Hello spring! And hello during this National Mental Health Awareness Month.
Last Wednesday, April 29th, 2015, I attended the Communities in Action to Prevent Suicide conference put on by a growing organization I want you to know about, prevent suicide wisconsin, and Mental Health America, Wisconsin.
Reading the preconference materials, I was immediately attracted to one of the keynote speakers, Ursula Whiteside, PhD, a Clinical Psychologist from the University of Washington. Ms. Whiteside is a member of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention’s Zero Suicide Advisory Group. The Action Alliance was launched by former U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and former U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates to champion suicide prevention as a national priority. To quote from their literature, the Alliance champions “…a nation free from the tragic event of suicide.”
I wrote to Ursula before the conference, and to my delight she agreed to meet with me for a casual interview early in the morning, before her keynote. I greatly enjoyed meeting her, learned a lot, and am further encouraged. She is a suicide attempt survivor herself and also knows and understands the Zero Suicide movement, an approach to suicide prevention that I’ll be discussing with you in my next post or two this week.