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August 2017 Edition
LYNN 2016
Dr. Cynthia Lynn (center) accepts the Madge and Ken Tullis, MD, Suicide Prevention Award at the 2016 Suicide Prevention Awareness Day event. Also pictured, from left to right, then- Advisory Council Chair Tim Tatum and TSPN Executive Director Scott Ridgway.
Suicide Prevention Awareness Month Update

Full details about this year's statewide Suicide Prevention Awareness Month observance are on the Suicide Prevention Awareness Month page on the TSPN website. We encourage you to check back frequently for updates as new events are added and more information is made available.

These include our annual Suicide Prevention Awareness Day event, scheduled for 10:30 AM on Wednesday, September 13, at Trevecca Community Church, located at 335 Murfreesboro Pike in Nashville, ZIP 37210. This event is proudly sponsored by Vanderbilt Behavioral Health. RSVPs are required for this event; please submit these to no later than 4 PM CDT on Friday, September 1.

We're offering our popular "30 Days of Suicide Prevention" calendar, featuring suggestions of things you can do every day in September to raise awareness about suicide prevention and mental health.

Finally, TSPN is currently collecting signatures from city mayors, county executives, public service agencies, and private companies for this year's Suicide Prevention Awareness Month proclamation. (Governor Bill Haslam's office will sign off on a proclamation on behalf of the state of Tennessee, to be presented at the Suicide Prevention Awareness Day event on September 14.) The proclamation document is available for download on the TSPN website. Before making an appointment with local government officials, make sure to contact your Regional Coordinator to make sure your county or city has not already signed off on a proclamation.

Let us know if you have any questions or would like to announce other events you or others have planned. We look forward to having you involved in this year's Suicide Prevention Awareness Month activities, and we thank you for the role you play in helping to save lives in Tennessee.
TSPN Introduces New West Tennessee Regional Coordinator

TSPN welcomes Tosha Gurley, BS, as our new West Tennessee Regional Coordinator. She began work out of Behavioral Health Initiative's offices in Jackson on July 31.
Gurley will be responsible for coordinating suicide prevention training sessions associated with TSPN's Substance Abuse Outreach Program. She will also coordinate training sessions for university staff and students as part of the Tennessee Higher Education Suicide Prevention Network (THESPN), and training sessions associated with the Columbia Suicide Severity Rating Scale (C-SSRS) and the ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training) protocol. Taylor will also disseminate regional TSPN recourses to members across West Tennessee; arrange for presentations and speakers at local conferences, workshops, and training sessions; coordinate regional TSPN meetings and projects within the West Tennessee area; and assist with postvention operations at schools, businesses, and other agencies affected by recent suicide deaths.
Before joining TSPN, Gurley was the Independent Support Coordinator Program Supervisor at the Tennessee Community Services Agency (TNCSA), a public agency created by the General Assembly of Tennessee with a broad mission of serving Tennesseans in need. Gurley's responsibilities included the management of Independent Support Plans for people served by HCBS Medicaid Waivers and ensuring compliance with Centers for Medicare/Medicare Services. She also developed and monitored a program delivery system to help maintain TNCSA's 4 Star Agency rating.
Prior to her work with TNCSA, Gurley was a Family Advocate for the Exchange Club Carl Perkins Center for the Prevention of Child Abuse. Part of her work included preparing children testifying in abuse cases for court cases, and she also facilitated parenting education and child sexual abuse prevention courses.
Gurley holds a B.S. in Human Services from Bethel University, where she received the Human Services Honor Award and completed a field placement with Volunteer Home Care Medical Social Work.

Lived Experience Moment

Gloria Gorss contributed this original poem to the August-September 2014 edition of can you hear me? , TSPN's newsletter for the lived experience community.

Will You Miss Me If I Go?

My sadness overwhelms me, my pain won't let go
My days and nights are filled with tears
Will you miss me if I go?
A breath away from screaming, a blink from salty te
My days and nights are filled with pain
Will you miss me if I go?
That part of me, that shown so bright and bold.
Grows darker day by day.
Will you miss me if I go?
My smile is replaced with tears and silent screams.
The pain and tears have taken hold.
Will you miss me if I go?
Capturing my soul, my heart , my head.
Leaving in its wake only fear and dread.
Will you miss me if I go?

The TSPN Call to Action needs articles from suicide loss and lived experience survivors for the next issue and the ones to come. If there's a piece you want to submit to the newsletter, send it to with the "TCTA Submission".  Feedback and suggestions can also be sent to this address with the subject line "TCTA Feedback".