Suicide Prevention Month - Insights and Strategies for Reducing Suicide among Older Adults
This webinar is intended to raise awareness about suicide and highlight strategies to help professionals, consumers, families, and communities understand the role they can play in promoting emotional well-being and preventing suicide.
Speakers will discuss the impact of suicide, the implementation of 9-8-8 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, and highlight community-based programs and resources that can help.
This webinar is hosted by the Administration for Community Living (ACL), the National Coalition on Mental Health and Aging, and the National Council on Aging.
Rep. Susan Wild
Pennsylvania’s 7th District
Congresswoman Susan Wild has been a member of the Lehigh Valley community for more than 30 years. Her two adult children were born and raised in the Valley, where they attended public schools. Susan built a successful legal practice while raising her two children and became the first woman to be appointed as Allentown City Solicitor. In November 2018, Congresswoman Wild was elected as the first woman to represent Pennsylvania’s 7th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. Congresswoman Wild has been appointed to the House Education and Labor Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee and is committed to fighting for quality, affordable health care for all, an economy that benefits every member of our community, and reforming our political system to return government to the American people.
Dr. Laura Shannonhouse
Georgia State University
Laura Shannonhouse is an associate professor in the Department of Counseling and Psychological Services at Georgia State University. She is a National Certified Counselor (NCC), Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), an Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Trainer (ASIST), and a Suicide to Hope (s2H) Facilitator. Her clinical experiences (e.g. college counseling center, cancer center, crisis center, etc.) have included working with disaster impacted populations both domestically and internationally (e.g. illness-related trauma in South Africa; prolonged grief from daycare center fire in Mexico, post-Katrina charter school teachers; both southeast Asian and post-earthquake Haitian refugees, and urban homeless, etc.). Therefore, her research interests focus on crisis intervention and disaster response; she is curious about how people make sense of suffering through their faith. Specifically, she conducts community-based research in kindergarten through 16 systems and with the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) to prevent suicide (suicide first aid), and with disaster impacted populations in fostering meaning-making through one’s faith tradition (spiritual first aid).
President and CEO
Vibrant Emotional Health (New York)
Kimberly A. Williams is the President and CEO of the Vibrant Emotional Health, a nonprofit organization which reaches over 2.5 million people each year to help them achieve emotional well-being through high quality, innovative programs. She began as a public policy intern in 2003, rising to President and CEO in 2017. She has served the mental health industry through various positions, including mental health advocate, administrator, educator, and consultant. As CEO, Williams has overseen the expansion of Vibrant’s premier programs they administer, including the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, the Disaster Distress Helpline, and NYC Well, New York City’s leading edge, multi-lingual, multi-modal contact center program that responds around the clock to the mental health needs of over 300,000 New Yorkers every year. Williams serves on a number of advisory committees and boards including the New York State Interagency Geriatric Mental Health and Chemical Dependence Planning Council, the New York State Health Foundation Community Advisory Committee, Mental Health News Education Inc., United Community Schools, and the National Coalition on Mental Health and Aging, for whom she is immediate past chair. Her leadership in the field has been recognized by City and State New York, New York Nonprofit Media, Mental Health Association in New York State, and the National Association of Social Workers NYC Chapter. Williams has been an adjunct lecturer at Columbia University School of Social Work and NYU Silver School of Social Work. Her voice has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, CBS Evening News, The Today Show and more.
Senior Services Manager
Jefferson Center for Mental Health (CO)
Amy Miller is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Arvada, CO, with a broad range of experience in the field of aging. Amy is the Director of Adult Outpatient Services at Jefferson Center for Mental Health, the Community Mental Health Center serving the suburbs and mountains west of Denver, Colorado. Amy oversees the day to day operations of the community-based Senior Reach program, and as the Senior Reach National Consultant was closely involved with the training, implementation, and ongoing support for the Senior Reach sites in Colorado, Michigan, and New Jersey.
As Director of Adult Outpatient Services Amy provides programmatic oversight of the Senior Services Outpatient, Adult Outpatient, Mountain Services, and Vocational Services programs. During her time at Jefferson Center she has also developed a new program to provide individual and group therapy to individuals with Hoarding Disorder. Amy earned her BA degree in Psychology from the University of South Dakota and her Master of Social Work from the University of Denver; she is also a Certified Mental Health First Aid Instructor.
Brian Altman (Moderator)
Deputy Director of the Administration on Aging
Brian Altman serves as the Deputy Director for the Administration on Aging (AoA) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Community Living (ACL). In this role, Altman provides expert advice, guidance and support to the agency and the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Aging on key mission critical issues, initiatives and agency functions. Altman also builds and enhances AoA’s work with aging organizations to foster exchange of information and strengthen support for the agency’s vision, policies and programs including working closely with stakeholders.
Altman most recently served as the Director of Federal and Political Affairs at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) where he oversaw ASHA’s Capitol Hill office. Altman advocated for increased access to audiology and speech-language pathology services in programs such as Medicare, newborn hearing screening and those funded by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
Prior to joining ASHA, Altman served in federal government at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and completed a detail at the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. At SAMHSA, Brian served at various times as both the Director of the Division of Policy Innovation and the Director of Legislative and Regulatory Affairs. Altman also helped lead SAMHSA’s policy efforts on behalf of LGBT and aging populations, including co-leading the SAMHSA/ACL Behavioral Health Work Group.
Before joining SAMHSA, Altman was a senior government relations manager at Drinker Biddle & Reath where he represented a broad range of health care clients. Altman also has served as the Director of Public Policy and Program Development at the Suicide Prevention Action Network USA (SPAN USA) where his work included advocating for the Stop Senior Suicide Act. Prior to joining SPAN USA, he worked at the American Counseling Association and served as a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Claire V. Eagan, of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma.
Altman graduated from Duke University, cum laude, with a B.A. in public policy studies and received his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center.