Umatter also includes a public information campaign with the central message that adults matter because they can act as gatekeepers for youth who are suicidal. The campaign emphasizes that young people who are depressed or suicidal also matter because they are needed by their families, friends, and communities whether they feel that in the moment or not.

Umatter was developed following a review of several school-based suicide prevention programs to determine key concepts. Additional concepts were drawn from the American Association of Suicidology and the academic literature about suicide. The learning activities in Umatter are designed to reach the learning preferences and styles of all participants, and to ensure maximum transfer of knowledge, skills, and attitudes to the workplace.

Program Objectives

School personnel who complete the Umatter training will be able to:

  1. Identify cultural factors that contribute to the stigma associated with seeking help.
  2. Identify warning signs, risk factors, and protective factors for youth in distress.
  3. Describe their roles and responsibilities in responding to suicidal behavior.
  4. Establish school protocols for suicide prevention, crisis intervention, and suicide postvention.
  5. Describe the Lifelines student curriculum and supports for the curriculum.
  6. Identify possible challenges to the implementation of the Lifelines curriculum.
  7. Develop a school-wide strategy to build critical connections among schools, parents, and regional support services.

Implementation Essentials

  • Umatter includes the use of the Lifelines suicide prevention curriculum.

2012 NSSP Objectives Addressed: 

Objective 2.1: Develop, implement, and evaluate communication efforts designed to reach defined segments of the population.

Objective 5.2: Encourage community-based settings to implement effective programs and provide education that promote wellness and prevent suicide and related behaviors.

Objective 7.1: Provide training on suicide prevention to community groups that have a role in the prevention of suicide and related behaviors.