Fourth Annual Suicide Prevention Symposium is A Virtual Event on Sept. 29

September 10, 2020 (Jackson, Miss.) – During the September recognition of National Suicide Prevention Month, the Mississippi Department of Mental Health (DMH) is hosting its Fourth Annual Suicide Prevention Symposium.

Scheduled for September 29, this year’s symposium will be a virtual event from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. with an overall topic of “Fitting Suicide Prevention into Our Changing Times.” Five speakers will discuss several individual topics:

  • Michael Nadorff, Ph.D., will discuss The Alliance Project. This program developed by the Mississippi State University Department of Psychology has resulted in a training that has taught thousands of parents and caregivers, educators, mental health professionals and others in Mississippi how to identify when someone is in distress, make a connection with that person, and learn how to help them.
  • Julie Cerel, Ph.D., will discuss Suicide Exposure in Personal and Professional Lives. She is a professor of social work at the University of Kentucky and past president of the American Association of Suicidology, as well as the author of more than 65 academic publications and co-author of Seeking Hope: Stories of the Suicide Bereaved.
  • Cheryl King, Ph.D., will focus on Teen Suicide Risk Screening and Assessment. She is a professor of psychology and psychiatry at the University of Michigan and also a past-president of the American Association of Suicidology.  She is the lead author of the book Teen Suicide Risk: A Practitioner Guide to Screening, Assessment, and Management. Dr. King is currently the lead investigator on multiple federally funded studies focused on developing evidence-based strategies for adolescent and young adult suicide risk screening, assessment, and intervention.
  • Rheeda Walker, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at the University of Houston, will discuss Suicide Science in African-American Adult Mental Health. For nearly two decades, Dr. Walker has been dedicated to advancing the emotional health of African Americans and other racial and ethnic minorities. She recently published the book The Unapologetic Guide to Black Mental Health: Navigate an Unequal System, Learn Tools for Emotional Wellness, and Get the Help You Deserve.
  • Colt St. Amand, Ph.D., M.D., will focus on Suicide Prevention with LGBTQ Youth. Dr. St. Amand is a licensed psychologist who recently completed his MD in addition to his Ph.D. in psychology and is serving as a family medicine resident at the Mayo Clinic.  Dr. St. Amand co-edited the book The Gender Affirmative Model: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Supporting Transgender and Gender Expansive Children.

Anyone is welcome to participate in the symposium, whether a parent or caregiver, educator, mental health professional, or simply a concerned citizen. Continuing education units have been applied for in the fields of nursing, social work, psychology, licensed professional counselors, and DMH credentials.

Register for this event at