RVDW’s summer meeting hiatus came to an end on Friday when members gathered to focus on September as National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. With compassion and clarity, our guest speakers led attendees through sometimes difficult facts while encouraging discussion about the prevalence of and increase in suicide in our daily lives. There was opportunity for questions and answers and powerful personal reflection.
Ms. Scales, Ms. Johnson, and Ms. Goodman all expressed hopefulness as they see the stigma around discussing suicide receding. In this environment, and beyond September, we can all take action to make a difference and help prevent and reduce suicide:
- Educate your friends, families, coworkers.
- Mobilize support in your community, churches, civic groups, etc.
- Pay attention to legislation and funding (local, state, national).
The following presentation file was prepared for RVDW and has been shared by Julia Scales. Note: This presentation is meant to be informative, not diagnostic.
Some of the resources referenced in the above presentation include:
Homepage | Zero Suicide (edc.org)
SAMHSA – Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline – Call. Text. Chat. (988lifeline.org)
Suicide Prevention Resource for Action | Suicide | CDC
Thank You to Our September Speakers:
Julia Scales is Director of Behavioral Health Integration at New Horizons Healthcare and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Julia has worked in the behavioral health field for almost ten years. She is passionate about dismantling barriers, supporting underserved populations, and creating safe spaces for healing. In her free time, Julia enjoys reading, watching documentaries and trips to Lowes with her fiancé.
Danielle Johnson is a Licensed Eligible Mental Health Professional with over a decade of experience in the Roanoke community. Danielle works at Roanoke City Public Schools as a School Social Worker and performs outpatient counseling in private practice. Danielle’s passion for mental health awareness, advocacy, service, and community engagement continues to fuel her purpose of being a trailblazer and change agent for the Roanoke community. In her free time, Danielle enjoys making aromatherapy candles, being in nature, and watching Marvel movies with her two sons.
Sarah Goodman is a local Realtor and the current GOTV Organizer for Red Wine & Blue. Sarah was a public school teacher and leader of the Roanoke County Education Association for many years, and she left her teaching job to be able to devote more energy to fighting the extremist takeover our public schools are facing. She is excited to share the resources developed by Red Wine & Blue to help women organize to protect our rights. Sarah is a mother of two sons, and she loves to read, hike, cook, and play with her dogs.