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October 2017 Edition
From left to right: Scott Ridgway, MS, Executive Director, TSPN; Anne Young, TSPN Advisory Council Regional Chair; Robert C. Killen, Ed.D; The Hon. Jim Henry, Deputy Governor of the State of Tennessee; Marie Williams, LCSW, Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services; and Jameson K. Norton, Chief Executive Officer of Vanderbilt Psychiatric Hospital and Clinics.
TSPN Celebrates Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

Approximately 300 people attended this year's Suicide Prevention Awareness Day ceremony on September 13 at Trevecca Community Church in Nashville, the annual highlight of TSPN's statewide Suicide Prevention Awareness Month campaign.
Deputy Governor Jim Henry presented this year's proclamation of September as Suicide Prevention Awareness Month from Governor Bill Haslam. Proclamations from city and county governments across the state were on display at the event; over 100 of these have been received by the central office.
Scott Couch, anchor/reporter with WZTV-Fox 17 News, emceed the event, which featured remarks from Marie Williams, LCSW, Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, as well as Jameson K. Norton, Chief Executive Officer of Vanderbilt Psychiatric Hospital and Clinics. Vanderbilt Behavioral Health sponsored this year's event and the luncheon that followed.
Also speaking at this year's observance was Cindy Curtis Johnson, Volunteer Coordinator for Avalon Hospice. Since losing her son Brandon to suicide in 2009 at the age of 20, Cindy has been one of TSPN's strongest survivor-advocates. In the years since her devastating loss, she organized a survivors of suicide loss group in Clarksville which still meets today. She was the first chair of the Montgomery-Houston-Humphreys-Stewart County Task Force, which has since expanded to Robertson County as well. She has provided support services and awareness events at Middle Tennessee State University (which Brandon attended) and at Fort Campbell for the benefit of service personnel stationed there.
This year's Madge and Ken Tullis, MD, Suicide Prevention Award went to Robert C. Killen, Ed.D., Supervisor of Counseling and Mental Health for Maury County Public Schools. Killen assisted TSPN in piloting its Suicide Behavior Procedure Checklist within the school system, helping enhance and streamline the protocol ahead of its statewide release. As such, he has helped schools across Tennessee improve their ability to react to and help students in crisis.
Additionally, TSPN bestowed this year's Suicide Awareness and Prevention Service Award on the Tennessee Department of Health's Primary Prevention Initiative for its inclusion of suicide prevention to the list of projects from which participating TDH employees could choose to engage. Several TDH employees have received instruction as suicide prevention trainers, imparting life-saving skills to their colleagues and communities. In the last year, TDH employees working on the suicide prevention aspect of PPI have provided training to hundreds of people across Tennessee. The Tennessee Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention received this year's Community Partner Award in recognition of the partnership TSPN has developed with this agency in the last year, combining our efforts to improve the reach of our respective awareness efforts. The Maryville Times received this year's Special Media Award, recognizing the paper's longstanding promotion of TSPN's mission and projects and its role in establishing TSPN's first county-specific suicide prevention task force.
The Network would like to thank everyone who submitted a panel for the latest "Love Never Dies" Memorial Quilt-thirteenth in the series and the largest to date--dedicated during this program. We would also like to thank Eileen Wallach, CEO of Your Heart on Art, Inc.,
for making the "Wish Upon a Star" art installation available for this event and others across the state.
TSPN wishes to thank all those who helped organize these events, whose passion and dedication have seen the Network through another year of outreach, education, and lives saved.
A group photo including this year's Regional Suicide Prevention Award winners and other dignitaries. Pictured from left to right: Magráns-Tillery, Young, Ridgway, Killen, Advisory Council Past Chair Tim Tatum (accepting Mays's award), Henry, Sifford, Williams, Averitt, Melinda Hardin of NAMI (accepting Areas's award), Woodruff, Bauer, Norton, and Barham.
Regional Suicide Prevention Award Winners and Other Honorees 

The following individuals were recognized as this year's Regional Suicide Prevention Award winners and will be recognized during the Suicide Prevention Awareness Day event:

Northeast Region: Heatherly Sifford
East Tennessee: Matt Magráns-Tillery
Southeast Region: Wanda Mays
Upper Cumberland Region: Dr. John Averitt
Mid-Cumberland Region: Elvin "Woody" Woodruff
South Central Region: Robert C. Killen, Ed.D.
Rural West: Phillip Barham
Memphis/Shelby County Region: Octavio Areas
Intra-State Departmental Award: Michelle Bauer
In addition, TSPN honored the following entities for their service to the Network:

Suicide Awareness and Prevention Service Award:
Tennessee Department of Health Primary Prevention Initiative
Special Media Award: Maryville Daily Times
Community Partner Award: American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Tennessee Chapter
The following TSPN members were officially recognized as trainers in the "Assessing and Managing Suicide Risk" (AMSR) or "Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training" (ASIST) curricula:
Jan Cagle (ASIST)
Andrea Mills (AMSR)
Julie Hamlin (AMSR)
Jennifer Harris (ASIST)
Sean Jones (AMSR)
Darlene Ousley (ASIST)  
Ben Taylor (ASIST)
Marisa Whitsett (ASIST)
Lisa Winkle (ASIST)
Anne Young (ASIST)   
The ceremony also included honors for Zero Suicide Initiative partners who completed one or more dimensions of the initiative since last year's ceremony. ( More information about Tennessee's Zero Suicide Initiative is available here.)

Partner agencies completing at least one of the seven dimensions this year:

Alliance Behavioral Healthcare 
Behavioral Health Initiatives  
A sample Zero Suicide Initiative puzzle plaque. Pieces are added to the plaque as each dimension is completed. 
Blount County Emotional Health & Recovery Center 
Correct Care Solutions 
Marshall Medical Center   
Pathways Behavioral Health Services 
Professional Care Services  
Peninsula Behavioral Health Services 
Saint Thomas Hickman Hospital  
Tennessee Voices for Children  
Youth Villages  
Agencies completing all seven dimensions this year:

Cornerstone of Recovery  
Family and Children Services  
Frontier Health  
Mental Health Cooperative  
Ridgeview Behavioral Health Services 
Volunteer Behavioral Health Care Services    
Finally, the Jason Foundation, Inc., and its founder/President Clark Flatt were recognized on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the passage of the Jason Flatt Act of 2007 in Tennessee. The legislation requires all public school teachers in the state to complete two hours of youth suicide awareness and prevention training each year. At the time of its passage, it was the nation's most comprehensive legislation regarding youth suicide awareness education. Over the course of the next ten years,variants of the Jason Flatt Act would be adopted by 18 other states, and the Tennessee version would be amended by way of the "Jared's Law" expansion to include all school faculty, from administrators and support staff. 
Suicide Prevention Awareness Month in Pictures

Photos from this year's Suicide Prevention Awareness Month events across the state are available on TSPN's Facebook page. They include not only photos from the Suicide Prevention Awareness Day event, but also from other awareness and memorial events held across Tennessee. Signing ceremonies for Suicide Prevention Awareness Month proclamations by city and county governments are also featured.
Photo galleries are available for the following events. Sample photos are from each event are included below:

HCA 17


Remember to like TSPN on Facebook to stay informed about Network events, as well as news on late-breaking developments in the area of suicide prevention and inspirational pieces by people writing about, working with, and living through mental illness.