The Jonathan Foundation was created in memory of Jonathan C. Smith. Jonathan grew up in a church, attended church-based school, and excelled in sports due to above-average coordination and intelligence. Jonathan was a full of life and fun-loving young person. He loved fiercely. While diagnosed with ADHD in second grade, this exacerbated in 9th grade. He was seen by the Amen Clinics for SPECT brain scanning and subsequently diagnosed with an overall “ring of fire’ brain which lead to the diagnosis of bipolar disorder. Despite the best possible treatment, Jonathan tragically succumbed to youth suicide on May 25, 2011, contributing to the alarming statistics of youth suicide as the third leading cause of death for ages 10-24 in the US.

Dedicated to supporting teens facing similar struggles. Our mission is to break the stigma surrounding mental health and provide awareness, education, support and advocacy.

Understanding the Connection Between Brain Health and Suicide Prevention 

Suicide prevention is a complex issue, but recent (modern) research has shown a clear link between brain health and suicidal thoughts and behaviors. To address these issues, it’s important to seek out providers who offer SPECT brain scanning to get a better understanding of how the brain is contributing to these thoughts. Once you have a better understanding of your brain function, look for a counselor who can provide Cognitive Behavior Therapy-SP or Dialectical Behavior Therapy, both of which have been proven to help people manage suicidal ideations and behaviors. By taking a comprehensive approach to brain health, you can find the right treatment to help you manage suicidal thoughts and behaviors.

QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer): The Three Steps to Saving a Life

Suicide is a complex issue that can stem from a combination of life stresses and known risk factors such as childhood trauma, substance abuse, relationship problems, and legal issues. QPR is a national evidenced-based solution that stands for question, persuade, refer. It involves asking about suicide, persuading the individual to seek help, and reffing them to a network that can provide mental health support and a safety plan. Contrary to popular belief, asking someone directly about suicide won’t put the idea in their head, and most people will be relieved that someone cares enough to start a conversations. By following the QPR approach, we can save lives and empower people to engage in life before or after a suicide attempt.

Gun Safety Saves Lives

The statistics are clear: limiting access to guns is one of the most effective ways to decrease suicide rates. Guns in the home, or on the street increase the risk of death by suicide or homicide, with men being particularly vulnerable. By making sure guns are stored safely and getting them off the street, we can save lives and prevent tragedies. Let’s work together to make our communities safer and protect those who are most vulnerable

First Responder Training: Mental Health Crisis Intervention and De-Escalation Training 

Proper training on mental health crisis intervention and de-escalation can be the difference between life and death. a mental health patient in crisis is not a criminal, and should not be treated as such. According to a study by Engel, de-escalation training reduced use-of-force incidents by 28 percent and citizen injuries by 26 percent. Officer injuries were reduced by an even larger margin, 36 percent. It is critically important that all first responders receive this training to properly intervene in a mental health crisis and save lives. Most people who survive a suicide attempt, 85 to 95 percent, go on to engage in a normal life.

Over half of all suicide deaths in the U.S. occur with a firearm. Yet we know there are measures that can reduce the risk of suicide for someone in crisis.


From offering suicide prevention education for retailers, range owners and firearms owners to encouraging safe storage, there are actions we can take to save lives, and there is promising evidence that providing suicide prevention training for those who influence a specific community can reduce the suicide risk for that community.