Barb Smith is the Executive Director of Survivors of Suicide where she advocates for mental health and suicide awareness, and provides suicide prevention, intervention, and aftercare training. She does most of her work in the Great Lakes Bay region (Saginaw, Bay, and Midland counties), and throughout the state of Michigan. Staff at HealthyMenMichigan.org recently caught up with partner Barb Smith about how the campaign has changed her work.
In recent weeks, your students may have learned of cases of youth livestreaming suicide on Facebook or other streaming sites. While this troubling phenomenon is hard for any of us to think about, this type of graphic content can have a particularly troubling effect on students who are already struggling with their own mental health concerns. Mental health staff should check in with students and inform parents of any raised concerns.
The Missouri Department of Mental Health is dedicated to the prevention, treatment, and promotion of public understanding for Missourians with mental illnesses, developmental disabilities, and addictions. Last year, they worked with the Youth Programs Team at Screening for Mental Health to host an SOS Certified Training Institute for their prevention regional support center staff. Across the state, staff working in these support centers provide technical assistance and training to their local communities on many different topics, including suicide prevention. Receiving many requests for suicide prevention resources, the Missouri DMH saw the SOS Certified Training Institute’s train-the-trainer model as one that would work well to blanket the state with this critical information.
Lead presenter, Catherine Dooley, developed, co-directed and supervised McLean Hospital’s first comprehensive Milieu Eating Disorder Treatment Program on the Cognitive Behavior Therapy Unit in 1980. She developed a group method for training clinical staff in the application of Relational Theory in their work with Eating Disorder clients.
When Douglas Chamberlain of Appleton Partners, Inc. heard John Trautwein speak at our gala last year, he was moved to gift John’s community with a MindKare Kiosk, a staple of Screening for Mental Health’s burgeoning behavioral health technology initiative. John and his wife Susie’s son Will died by suicide when he was just a freshman in high school. After their loss, John and Susie established The Will to Live Foundation, dedicated to preventing teen suicide by improving the lives and the ‘will to live’ of teenagers everywhere through mental health education.