Hazelden Lifelines Prevention Program

Lifelines Prevention®: Building Knowledge and Skills to Prevent Suicide is a comprehensive, whole-school suicide prevention curriculum that educates school faculty, parents, and students on the facts about suicide and their respective roles as suicide "preventers". This newly revised edition uses updated language to reflect today's best practices and youth culture, and now also covers grades 5-6 and 11-12, in addition to grades 7-10.

In Lifelines® Prevention, students participate in role-playing exercises that teach them what to do when faced with a suicidal peer. The exercises feature an emphasis on seeking adult help and frank discussions on the warning signs of suicide. In the process of teaching students how to help a friend, students who may be suicidal themselves will learn the importance of getting help as well.

Lifelines® Intervention: Helping Students at Risk for Suicide provides middle and high school faculty and students information on how to respond to signs of suicide. This program educates faculty on intervention best practices and provides clear guidance on how best to involve parents and guardians as partners. Building on the foundation of the 'competent and compassionate school community,' this intervention program introduces the "Tell Me More" format of intervening on a student at risk for suicide, and provides information on how to prepare to interview an at-risk student, gather collateral information about the student's risk for suicide, and address specific topics.

Lifelines® Postvention: Responding to Suicide and Other Traumatic Death is a best-practices manual for middle and high schools that educates everyone in the school community on how to successfully respond to suicide and other traumatic deaths that profoundly affect the school population.

This program is approved for WV Expanded School Mental Health.

Last reviewed: 2023

Intended Outcomes:

  • Increase knowledge about suicide
  • Improve attitudes about suicide and suicide intervention
  • Improve attitudes about seeking adult help
  • Improve attitudes about keeping a friend's suicide thoughts a secret

Continuum of Care:
Indicated Prevention, Selective Prevention, Universal Prevention

Topic Areas:
Behavioral Health/Mental Health, Depression, Suicide

Teen/Adolescent (13-18)

Geographic Locations:
Rural, Urban

Delivery Settings:

Cultural Considerations:
No research found involving diverse populations

This program is intended to educate school faculty, parents, and students (grades 5-12) on suicide prevention.

Classroom teachers or other school personnel facilitate this program.


Is Training Required?

Who can provide the required training?
Training is available to help schools and communities implement Lifelines with fidelity. Call 800-328-9000 to learn more.

Program Costs (materials, training, etc.):

Program/Practice Website:

Relevant Published, Peer-Reviewed Research:

Kalafat, J., Madden, M., Haley, D., & O'Halloran, S. (2007). Evaluation of Lifelines classes: A component of the school-community based Maine Youth Suicide Prevention Project. Report for NREPP. Unpublished manuscript. NREPP Review

Klimes-Dougan, B., Klingbeil, D. A., & Meller, S. J. (2013). The Impact of Universal Suicide-Prevention Programs on the Help-Seeking Attitudes and Behaviors of Youths. Crisis: The Journal of Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention, 34(2), 82–97. https://doi.org/10.1027/0227-5910.a000178

Sullivan, Nicki, "A Secondary Analysis of Survey Data Evaluating the Lifelines Suicide Prevention Program Among Middle School Students" (2017). DNP Projects. 146. https://uknowledge.uky.edu/dnp_etds/146

Unable to be Rated

WV Rating:
Unable to Be Rated
»WV Ratings Info

Rationale for Rating:

Reviewers rated this program as 'unable to be rated' due to insufficient research within the past 10 years. Lifelines was previously listed on SAMHSA's National Registry of Evidence and Promising Programs (NREPP) with a rating of 2.9 (of 4) for quality of research and an overall rating of 3.7 (of 4) for readiness for dissemination. Based on those ratings more than a decade ago, Lifelines was approved by SAMHSA for use in their grant programs. Based on NREPP ratings, Lifelines was also designated as evidence-based and approved for use in many state projects nationwide. Unfortunately, SAMHSA's NREPP site was discontinued and the research referenced is now unavailable for review or was never published. Our team was also unable to obtain or review the unpublished manuscript referenced by SAMHSA in their NREPP rating. Our researchers were unable to find current, adequate research to provide a review at this time and find this rating consistent with other evidence-based program clearinghouses nationally.

Contraindications or Concerns:
None identified

Other Registries/Ratings

The California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare:
Not On Registry

Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development:
Not On Registry

Clearinghouse for Military Family Readiness:
Unclear 0

Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Model Programs Guide:
Not On Registry

Washington State Institute for Public Policy:
Not On Registry