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Elevating Voices for Long-Lasting Change, A Town Hall Series

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is dedicated to meeting the mental health and suicide prevention needs among underrepresented communities.

As outlined in the organization’s three-year strategic plan, AFSP is prioritizing diverse communities, believing that every family, youth, adult and community should have the resources and knowledge to discuss mental health concerns, connect with support, and have access to effective mental health care and suicide prevention resources. We know through research that mental health and suicide intersect with health, educational and economic disparities among minority populations.

Through an ongoing town hall series, Elevating Voices for Long-Lasting Change, AFSP is convening leading experts in mental health and suicide prevention from diverse communities to help elevate voices, improve public understanding of their range of experiences, and support their unique needs. AFSP is finding the most effective ways to support and engage communities in education, advocacy and public understanding to close the gap and ensure we are meeting the needs of diverse backgrounds.

Part One: Mental Health in the Black Community

The first Town Hall in the series takes a closer look at “Mental Health in the Black Community” with a focus on the role of family alongside mental health programs and statewide services that are making mental health and suicide prevention an imperative for the Black community. Dr. Christine Moutier will lead a moderated one-hour discussion with audience Q&A on Facebook Live (@afspnational).

Guest panelists include:

  • Victor Armstrong, MSW, Director of the NC Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Substance Abuse Services; Board of Directors, North Carolina Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
  • Tandra Rutledge, M.A., Director of Business Development, Riveredge Hospital; Board of Directors, Illinois Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
  • Arielle Sheftall, Ph.D., Principal Investigator, Center for Suicide Prevention and Research, Abigail Wexner Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics, The Ohio State University College of Medicine

Part Two: Elevating Voices for Long-Lasting Change: An AFSP Virtual Town Hall Series Addressing MH and SP in BIPOC Communities

The second Town Hall in the series looks at “Supporting Mental Health in Communities of Color: Ways Forward” Dr. Christine Moutier will lead a moderated one-hour discussion with audience Q&A on Facebook Live (@afspnational).

Guest panelists include:

  • Alfiee (Dr. Alfiee) Breland-Noble, Ph.D., Psychologist, author, founder of mental health nonprofit the AAKOMA Project and host of video podcast “Couched in Color"
  • Michael Lindsey, Ph.D., MSW, MPH, Executive Director, McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research, Constance and Martin Silver Professor of Poverty Studies, Chair, Working Group of Congressional Black Caucus Task Force on Black Youth Suicide
  • Fred Sandoval, MPA, Executive Director, National Latino Behavioral Health Association

Part Three: Preventing Suicide in BIPOC Communities: Ways Forward

In the third Town Hall in the series, “Preventing Suicide in BIPOC Communities: Ways Forward,”  Dr. Christine Moutier will lead a moderated one-hour discussion focused on policy opportunities and initiatives, with audience Q&A on Facebook Live on September 17, 2020 from 3-4 p.m. ET.

Guest panelists include:

  • Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman, Chair, Congressional Black Caucus Task Force on Black Youth Suicide
  • Michael Lindsey, Ph.D., MSW, MPH, Executive Director, NYU’s McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research and Constance & Martin Silver Professor of Poverty Studies; Chair, Working Group of Congressional Black Caucus Task Force on Black Youth Suicide
  • Nikki Pitre, Coeur d’Alene Tribe, Executive Director at the Center for Native American Youth at the Aspen Institute

Part Four: Suicide Prevention Research in Diverse Communities

Dr. Jill Harkavy-Friedman will host a panel of expert suicide prevention researchers who will share their work, translate research findings into tips for preventing suicide in families and communities, and share gaps and opportunities to learn more through research to prevent suicide in Communities of Color. Presented on Facebook Live (@afspnational) on October 15, 2020 from 4-5 p.m. ET.

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