The Consumer/Survivor Subcommittee reviews standard network practices, marketing materials/promotional campaigns, evaluations of network coverage, and caller demographics to ensure that the Lifeline is effectively reaching critical and diverse populations at higher risk for suicide. This subcommittee submits their recommendations to both Lifeline leadership and the Lifeline Steering Committee.
DeQuincy Lezine, Ph.D. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Dr. Lezine attempted suicide during college, but turned his personal despair into advocacy by forming the first student-led college mental health and suicide prevention group (Brown University chapter of the Suicide Prevention Action Network; B-SPAN). Since 1996, Dr. Lezine has worked with many organizations including Suicide Prevention Action Network (SPAN) USA, National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI), the Organization of Attempters and Survivors in Interfaith Services (OASSIS), La Frontera / EMPACT Suicide Prevention Center, National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention (Suicide Attempt Survivor Taskforce), Oklahoma Suicide Prevention Council, and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline to promote suicide prevention.
After graduating from UCLA with a Ph.D. in clinical psychology he completed a postdoctoral research fellowship with an emphasis on public health approaches to suicide prevention at the University of Rochester Center for the Prevention and Study of Suicide. He is the author of Eight Stories Up: An Adolescent Chooses Hope Over Suicide, released in April 2008 by Oxford University Press. Dr. Lezine is President & CEO of Prevention Communities, an applied research and evaluation consulting organization with a focus on suicide prevention and mental health promotion.
Sally Spencer-Thomas, Psy.D. (email@example.com)
As a clinical psychologist, mental health advocate, faculty member, and survivor of her brother’s suicide, Dr. Sally Spencer-Thomas sees the issues of mental health promotion and suicide prevention from a number of perspectives. Currently, she is the CEO and Co-Founder of the Carson J Spencer Foundation, a Colorado-based nonprofit organization with a mission to “sustain a passion for life” through suicide prevention, social entrepreneurship and support for people bereaved by suicide. She holds leadership positions with the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention (a program of the Suicide Prevention Resource Center) and the American Association of Suicidology. She has received several awards for innovation, leadership and mental health advocacy and has written four books on mental health promotion and violence prevention.
After working as a therapist in a college counseling center and private practice for over a decade, she found a calling in the work of preventing suicide. As a Master QPR Suicide Prevention Gatekeeper Trainer, she trains trainers across the Rocky Mountain region. She has presented nationally on the topics of mental health promotion and suicide prevention including speaking engagements for the FBI Academy, the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Department of Energy, the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, the American College Personnel Association, the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators, and the American Association of Suicidology. Internationally, she has been presented in Ireland, Italy, Uruguay and China and plays a leadership role in the International Association for Suicide Prevention. She currently serves as on the board for the Suicide Prevention Coalition of Colorado and as the Survivor Division Director for the American Association of Suicidology. During her tenure with the Suicide Prevention Resource Center, she helped to launch the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, a public private partnership implementing the Surgeon General’s National Strategy for Suicide Prevention, and she currently is a member of their Workplace Task Force. While at Regis University, she created a Minor in Leadership Studies (interdisciplinary) was the Project Director for the Garrett Lee Smith Suicide Prevention Grant and developed a comprehensive suicide prevention program for campuses called “People Prevent Suicide.” As an affiliate faculty member for Regis’ Division of Business, she taught leadership students about wellness, social change, and leading with differences in mind. Dr. Spencer-Thomas is the mother of three boys and she lives with her partner and children in Conifer, Colorado.
Heidi Bryan (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Heidi Bryan has battled with depression most of her life, is a suicide attempt survivor and lost her brother to suicide in 1995. In 1999 she founded Feeling Blue Suicide Prevention Council, now the Pennsylvania Adult/Older Adult Suicide Prevention Coalition. She has served on the Board of Directors for the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention and as the Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors for SPAN USA. Heidi was also the recipient of the SPAN USA's Sandy Martin Grassroots Award in 2005. She developed the booklet, After an Attempt: The Emotional Impact of a Suicide Attempt on Families, which was distributed to every hospital in Pennsylvania and co-authored Now What Do I Do, a guide for suicide attempt survivors. She currently serves on the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention Suicide Attempt Survivor Task Force and Prevent Suicide Wisconsin Steering Committee. A QPR Master Trainer, Ms. Bryan is also a facilitator for suicide bereavement support groups and author of Must Be the Witches in the Mountains, a book on grief after suicide. Heidi received her BA in Chemistry from Cedar Crest College in Allentown, PA.
Jordan Burnham (email@example.com)
Jordan Burnham is a public speaker who discusses the mental health issues and disorders that affect so many of us. He tells his story of struggling with depression and having to go through high school hiding his internal battle. In high school, Jordan had everything to live for. He was popular, had good grades, and was a star athlete.
But as the pressures mounted, Jordan attempted to take his own life during his senior year of high school. Jordan's miraculous survival propelled him to begin to deal with his depression and learn healthier coping mechanisms.
Jordan was honored as one of the “2010 Best Of Philly” for his work with mental health and speaking. In 2012 he was honored with the Emerging Humanitarian award by Philadelphia Eagles player Nnamdi Asomugha and the Asomugha Foundation. He has been featured in major Philadelphia print, Sports Illustrated, People Magazine, and USA Today. He’s appeared on local and national broadcast news, appeared on ESPN’s E:60 and Outside the Lines, CNN, Dr. Phil, Good Morning America, The Early Show and addressed a Congressional briefing on Capitol Hill. He has been featured in three documentaries and his piece, “Unbreakable” with E:60 was nominated for an Emmy, has over 50,000 views on YouTube and won 2 gold awards at the 2011 New York Film Festival.
Jordan has been speaking on his story and mental health all over the country for over three years. He’s spoken in 28 different states and 3 different countries. His brave and relatable presentation encourages students and informs them that talking about whatever they are going through is a sign of remarkable strength.
Laurel Carter (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Laurel Carter was hired in 2011 as the Suicide Prevention Outreach Coordinator at Adams State University (ASU) through a SAMHA Garrett Lee Smith Campus Suicide Prevention grant. Since that time Laurel has worked extensively to partner with students and other personnel across campus to implement the first student-led, suicide prevention campaign, which is called SWAG: Suicide Watch Awareness Gang. The campaign's purpose is to promote an excitement for life and infinite possibility, instill hope and recovery, and foster an ASU community of connection and support. The campaign has brought much-needed awareness to the topic of suicide and has drawn individuals in an enthusiastic way to be a part of the mission. In its first year the campaign reached thousands of people within the university and community at large through the uplifting, educational, and healing events such as the fall's "1100 Reasons to Stay Alive and Connected" and last spring's Mental Health Awareness Week.
Laurel is an active member on the ASU Campus Health and Safety Committee, spending a large amount of her time reaching out to any person on campus who may be struggling with mental health concerns, building relationships, and connecting people to necessary resources. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor and supports students who are dealing with a variety of concerns, including suicidal ideation, depression, and anxiety. Laurel is trained to provide ASIST and safeTALK workshops and is actively training campus and community members in each. Laurel is an instructor on-campus, teaching the Prevention Awareness Crew course designed to provide preventative education to the ASU community, increase awareness of mental health concerns, and allow students the opportunity to take an active role in campus and community events aimed at prevention education. She's also a member of the San Luis Valley Prevention Coalition and sits as chair-person for the Suicide Prevention subcommittee. Laurel has been asked to speak at various local community events on suicide intervention and prevention including the "Day Without Hate Rally" for surrounding schools, monthly Community Lunch-n-Learns, and the Annual Parent Institute Conference.
Franklin Cook (email@example.com)
Franklin Cook is owner of Unified Community Solutions, a private consultancy in Boston, Mass., specializing in suicide grief support and education as well as in project development, management, and leadership. He served from 2010 to 2012 as Director of Survivor and Bereavement Programs for SAVE (Suicide Awareness Voices of Education). Franklin began his career in suicide grief support in 1999 as a volunteer with Black Hills Area Survivors of Suicide and co-facilitated the group for 10 years. He also served as a member of the Pennington County (S.D.) LOSS Team. He helped found the Front Porch Coalition in 2001, a grassroots suicide prevention task force in Rapid City, S.D., and served for four years as FPC's executive director. During his time in South Dakota, Franklin co-authored the S.D. Strategy for Suicide Prevention and continued facilitating its implementation through 2010, including working on project management and training for two S.D. Garrett Lee Smith projects. For many years, he was a member of the Survivor Council of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention AFSP and continues as a trainer with AFSP's Facilitating Suicide Bereavement Support Groups training. Franklin was a member of the board of directors of the Suicide Prevention Action Network SPAN USA for six years, prior to its merger with AFSP in 2009. He is also a longtime member of the Survivor Division of the American Association of Suicidology AAS. He edited and published the online news magazine Suicide Prevention News and Comment from 2008 to 2010 and now blogs at personalgriefcoach.info. Franklin is a survivor of his father's suicide in 1978.
Mark Davis (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Mark is Founding President of the PA Mental Health Consumers’ Association (PMHCA est. in 1987) and inspired I CAN in PA traveling to every county planting seeds to grow local, state and national mental health consumer/survivor civil rights movement. His passions include: suicide prevention; affirming policies, training, data collection, resources and services for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, intersex and two-spirit citizens (LGBTI2-S); systemic human sexuality and gender identity education; HIV/AIDS care and prevention, arts and recovery; cross system collaboration; and peer-run recovery support groups in communities of choice.
Mark also co-chairs PA’s Keystone Pride Recovery Initiative (KPRI) supported by the PA Office of Mental Health Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS) and a statewide organizing grant from the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA); serves on National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-TALK) Consumer Survivor Subcommittee (CSS), National Action Alliance (NAASP) Suicide Attempt Survivor (SAS) Task Force and advocated adult and older adult inclusion for NAASP LGBT Task Force originally intended only for youth. Mark is proud to serve on both CSS and SAS since inception.
Mr. Davis facilitates Pink & Blues Philadelphia since January 15, 2003, a weekly peer-run social network and support group and safe space for sexual and gender minority people living with mental health and co-occurring conditions to achieve recovery, social inclusion and strength in numbers.
Darlene ‘Dar’ Emme (email@example.com)
Ms. Emme is Founder and Deputy Director of Yellow Ribbon International Suicide Prevention Program®. She is the survivor of her son, Mike's, death by suicide in 1994. She led the development of the Yellow Ribbon Training programs that are being used by chapters and program sites internationally. Working and traveling full time with the program, she is the co-founder of the Yellow Ribbon International Youth Council and has addressed and taught more than 300,000 youth that it is “OK to Ask for Help!®”. She was appointed to the Colorado Governor's Suicide Prevention Advisory Commission in 1998, helping to develop the Colorado State Suicide Prevention Plan and create the Colorado Office of Suicide Prevention and the Suicide Prevention Coalition of Colorado. She also is a founding member of the National Council for Suicide Prevention. Ms. Emme works to forge collaborations with organizations and has partnered with the American Osteopathic Association, the B'nai B'rith Youth Organization (BBYO) and many others. She served as a national judge for the Alliance of the American Psychiatric Association’s “When Not to Keep a Secret” national essay contest. She is co-author of “I'll Always Be With You” in Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul and “Legacy of the Yellow Mustang.”
Ms. Emme worked to establish an International Suicide Awareness and Prevention Week in 1995, observed annually in September, which has been recognized by the U.S. Senate, U.S. House and State Governors. The week is now blended with Suicide Prevention Groups across the U.S. and is observed the 2nd week of September and with World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10th. She has also been individually recognized twice for her work by the U.S. House of Representatives. As a survivor of her own attempts, she has worked to empower and save youth her entire life through volunteerism, mentoring and training. Her work has included helping numerous communities across the country using her extensive background in Search and Rescue coordination and training to empower and mobilize local and regional resources.
Barbara Franks (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Barbara is the Program Associate for the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) for their Meth Suicide Prevention Intervention (MSPI Grant). She changed career paths from the administrative field to suicide prevention after her youngest son joined the category of Alaska Native male, age, 23, using a firearm on December 14, 1997. After being told by a counselor six months after her son's death she should "get over it,” Barb was compelled to share her information that she researched on how to move forward with others. At the age of 52 she lived her dream to enter college and graduated from the University of Alaska/Anchorage with her Associates Degree where she was chosen to participate in the First Alaskans Institute Internship Program that led her to ANTHC and their suicide prevention program. After requesting the blessing of the Elders, she made numerous trips across Alaska with suicide prevention awareness messages and sharing the LivingWorks intervention tools. After accomplishing that, Barb has moved into the third process of suicide by providing people with a safe place to share their stories by incorporating SurvivorVoices to the 12 Tribal Health Organizations under ANTHC.
She is an advocate under the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention as a Field Representative; and sits on the University of Alaska Suicide Prevention Advisory Board and a new member of the American Association of Suicidology. Her work has led her to help young people realize there is hope with the statewide media campaign that received many awards and also promotes the Alaska Careline Crisis Intervention number and the message, "You are not alone." It has been her policy to shed light on the many things that are happening with suicide prevention and as a result people are now moving to bring awareness through the offerings the program can provide.
Barb Gay (BGay@foundation2.org)
Barb Gay is the Executive Director of Foundation 2, Inc., a non-profit agency located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Foundation 2 offers crisis phone counseling, mobile crisis outreach, an emergency youth shelter, independent living programs, an after-hours food pantry, therapy and counseling, as well as support groups. In her role with Foundation 2, Barb has the opportunity to collaborate with numerous other private agencies as well as public entities to enhance the outcomes for individuals and families in crisis. Barb is able to use her personal experiences to help move forward the work of suicide prevention and intervention, and to help people receive the support they need. Barb currently serves on the United Way of East Central Iowa Board, the Cedar Rapids Civil Rights Commission, the Iowa Child Welfare Partners Committee, and the Coalition for Children and Families in Iowa. Barb has her MA degree in Health Education from the University of Northern Iowa and her undergraduate degree in psychology and sociology from St. Ambrose University and she is a Certified Prevention Specialist. She has been working in human services since 1993, and has been fortunate to continue this work in her home community.
Brian Hawthorne (email@example.com)
Mr. Hawthorne has been serving in the US Army Reserves for more than ten years, with two tours in Iraq. He is currently assigned to the 450th Civil Affairs Battalion (Airborne) as a Jumpmaster and Civil Affairs Team Sergeant.
Upon returning home from Baghdad in 2008, he became deeply involved in veterans advocacy and currently serves on the Board of Directors for Student Veterans of America. In this capacity, he has testified before Congressional committees on numerous occasions regarding GI Bill benefits and the transition from the military to civilian life. He has spoken publicly about his own challenges with mental health and the treatment he received for acute combat stress and mild traumatic brain injury, and the impact of that on his academic, professional, and personal aspirations.
Brian earned his Master’s Degree in Political Management at The George Washington University, where he co-founded the student veteran’s organization on campus. He was presented with the George Washington Award, which is the University's highest honor, for his work on behalf of the University’s veteran community.
He is currently a Senior Associate at J. R. Reingold and Associates, where he serves as an advisor to numerous campaigns and leads the outreach team assisting clients such the Department of Veterans Affairs and the DoD in reaching veterans, service members, their families, and survivors. Among his many awards and decorations, Mr. Hawthorne is the recipient of the Bronze Star Medal, the Combat Action Badge, the Senior Parachutist Badge, and the President’s Lifetime Volunteer Service Medal.
Ann Kirkwood, M.A. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Ann Kirkwood received an International George Peabody Award for excellence in broadcasting, a Public Information Award from National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), an excellence in broadcasting award from the National Educational Television Association, and a 2009 Voice Award from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration for her role as a consumer advocate to reduce mental illness stigma and discrimination. In 2012, with support from SAMHSA, Lifeline and Idaho advocates, she was instrumental in developing a suicide prevention hotline for Idaho, making the state the 50th to open a hotline in the Lifeline Network. Since 1999 she has worked with mental health and suicide prevention advocates in Idaho on social marketing and educational programs to reduce mental illness and suicide stigma and increase treatment-seeking for those in need of mental health care. She has a Master's degree in communications from Boise State University and undergraduate degrees from the University of Washington. She specializes in social marketing, anti-stigma programs, and school-and community-based mental health and suicide prevention programs for rural areas. “The Better Todays. Better Tomorrows.” gatekeeper training program she founded has been recognized as an evidence-informed practice by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, the National Association for Rural Mental Health, the National Alliance on Mental Illness and the RAND Corp.
Ms. Kirkwood served as the Director for two Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act youth suicide prevention grants to Idaho from 2006-2012 and currently directs the National Institute of Mental Health Outreach Partners Program in Idaho. She has served on the advisory council for the Resource Center to Promote Acceptance, Dignity and Social Inclusion Associated with Mental Health at SAMHSA. She also has served on the boards of directors for the National Alliance on Mental Illness Boise Affiliate, the Suicide Prevention Action Network of Idaho, the Idaho Council on Suicide Prevention and the Idaho Board of Psychologist Examiners. She has been recognized as an outstanding advocate three times by the Idaho Planning Council on Mental Health. She is an expert facilitator through the International Association for Public Participation. Ms. Kirkwood is a senior research associate for Idaho State University's Institute of Rural Health. She worked in public relations for state health and welfare programs for nine years and was a working reporter, editor and publisher for 18 years for weekly and daily newspapers and United Press International. She won numerous awards for reporting and editorial writing from the National Newspaper Association, Alaska Press Club and National Federation of Press Women. She is a mental health consumer.
Abbe Land (email@example.com)
Abbe Land is a recognized and respected health care professional with an impressive history of ensuring care to under-represented populations, and advocating for youth and the LGBT community. Prior to joining The Trevor Project as Executive Director and CEO, Abbe had served as co- CEO of The Saban Free Clinic in Los Angeles since 2003. While there, she co-led the Clinic’s growth from a $6 million to a $16 million budget, including the opening of two new clinics and the building of a $22 million endowment. She also oversaw all aspects of Saban’s operations ensuring integration of physical and mental health; providing medical, dental and mental health services to over 21,000 patients annually; and managing a full-time staff of 140 with more than 300 volunteers.
Abbe also brings a wealth of public policy knowledge to The Trevor Project as a longtime elected official who champions the needs of youth. She has served the City of West Hollywood from 1986-1997 as a council member and was elected twice as mayor. Abbe was re-elected to office in 2003 and is currently serving a 4-year term, having won re-election in March 2011.
With a strong dedication to the community, Abbe serves on the advisory board of Women Against Gun Violence and on the board of directors of the California Community Clinic Association of Los Angeles County. She is an appointed member of the L.A. County Department of Health Services' Women's Health Policy Council, and serves on the boards of the AIDS Community Action Foundation and of the Planned Parenthood-LA Advocacy Project. A long-time resident of West Hollywood, California, Abbe lives with her husband, artist Martin Gantman.
Alison Malmon (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Ms. Malmon is founder and Executive Director of Active Minds, Inc., the leading organization dedicated to utilizing the student voice to raise mental health awareness on college campuses. She started the program while a junior at the University of Pennsylvania, following the suicide of her older brother and only sibling, Brian. Wanting to combat the stigma that had caused Brian to suffer in silence and ultimately take his own life, she created a group on her campus that promoted an open, enlightened dialogue around the issues. Just two years later in 2003, Ms. Malmon formed the 501(c)(3) organization in order to develop and support chapters of the student group on campuses around the country. She has since served as President and Executive Director of the non-profit organization, setting up chapters of the student group and creating a unified national voice for young adults in the mental health awareness movement. In ten years, Active Minds has grown to more than 400 chapters on college campuses throughout North America. Each group's goal is to promote the student voice in educating young adults about mental health and available resources for seeking help.
For her efforts Alison has been named a Top 25 Global Social Entrepreneur by American Express and Ashoka Changemakers; Washingtonian of the Year by Washingtonian Magazine; Potomac, Maryland Citizen of the Year, a Woman of Distinction from American Association of University Women, and received the Tipper Gore Remember the Children Award from Mental Health America. She has been profiled in the New York Times, CNN, Glamour, and Washington Post. Having graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2003, Alison now lives in Washington, D.C. with her husband and daughter.
Karen Marshall (KMarshall@suicidology.org)
Ms. Marshall is the Program Development Director for the American Association of Suicidology (AAS), headquartered in Washington, D.C. Prior to her full-time work with AAS, she was a career journalist with extensive experience in print, broadcast, and online reporting. After losing her father and an uncle to suicide, she became involved in prevention efforts, first as a volunteer and later in full-time professional capacities. She has helped to advance the work of nonprofit suicide prevention organizations since 1990. She began her work at The Link Counseling Center in Atlanta, Georgia, as assistant to its Executive Director, Iris Bolton, and has received training from noted experts in the field of suicide prevention, intervention and healing. She has taught basic suicide prevention skills to community groups, schools, first responders, medical professionals, and civic and professional associations. She is a member of the National Advisory Board for the University of Michigan's Depression Center.
Terry Wise, J.D. (Terry@TerryWise.com)
Widowed at 35 following her spouse's death from Lou Gehrig's Disease, and after surviving a near-fatal suicide attempt, Ms. Wise spent the next several years in treatment. A former trial attorney, she has since devoted her life to international public speaking and writing. She now travels to more than 50 cities a year as a keynote speaker, continuing education instructor, and workshop presenter - speaking to both the general public and professionals on topics related to depression, grief, long-term care-giving, suicide prevention and the process of recovering emotional health.
Ms. Wise is the author of Waking Up: Climbing Through the Darkness (foreword by Rabbi Harold S. Kushner, best-selling author of When Bad Things Happen to Good People), a highly-acclaimed book that provides a roadmap for the restoration of emotional health. Waking Up is in use at numerous universities, including Columbia University, Rutgers, Northeastern University, St. Mary's University, and Sacramento State and has been endorsed by prominent experts in related fields. Waking Up has also been adopted for use in crisis centers and in the training materials for the Core Competency Curriculum developed by the American Association of Suicidology and Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC). Wise is the recipient of a National Mental Health Award for “distinguished achievement and work that has had a major impact on the depression community.”
William Young, D.Min. (email@example.com)
Dr. Young has more than 33 years in ministry and more than 30 years in counseling. He is a licensed Professional Counselor and serves as Bishop of Greater Fellowship Faith Tabernacle in Bolivar, Tennessee and The Healing Center Full Gospel Baptist Church, Divisions of Greater Fellowship Ministries, Inc. Dr. Young is a Veteran, having served his country during the Vietnam War era. He was the first African American Staff Chaplain to serve at Methodist Health Systems in Memphis from June 1981 to July 1994. Before accepting that assignment he served as Staff Chaplain at Western State Mental Institute in Bolivar, Tennessee. Dr. Young is a Clinical Member of The American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy. He is licensed by the State of Tennessee in three areas: Marriage and Family Therapist; Professional Counselor; and as a Clinical Pastoral Therapist. He is a graduate of Lemoyne-Owen College. He earned his M. Div. in Pastoral Care and Counseling from Memphis Theological Seminary and did doctoral work on his D. Min at Louisville Presbyterian Seminary completing the doctorate of Ministry at Carolina Theological Seminary. He is a charter member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity. The 30 years of experience in the field of counseling has allowed Dr. Young to be a pioneer in the field among African American Clinicians. He specializes in marriage and family, grief, stress and burnout. He and his wife Dianne have faithfully co-hosted a Christian talk show, “On The Road To Healing” each Sunday morning on Memphis’ 1340 WLOK AM since 1994. The talk show is one of the Mid-South's most popular call-in broadcasts. It is also the only African-American Christian Talk Show in the Mid-South Area. The Young's also co-hosted “Memphis On The Air, Night Talk,” a two-hour, nightly public affairs, call-in show heard by thousands around the world via radio and the internet.
Dr. Young and his wife hosted the first National Suicide and the Black Church Conference at The Healing Center in Memphis, Tennessee, in 2003. These conferences continue to grow biennially, sharpening the awareness of the increased number of African Americans now making suicide an option. Young's counseling expertise and experience is greatly respected throughout the Mid-South Area, state and country. Dr. Young has partnered with numerous agencies, churches and community leaders in regards to making aware the needs of the African American community.