Our Programs


A world where no young person of color dies by suicide

To end the epidemic of youth suicide, especially for people of color, by transforming the way we communicate and connect about mental health

The Defensive Line Fundamentals

Suicide Prevention Workshops

  • Speakers present an overview of the problem through fact-based evidence, introduce language, risk factors, warning signs
  • D-LINES discussion for teachers to naturally connect with students on their mental health
  • Design Plan of Action to identify, intervene, and refer students in crisis to help reduce stigma that keeps people silent in their suffering.
  • Train leaders on the impact of implicit bias, micro aggressions, and macro aggressions and how they inhibit safe spaces for mental health discussion.

Storytelling and Advocacy

  • Speakers who are vulnerable storytellers with lived experiences of mental health, suicide to share messages of hope
  • Storytelling and advocacy seeks to reduce stigma and open conversation
  • By talking openly and honestly about what these internal experiences feel like we takeaway the shame and therefore take away stigma that keeps people silent in their suffering

Are you in crisis or need to talk to someone?

TEXT “home” to 741741 or CALL, TEXT, or CHAT 988 24/7 days a week

The Defensive Line Game Plan

Our training programs are specifically tailored to each school or organization we partner with by, not creating new programs, rather by enhancing existing processes and programs.  For example, we use existing crisis response protocol to remind teachers, coaches, and staff of the resources already available to them and how to access them.

Most staffs are trained initially and then the mental health crisis response protocol is never reviewed again and therefore most do not know how to access it when needed at the most critical time.  We review and add in additional resources within the community that can then be accessed.

Here’s how we develop a customized game plan to meet your needs and expectations:

  • Perform assessment of current mental health programming
  • Develop a customized game plan to meet current needs
  • Establish schedule for one-time or ongoing program options
  • Connect your team to our Quarterly Huddle exclusive videos
  • Provide feedback results following specific programming
  • Reassess impact and determine continued education needs

The Defensive Line Program Options

TDL Suicide Prevention Workshop: The original workshop that guides teachers and leaders through the facts of youth suicide, especially in people of color, and prepares them to address mental health crisis, how to have difficult conversations, develop of an action plan, and how to create a safe environment for all students.

TDL Parent University: Parents will learn how to recognize warning signs of a mental health crisis, how to have difficult conversation, and will leave with an informed plan of action.

TDL Keynote Speech: Turning Pain into Purpose – The Story of The Defensive Line: Sharing their story with courage and vulnerability, Chris & Martha Thomas relate their journey from unspeakable tragedy, through therapy, addiction, meditation, education, hope, and finally the birth of The Defensive Line.

TDL Panel Discussions: We have the privilege of working with outstanding experts in the field of mental health and suicide prevention. Allow us to curate a unique speaking experience hosted by Chris Thomas featuring guest panelists or experts from your school or organization

TDL Lunch & Learn: An effective, impactful quick overview of TDL’s story with time for Q&A following the presentation.

TDL Conversations: Shorter, in-depth talks – COMING SOON!

Ways to Get Involved

Connect TDL to a school in your area
Share our work with your network
Become a facilitator

Connect With Us