Maureen Underwood

Real-world solutions for youth suicide prevention


Maureen Underwood, LCSW, CGPP is a licensed clinical social worker and a nationally recognized expert on youth suicide prevention, with focus on schools and best-practice programs that enhance overall student outcomes.

She is co-developer of LIFELINES: A Suicide Prevention Program, made available in 2010 only through Hazelden evidence-based professional resources. She is also the coauthor of the 1997 publication Managing Sudden Traumatic Loss in the Schools.

Since 1987 Maureen has been engaged in addressing cluster suicide among youth populations. In this work she has applied the latest research on youth suicide contagion, along with containment recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to develop practical protocols, policies and programs that are grounded in best practice, yet fully relevant to implementing in school settings.

Maureen has more than 30 years experience in mental health and crisis intervention. She has a private practice specialty in suicide, grief, trauma and crisis resolution for children and families, and has developed numerous programs and published extensively on these and other related topics.

Maureen has initiated collaborative relationships between mental health and educational systems during her tenure from 1985 to 2000 as coordinator of a state adolescent suicide prevention project. In this role she provided in-service training, consultation on policy development, and assistance in the implementation of procedures for school-based crisis management.

Maureen has also provided clinical training in suicide assessment for emergency room mental health screeners in New Jersey for ten years, and has co-authored a book chapter on the assessment of suicide risk in out-patient settings. She authored the National Association of Social Work’s policy statement on adolescent suicide, and was a charter member of her state’s Governor’s Council on Youth Suicide Prevention.