Meet The New #SPSM Chat Team! August 4th, 2019. 6pm PDT.

Meet new SPSMchat co-hosts Rudy Caseres (@RudyCaseres), Danielle Glick (@DanielleGlick), Hudson Harris (@MentalStrategy), Joelle Marie Nourse (@LazTheLazTheLaz), and Marie Shanley (@Mxiety) and learn what to expect in the coming weeks. All five co-hosts have diverse backgrounds and identities so they each have something unique to the bring to the table. The traditional SPSM Chat format will largely stay the same with the exception of the SPSM livestream now being embedded directly on the @SPSMchat Twitter page.

A replay of the recording from the SPSM Chat YouTube page is embedded below.

You can view this week’s Wakelet featuring curated #SPSM chat tweets here:



As per @StopTXSuicides‘ request:

Autism/Suicide Resources

Autistic Self Advocacy Network

ASAN’s online resource library section covers a range of subjects.

Pp.15-17 in their .pdf titled Autism and Safety Toolkit: Safety Tips for Self-Advocates has a section specifically written about suicide. It contains information and suggestions regarding planning for crisis, where and how to seek support, and acknowledges that autistics can be at risk in certain situations or may not be helped by those who do not have appropriate training.

Crisis Supports for the Autism Community

American Association of Suicidology and Common Ground developed a Crisis Toolkit to help give hotline workers some guidance in assisting those who may be autistic.

Autistic Women & Non-Binary Network

AWN actively collaborates with several disability, gender, justice, research, and related progressive causes and/or organizations. Additionally, our team works to advocate for our community and educate the public via presentations, workshops, trainings, articles, and statements.

Autistic community on Twitter:

#actuallyautistic #askingautistics



SPSM 3.0 Announcement

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@RobertVore & @MarshMan503 discuss The Intersection of Suicide, Mental & Emotional Wellness and Faith



The Intersection of Suicide, Mental &

Emotional Wellness and Faith.

9:00 pm EDT on Twitter @spsmchat with simultaneous live streaming on YouTube


June 30 Chat

Last night I had a few friends over for what we refer to as our “catch up for the week” informal gathering with some pizza and salad. I chatted about an upcoming press conference scheduled for July 15th to spotlight our peer to peer projects that have received some generous funding to expand locally (Bristol County MA).

As I typically do, there was an outline of the upcoming event on an easel pad in the corner with lists of people & organizations to be invited. I mentioned that it’s important that we focus on the triage intersection of other public health concerns with suicide, for example, problem gambling, alcohol and drug issues, domestic violence, etc. as well as local officials, educators, and supporters.

I noted something drift across one person’s face.


Well, I think there’s someone missing,” he said. “Where’s the faith based piece?”

A bit lamely, I noted the there was a “Rev” in front of one person’s name. No quite what he meant.

So, where does the faith-based community fit into not just suicide prevention but improving the quality of life for those impacted in any way by suicide?

That’s what our guests will talk about Sunday, June 30th, on the SPSMCHAT 2.0 Reboot.


Robert Vore


Robert Vore, MS, APC, NCC, CCATP

Robert Vore is an Atlanta-area therapist with a particular focus in adolescents & young adults. He’s also a certified QPR Suicide Prevention Instructor for groups of any size and offers trainings & consultations to churches, ministries, & other groups on topics related to faith & mental health.

He’s worked in various ministries & non-profits settings, advocates for betting mental health awareness in faith communities, and hosts CXMH, a podcast on those same topics.

CXMH is a podcast at the intersection of faith & mental health, hosted by Robert Vore & Dr. Holly Oxhandler. They bring together faith leaders with mental health professionals for honest conversations.


Marshall Taylor

Marshall Taylor is a recent graduate of Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Virginia with a bachelor’s degree in Religious Studies. He has been participating in #SPSMCHAT since his senior year of high school (’14-’15) and has been a member of AAS since 2015.

He will begin attending Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, Virginia in the Fall where he will be pursuing a Masters of Divinity degree. He wrote his Capstone paper on Suicide in the Bible and the Early Church which he plans to present in some form at #AAS20.


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PAIN IN THE NATION: Millennial crisis with alcohol, drugs, suicide & resources for suicide loss survivors

june23 graphic

Join us on Twitter, Sunday, June 23rd, 9:00 pm EDT, at @spsmchat for a discussion on two related topics:


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(1) PAIN IN THE NATION: Building a National Resilience Strategy: Alcohol and Drug Misuse and Suicide and the Millennial Generation — a Devastating Impact

Link to report:

108%  increase in drug related deaths, 2007 – 2017, 18 to 34 year olds

69%  increase in alcohol induced deaths, 2007 – 2017,   18 to 34 year olds

35% increase in suicide deaths, 2007 – 2017, 18 to 34 year olds


(2) Top 3 books to recommend to suicide loss survivors – and why those books?


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#psychoeducation #risingnumbers (among Black youth) #faithbasedsupport #psychologicalsupportgroups & More

#psychoeducation #socialsupport #psychologicalsupportgroups #peertopeer #risingnumbers (among Black youth) #faithbasedsupport (and suicide prevention)

June 16, 2019

Concerns on social media this week




Did you see reports/articles/commentary on any of these thought-provoking subjects? Links to some are below and we will be Tweeting/chatting about them. Please join the conversation and share your experiences, concerns, suggestion on one or all topics.

Rising numbers of suicides among Black youth under 13

A Friends-and-Family Intervention for Preventing Teen Suicide

Researchers are focusing new attention on boosting social connectedness for teens following hospitalization for suicide attempts or ideations.

War, depression, suicide: American veterans are finding help

How Religious Belief Can Affect Health

One scientist used brain scans of rabbis to inform his research

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Suicide prevention and the need to bring mental health to the forefront of communities of color.

This is the link to the YouTube Live Streaming


Suicide prevention and the need to bring mental health to the forefront of communities of color.

@JudgeWren and @1of2vics

June 9th thumbnail

On Sunday, February 10, 2019. Judge Ginger Lerner-Wren joined the SPSMCHAT 2.0 Reboot! to discuss “Judges as Champions for Suicide Prevention.” Among the topics covered were:

  • A Problem-Solving court?
  • How does prejudicial judgement (stigma) impact the work of the courts?
  • What is Therapeutic Jurisprudence?
  • How do judges become #Champions4SuicidePrevention?
  • And Judge Wren’s vision for mental health & social justice in America?

Well, court is back in session! And we have Victor Armstrong in the house also.

As we build upon our prior chat about suicide prevention in US Jails & Prisons, tonight we will focus on recent data about alarming rise of deaths by suicide of black children and urgent need to address stigma and promote suicide prevention.

Judge Lerner-Wren will also discuss the short documentary film Faded Conversations, produced by United Way of Broward County in response to the data cited above.

Here is link

(Viewing 25:05).

Don’t miss this one!


Judge Wren

Judge Ginger Lerner-Wren, Broward County Court Judge

Seventeenth Judicial Circuit, State of Florida

 Judge Ginger Lerner-Wren earned her B.A. degree in Politics and Public Affairs, 1980, University of Miami and J.D. from Shepard Broad College of Law, Nova Southeastern University, 1983 and was elected Broward County Court Judge in 1997.  Judge Lerner-Wren pioneered the first problem solving Mental Health Court in the United States, dedicated to the decriminalization and community-based treatment of persons arrested with mental illness and co-occurring disorders and has diverted more than 21,000 people out of Broward’s jail.

Broward’s Mental Health Court is a national and global model.  Recognitions include:  Broward’s Court was the model for The America’s Law Enforcement & Mental Health Project signed into law by President Bill Clinton in November, 2000.  The Court was showcased at The White House, Conference on Mental Health.   In 2002, President George W. Bush appointed Judge Wren to serve on The President’s New Freedom Commission on Mental Health, where she chaired the criminal justice subcommittee.

In 2013, Judge Wren was selected Top Finalist, Innovating Justice Award, Hiil Foundation, The Hague, and The Netherlands and received National Council Advocacy and Excellence Award “Elected Official Service” in 2015.  She serves on the Board of Governors, United Way of Broward County Commission on Behavioral Health and Drug Prevention and the Executive Committee, National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, Advisory Board, International Society Therapeutic Jurisprudence Advisory Board.

Judge Lerner-Wren speaks nationally and internationally on problem-solving justice and mental health courts.  She is an adjunct Professor at Nova Southeastern University and writes on diverse subjects (i.e. mental health, criminal justice, therapeutic jurisprudence, disability and human rights.)  Judge Lerner-Wren is the author of, “A Court of Refuge:  Stories from the Bench of America’s First Mental Health Court” published by Beacon Press in 2018.




Victor Armstrong serves as Vice President, Behavioral Health with Atrium Health based in Charlotte, NC. As such, he has responsibility for operational and strategic oversight of Atrium’s largest behavioral health campus, Behavioral Health Charlotte (“BHC”). The BHC campus contains 66 inpatient beds, a psychiatric emergency department, and 10 provider based outpatient behavioral health programs, including both adult and child medication management, outpatient therapy, a First Episode Psychosis Program, Adult and Child Partial Hospital Programs, an ACT Team, and a school based program which operates in 19 area schools.

Victor has dedicated his career to building and strengthening community resources to serve individuals living with mental illness. He is also a staunch advocate for reducing stigma around mental illness, and the accompanying discrimination against people living with mental illness. Victor speaks nationally and internationally on suicide awareness, particularly as it relates to underserved communities. He also utilizes social media as a platform to raise awareness of these issues.

Victor currently serves on the Board of Directors of the National Council for Behavioral Health (Secretary/Treasurer), RI International, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) NC, and i2i Center for Integrative Health. He is also former board chair of The National Association of Mental Illness (NAMI) NC and is a member of the American Association of Suicidology (AAS).

Victor’s awards and recognitions include 2018 Distinguished Alumni Award from East Carolina University School of Social Work, 2012 National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) NC, Mental Health Professional of the Year, Pride Magazine 2018,”Best of the Best”, and i2i Center for Integrative Health 2018 Innovation Award for “Whole Person Care”.

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@sarahgaer Violence and Suicide: What are the connections?Let’s look at two aspects: (1) Bullying/cyberbulling; and (2) how to better support traumatized first responders.

Violence and Suicide: What are the connections?

Let’s look at two aspects: (1) Bullying/cyberbulling; and

(2) how to better support traumatized first responders.

@sarahgaer @semavav @traceymedeiros2

June 2 Sarah


YouTube link

I’m always joking that I wear too many hats. I do. When I’m working within my local region (the day job) – Bristol County MA, with a population of 500,000 residing in 20 cities and towns – or doing work across the commonwealth, there are two threads of the suicide prevention tapestry that frequently get tugged.

Does bullying cause suicide and how can we better support our first responders?

This past week there seemed to be a number of articles, research reports, parental concerns related to bullying in general, and bullying and suicide specifically. And we continue to see/read/hear more & more about the need to tear down the walls of judgement preventing first responders to safely and respectfully seek help when needed.

A couple of weeks ago, I was contacted by a regional reporter who wanted to discuss, wait for it – yup, bullying. End result, I’m participating in a Facebook Live panel on Thursday morning here in southeastern MA to discuss bullying (and, for me, suicide prevention). In the conversation, I noted that I recently completed gatekeeper training for an entire police department.

The timing seemed appropriate to gather around the SPSMCHAT 2.0 Reboot! table to take a look at these two issues.

Sarah, Tracey and I invite you to join the conversation Sunday night, 9:00 pm EDT, on Twitter @spsmchat, with a simultaneous YouTube live streaming. Split your screen and cover both! (took me a while to figure out how to do that).


Annemarie Matulis, @semavav

Founder, A Voice at the Table – a movement

Chair, American Association of Suicidology’s Impacted Family & Friends Committee



sarah (2)


Sarah Gaer is a suicide loss survivor and a Master’s Level Clinician with twenty years’ experience in the field of mental health care.  She has worked as an outpatient clinician, on a crisis team, and led a team of crisis counselors following the June 1st, 2011 tornado in Western and Central MA through a FEMA Crisis Counseling Program (CCP).

Since 2012, Sarah has worked as a Suicide Prevention Specialist focused on men in the middle years and first responders with Riverside Trauma Center.  She has trained hundreds of first responders in trauma and suicide prevention in Massachusetts and is a QPR (Question, Persuade & Refer) Master Trainer for the QPR Institute.  Sarah is also a member of the Riverside Trauma Center trauma team and has responded to suicides, homicides, natural disasters, and terrorist attacks throughout Massachusetts.  She is currently co-chair of the Pioneer Valley Coalition for Suicide Prevention and sits on the Executive Committee for the Massachusetts Coalition for Suicide Prevention.

She has presented her work at International, National, and State Suicide Prevention Conferences and her writings have been published by SAMHSA and the Good Men Project and is preparing to publish her first novel.

To learn more visit


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New Voices, New Resources: Suicide is Different & CLEAR Lighthouse

Do you know about Suicide is Different

& CLEAR Lighthouse?

New voices, new resources. One for caregivers/providers/impacted family; the other to empower and build resilience in youth and families. Preventing suicide and improving quality of life are the common goals. Let’s talk.

Twitter chat @spsmchat

May 26th Chat

Simultaneous YouTube live streaming

 Suicide Is Different: 

Suicide Is Different is a first of its kind support program for caregivers of individuals struggling with suicide. The program consists of five interactive modules with tools and resources for individuals to navigate and thrive through the challenges they may face.

All modules plus downloadable materials are available for free on our website. This curriculum can be helpful for informal suicide caregivers as well as crisis counselors or clinical professionals. Check out for more information!

Johanna Louie - Photo

Johanna Louie is a co-founder of Suicide Is Different. She has worked at various crisis centers and mobile response teams in both supervisory and management roles since 2013. Before transitioning to a full-time career in mental health, Johanna worked at The Walt Disney Company where she conducted usability testing and research for theme park design.

Her ultimate mission is to build supportive programs and practical tools for caregivers utilizing her interdisciplinary experiences. Johanna obtained her MS in Social Work from Columbia University and MS in Human Behavior from the University of Southern California.

CLEAR Lighthouse

CLEAR Lighthouse will be a Holistic Mental Health Center for youth who struggle with depression/anxiety, loneliness, trauma, suicidal thoughts or attempts. Using holistic experiential activities along with mental health and leadership trainings, they hope to empower and build resilience in youth and families. Creating healthy relationships and a sense of belonging is vital to saving lives and eradicating mental health stigma/discrimination. on Facebook.

CLEAR stands for and you deserve:

C – Connection
L – Love
E – Empowerment
A – Acceptance
R – Resilience


cheryl mlcoch

Cheryl Mlcoch is the Founder and Executive Director of CLEAR Lighthouse a Holistic Mental Health Center for youth and families. She has a Masters Degree in Mental Health Counseling from the University of Phoenix, SLC, UT and a Bachelors in Exercise Science from Ball State University, Muncie, IN. For over 15 years, she has been a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and has worked with youth for 30 years in a variety of settings. These settings include grief support groups after the loss of a loved one to suicide or murder, ER crisis worker, foster care, drug court, previous Board Member for CASA of Larimer County, Boys & Girls Clubs, Big Brothers Big Sisters, camp counselor, and coaching high school basketball & volleyball.

Cheryl has personal experience with many different types of trauma, depression/anxiety and suicide due to being an attempt survivor, losing friends and family to suicide, living with autoimmune disease, witnessing violence regularly as a child/youth, working with suicidal clients, and many others. Her mother’s murder at the age of 18 sent her into a tailspin that almost led to her own death, but thankfully ended up transforming her into helping others even more. This variety pack of experiences has helped her to relate & connect with people in very unique ways.

Cheryl speaks regularly about her lived experience and also volunteers with two local suicide prevention workgroups to help serve LGBTQ youth and the faith community to be more connected & educated in prevention efforts. She currently serves on the Youth Suicide Prevention Committee and Impacted Family & Friends Committee for AAS/American Association of Suicidology and was asked to serve on the AAS 2019 awards committee.

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