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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.

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

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

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

Suicide Prevention Research in Diverse Communities

Dr. Jill Harkavy-Friedman hosts a panel of expert suicide prevention researchers who  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.

Strengthening Mental Health Support and Connection within the Black Community

This town hall explores peer/professional, community-led initiatives that are giving way to hope and meaningful conversations about mental health and suicide prevention.

Dr. Doreen Marshall, AFSP’s Vice President of Mission Engagement, facilitates a one-hour discussion with leaders from Black-led organizations who are focused on inspiring mental health connections and meaningful peer-to-peer conversations about mental health and suicide prevention.

Guest panelists for the conversation and audience Q&A include:

  • Dr. Donna Barnes, Founder and CEO of DHB Wellness & Associates, LLC; Co-founder and President of the National Organization for People of Color against Suicide (NOPCAS)
  • Lorenzo P. Lewis, CEO and Founder of The Confess Project
  • Dr. Chinwé Williams, Founder of Meaningful Solutions Counseling & Consulting

Families, Culture and GenZ/Millennial Perspectives on Mental Health and Suicide Loss

AFSP’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Christine Yu Moutier leads a moderated one-hour discussion with the Thomas family (Chris, Martha and Solomon) and the Cornelius family (Tony, Christina and Raymond), focused on how young adults and families are addressing mental health needs and experiences of suicide loss. Topics include youth culture, family dynamics, and how we can all come together for greater connection and culture change.

Supporting AAPI Communities: Mental Health Experiences, Discrimination and Reducing Stigma

One-hour discussion focused on how the national network of AFSP chapters and beyond can support the AAPI community particularly in the face experiences of discrimination and stigma surrounding mental health experiences, with audience Q&A on Facebook Live (@afspnational).

Moderator: Marian Liu, Washington Post

Panelists include:

Dr. Christine Yu Moutier, AFSP CMO
Dr. Rona Hu, Stanford Psychiatrist
Dr. Chris Hahm, AWARE Research Boston University

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