The Defensive Line & Student Suicide Prevention

September 22, 2023
James Kent


Student suicide prevention is a paramount concern among mental health providers. For one organization, student suicide prevention is more than a concern: it’s their mission.

The alarming rise in mental health crises among youth has become a pressing concern in recent times. With the complexities of modern life and the challenges of the digital age, young individuals are more susceptible to mental health issues than ever before. A startling statistic reveals that in 2019, suicide was the second leading cause of death for individuals between the ages of 10 and 34. This alarming statistic underscores the pressing need for comprehensive strategies and interventions to address the mental health crisis among young Americans.

How can we effectively address and destigmatize mental health issues, especially among marginalized communities? The Defensive Line’s mission is to end the epidemic of youth suicide, especially for people of color, by transforming how we communicate and connect about mental health.

In this episode of School Safety Today by Raptor Technologies, host Dr. Amy Grosso sat down with Chris and Martha Thomas from The Defensive Line to shed light on the rise and stigma of mental health crisis among youth and discussed the following:

  • The necessity to destigmatize some of the myths about mental health, mental illness, and suicide, particularly in marginalized communities of color
  • The vital role educators and communities play in recognizing the warning signs of mental health issues and suicide ideation among youth
  • The urgent need to provide educational programs and workshops and advocate for a collaborative approach to understand the complete picture and help the person in need

Chris and Martha Thomas are the co-founders of The Defensive Line, dedicating themselves to suicide prevention and mental health awareness in the wake of a personal tragedy. Their endeavors span various platforms, including educational workshops and keynote speeches, aiming to foster environments of understanding and support. The couple has received recognition for their relentless work, including the 2019 AFSP Lifesaver Award.

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