Standards, Training, and Practices Committee
David Jobes, Chair
David A. Jobes, Ph.D., ABPP, is a Professor of Psychology and Associate Director of Clinical Training at The Catholic University of America; he is an Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, at Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. He has published five books and numerous peer-reviewed journal articles. Dr. Jobes is a past President of the American Association of Suicidology (AAS) and he is the recipient of various awards for his scientific work including the 1995 AAS “Shneidman Award” (early career contribution to suicidology), the 2012 AAS “Dublin Award” (for career contributions in suicidology), and the 2016 AAS “Linehan Award” (for suicide treatment research). He has been a consultant to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, the FBI, the Department of Defense, and Veterans Affairs. Dr. Jobes is member of the Scientific Council and the Public Policy Council of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and is Board certified in clinical psychology (American Board of Professional Psychology). Dr. Jobes maintains a private clinical and forensic practice at the Washington Psychological Center.
Linda Langford, Co-chair
Dr. Langford has been an Evaluation and Communications Scientist at the Suicide Prevention Resource Center since 2006, providing training, resources, webinars, and consultation on an array of prevention issues including communications, strategic planning, evaluation, and translating research into practice. She has worked on various efforts designed to promote effective prevention planning, to facilitate the use of strategies that are informed by the best available science and to encourage the field to evaluate their efforts, She has also worked on several communications efforts, including supporting the development of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention’s Framework for Successful Messaging, which aims to change the national narratives about suicide prevention to focus on hope, help, and resiliency, and serving as a subject matter expert on Make the Connection, the VA’s national antistigma campaign.
Alexandra (Ali) Martinez
Alexandra (Ali) Martinez received her Master’s and Specialist’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from the University of Florida in 2001. She then worked for several non-profit organizations providing crisis intervention and counseling services to youth and families. In 2006, Ali became the Training Coordinator for the Alachua County Crisis Center where she ran the training program for crisis line counselors and served as a supervisor and site coordinator for the Crisis Center’s clinical programs. From 2012-2014, Ali worked at the University of Florida’s Counseling and Wellness Center as a Student Counseling Specialist before returning to lead the Alachua County Crisis Center as Director. The Crisis Center receives over 40,000 calls a year through its local hotline and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Additionally, the Center provides over 4000 hours of direct face-to-face services to people in distress through its counseling and mobile crisis outreach program. Since becoming Director, the Crisis Center has added three positions, acquired new funding, and expanded its programs and services for youth. The Crisis Center also provides extensive training throughout North Florida in crisis and suicide intervention. Training programs include workshops for teachers, guidance counselors, fire rescue and medical professionals as well as Crisis Intervention Team training for law enforcement and 911 operators. In 2017, Ali developed an annual conference sponsored by the Crisis Center to focus specifically on youth suicide prevention. This free event brings together approximately 100 attendees each year including youth, parents, teachers, law enforcement, and mental health professionals to build community awareness and collaboration on youth suicide prevention. Over the past 15 years, Ali has offered over 2200 hours of training and consultations on crisis intervention, family counseling, diversity, and suicide prevention. Ali is the Florida Suicide Prevention Coalition Region 3 Director and her speaking engagements have included presentations for the American Association of Suicidology, National Association of School Resource Officers, Florida Association of Hostage Negotiators, Florida Suicide Prevention Coalition, Florida Parks and Recreation Association, and the Florida Network of Youth and Family Services.
Bart Andrews, PhD, is Vice President of Clinical Practice/Evaluation at Behavioral Health Response. He started at BHR as a crisis intervention clinician in 1998. Dr. Andrews has dedicated the last 18 years of this life to suicide and crisis intervention. Dr. Andrews is a person in recovery and a suicide attempt survivor. He believes that the path to suicide prevention must be framed in the context of relationships, community and culture. Suicide is a community health problem, and everyone can help. Dr. Andrews was recently recognized as one of the top 21 mental health professionals to follow on Twitter. He has over 20 years of experience providing behavioral health services. Bart received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Missouri-St. Louis and his Ph.D. from Southern Illinois University. He is actively involved in raising community awareness about the risk of suicide and training community members, law enforcement and other professionals in suicide assessment and intervention. He participates on several crisis and suicide related boards: serves as President of the National Association of Crisis Director and Co-Chair of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s Standards, Training and Practices Sub-Committee. Dr. Andrews is also an Applied Suicide Intervention Skills (ASIST) Senior Training Coach. Through BHR, He created the first suicide follow-up program in the State of Missouri, and BHR has expanded suicide follow-up care to youth and adults throughout the eastern region of Missouri.
Brenda has been the Executive Director of CONTACT the Crisis Line in Jackson, MS since 2010. She holds a dual Masters of Education in Guidance and Counseling/Psychometry and Masters of Community Counseling from Mississippi College. It was during this time she became a crisis line volunteer, support worker, Director of Training and Board Secretary before becoming Executive Director in 2010. CONTACT the Crisis Line was recognized in 2016 by the Governor’s Council for Outstanding Volunteer Initiative in Crisis Intervention. Brenda was employed with the MS Department of Mental Health as an Associate Psychologist in Diagnostic Services at Hudspeth Regional Center from 1983-2010. She is a Licensed Clinical IDD Therapist and Certified Mental Health Therapist through the MS Department of Mental Health and a licensed Psychometrist through the MS Department of Education. Brenda is a registered Living Works Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Trainer (ASIST). She is a member of the National Association of Crisis Organization Directors (NASCOD) and joined the board of CONTACT USA (CUSA) in 2012 where she served as Board Secretary and is currently an Accreditation Site Examiner, Awards Chair and is on the conference committee.
Dr. Mishara is a professor of psychology and Director of the Centre for Research and Intervention on Suicide and Euthanasia (CRISE) at the University of Quebec at Montreal. He has published six books in English and five in French in the areas of suicidology and gerontology, include research on the effectiveness of suicide prevention programs, studies of how children develop an understanding of suicide, theories of the development of suicidality, ethical issues in research, euthanasia and “assisted suicide,” and evaluations of helpline effectiveness. Besides his university activities, Dr. Mishara was a founder of Suicide Action Montreal, the Montreal regional suicide prevention center and the Quebec Association of Suicidology. He is the past president of the International Association for Suicide Prevention and a past President of the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention. He was the recipient of the 1994 to 1995 Bora Laskin Canadian National Fellowship on Human Rights Research for his work on human rights issues regarding the involvement of physicians and family members in assisted suicide and euthanasia. He is currently the Vice-Chair of the Trustees of Befrienders Worldwide, the association for Samaritan and similar helplines and suicide prevention services in 40 countries. He frequently conducts training and consults on evaluations for telephone and crisis services in suicide prevention around the world.
Jack Rozel, MD, MSL first volunteered at a suicide hotline as a first-year student in college and emergency mental health has been a passion of his ever since. He has been the medical director of resolve Crisis Services (a Lifeline affiliate) since 2010 where he leads a team of 130 crisis professionals who deliver 125,000 services every year to the residents of Allegheny County through phone, mobile, walk-in and overnight programs delivered through a person centered, recovery oriented model. He is the President of the American Association for Emergency Psychiatry, the leading national organization dedicated to the improvement of compassionate, evidence based care for people with psychiatric emergencies. Dr. Rozel trains and consults with teams across UPMC and the country on projects related to violence and threat management, staff injury prevention, and firearm injury prevention. He is board certified in general, child and forensic psychiatry. Dr. Rozel is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and a recipient of the Exemplary Psychiatrist award from the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Dr. Rozel earned a Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Ethics and his MD at Brown University. He received a Master of Studies in Law from the University of Pittsburgh. He completed his general psychiatry residency and child and forensic psychiatry fellowships at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic of UPMC. He is currently an Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Adjunct Professor of Law, and a core faculty member of the Center for Bioethics and Health Law at the University of Pittsburgh.
Joe Walsh is a New York State Licensed Master Social Worker, and a Licensed Social Worker in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. A graduate of the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College, Joe has been involved in the field of suicide prevention since 2013.Joe currently serves as Crisis Center Director for Long Island Crisis Center – a 24/7 crisis intervention and suicide prevention organization founded in 1971. There, he is responsible for the Agency’s crisis hotline program which includes eight lines, and also supervises LICC’s over 70 volunteer counselors. Joe also oversees the Agency’s counselor training program and is responsible for LICC’s digital outreach efforts. Joe gained experience in a number of mental health settings, including a Therapeutic Group Home Program for youth, a NYS PROS Program, and worked as a Therapist for a large Behavioral Health Clinic in Queens, NY. Joe is a LivingWorks ASIST Registered Trainer, and is a certified QPR Instructor. Additionally, Joe is a member of the National Association of Crisis Organization Directors. His areas of interest include counselor training and development, digital outreach for the promotion of suicide prevention, and best practices for working with known and frequent callers. Joe has a passion for social justice and human rights, as well as mental health advocacy among marginalized populations.
Kris Hallstrom is Manager of the Boys Town National Hotline and has worked for the Boys Town organization both directly with children and families and in various administrative roles. Kris has many years of experience in training direct care staff, educators, and Hotline counselors in Suicide Prevention especially as it relates to teens. Kris has been with the Boys Town National Hotline for over 20 years and has helped to launch the Hotline’s various web-based activities to reach out to teens and young adults. She participated in the development of, and currently manages the teen website Your Life Your Voice, and coordinates BTNHL’s social media presence. Kris earned her Bachelor’s Degree from University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and her Masters in Human Development and the Family from Kansas University.
Dr. Leslie S. Zun is the System Chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine in the Sinai Health System in Chicago, Illinois and Chairman & Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine and a secondary appointment in the Department of Psychiatry at the Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science/Chicago Medical School in North Chicago, Illinois. His background includes a medical degree (M.D.) from Rush Medical College and a business degree (M.B.A.) from Northwestern University’s JL Kellogg School of Management. He is board certified in Emergency Medicine by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Zun was a chief operating officer and acting chief executive officer for a 200 bed hospital in Chicago. Dr. Zun’s research interests include healthcare administration, violence prevention and behavioral emergencies. His publications have addressed the administration of the hospitals and emergency departments, physicians’ bonus and incentive plans and quality improvement topics. He has presented his research and lectured on these topics both nationally and internationally. He is a board member of American Academy of Emergency Medicine and the President Elect for the American Association for Emergency Psychiatry. He is the chief editor of the Behavioral Emergencies for Emergency Physicians textbook and course director for the past six years for the National Update on Behavioral Emergencies conference.
Lisa Jones-Chandler is a NYS Licensed Clinical Social Worker. As Interim Senior Director of Vibrant Emotional Health’s Contact Center, Lisa provides clinical leadership and management oversight to ensure Vibrant’s services incorporate the highest clinical standards, trainings, and best practices in the field. Her areas of interest include but are not limited to: college students, persons living with symptoms of depression and anxiety, mental health stigma in the African-American/Caribbean community, and potential stressors transitioning from youth to adulthood. Lisa serves her community as being a board member of The Siwe Project, and Heaven’s Hands Community Services (a not-for-profit in Brooklyn, NY serving individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities). In addition to speaking on her specific areas of expertise, Jones has served on various panels discussing the importance of reducing the stigma in mental illness including Huffington Post Live, The United Federations of Teachers (District 17), New York University – Silver School of Social Work, and The Harvard Black Law Students Association. In addition to her work at Vibrant Emotional Heath, Lisa maintains a private practice in New York City.
Lisa Turbeville currently serves as the Program Manager for the Resource and Crisis Helpline and Legal Services for Common Ground, a crisis center located in southeastern Michigan. She started with Common Ground in 2000 and oversees the 24 hour crisis hotline, chat and text services. Lisa is originally from Chicago, IL and earned a B.A. in Social Work from Southern Illinois University. She has 27 years of experience working in crisis intervention and mental health, beginning as a volunteer on a teen crisis line. Lisa is an approved instructor for Critical Incident Stress Management through the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation and serves on the Board of Directors for the Oakland County Crisis Response Organization and Contact USA.
Dr. Wick is Director of Suicide Prevention at WellSpace Health, a nationally accredited FQHC with a nationally accredited Suicide Prevention program nested within. WellSpace Health is a statewide leader in designing and delivering integrated care that treats the whole person, body and mind. Dr. Wick started as a crisis line volunteer years after the loss of her brother to suicide, and advanced in her career and studies over her tenure at the crisis center, currently serving as Director. Liseanne has dedicated the last 17 years to suicide prevention and crisis intervention through the Crisis Center at WellSpace Health, as well as several years in child abuse prevention in educational settings. WellSpace Health’s Suicide Prevention Crisis Center is responsible for primary and/or backup coverage throughout much of California as a longtime NSPL network member, and also hosts several local and regional hotlines. Liseanne is a member of the American Association of Suicidology, the National Association of Crisis Organization Directors, and the American Association for Christian Counselors. She holds a Master’s degree in Counseling and Doctorate of Divinity degree. Through her work at WellSpace Health, Dr. Wick created an innovative ED Follow Up pilot program in 2010 (still thriving and expanded) as well as creating and implementing the first known Primary Care Suicide Prevention Follow Up program for suicidal patients in primary care. She also served as content expert in creating a statewide POST (Peace Officers Standard Training) for law enforcement and dispatchers in CA. Dr. Wick also maintains a private integrative Christian counseling practice and has a passion for nurturing wellness, mind, body, and spirit.
Madelyn Gould, PhD, MPH, is the Irving Philips Professor of Epidemiology in Psychiatry at the Columbia University Medical Center, and a Research Scientist at the New York State Psychiatric Institute. During the past three decades, she has obtained extensive experience in the area of suicide prevention, conducting numerous federally funded grants from the National Institute of Health (NIMH), Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), and publishing several seminal articles on youth suicide risk and preventive interventions. Her SAMHSA-funded projects evaluating the Lifeline have focused on assessing the effectiveness of telephone crisis follow-up services, continuity of care enhancements in EDs, chat crisis services, and telephone crisis interventions with callers at imminent suicide risk. She is also studying youth suicide screening programs, and suicide risks related to bullying, contagion and modeling, and the effect of a peer’s suicide on fellow students. Dr. Gould has a strong commitment to applying her research to program and policy development. She has participated in a number of U.S. government commissions on suicide prevention and has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the Shneidman Award for Research from the American Association of Suicidology (AAS) in 1991, the New York State Office of Mental Health Research (NYSOMH) Award in 2002, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) Research Award in 2006, the New York State Suicide Prevention Center’s Excellence in Suicide Prevention Award in 2011, and the 2013 Dublin Award from the American Association of Suicidology (AAS), which is a lifetime achievement award for outstanding contributions to the field of suicide prevention.
Meryl Cassidy is Executive Director of Response Crisis Center, the Co-Chair of the Suicide Prevention Coalition of Long Island, and an Assistant Professor at Suffolk County Community College in the Human Services Program. She has been a professional social worker for over 30 years and has worked in a variety of settings and with diverse populations. For the past ten years of her career she has focused primarily on crisis intervention and suicide prevention, intervention and postvention. In addition to managing the operations of Suffolk County’s only 24/7 crisis center devoted to suicide prevention, she provides professional trainings for human service professionals and community members on a broad range of topics, including crisis theory, communication and listening skills, suicide risk assessment and safety planning as well as being a certified ASIST trainer, Sources of Strength Trainer, and Lifeline’s Postvention Trainer. She is co-chair of the Mental Health Subcommittee for the Division of Community Mental Hygiene, and a Board Member of NASCOD (National Association of Crisis Organization Directors). In 2015 she received the Excellence in Suicide Prevention Award from the Suicide Prevention Center of New York State, and in 2016 she received the “Making the Mission” award from NASCOD.
Rena Fitzgerald is the Senior Program Manager of Crisis Services at Volunteers of America Western Washington. She has over 18 years of experience in crisis intervention and suicide prevention and is identified by Washington State as a Mental Health Professional. She is active in community education regarding mental health issues and works closely with public schools to reduce youth suicide by providing suicide awareness instruction to students, staff, and parents. She is an active member of the Youth Intervention and Response Team and Child Death Review committee in Snohomish County. She has worked closely with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline over the past 6years to establish Best Practices for online suicide prevention and improve methods for Quality Improvement and Quality Assurance for hotline work, including presentations at the American Association of Suicidology Conferences. She founded the first AFSP Out of the Darkness Community Walk in Snohomish County.
Renee Schmidt, Ph.D., has worked and taught in the field of human services and suicide prevention for over 25 years. Dr. Schmidt is dedicated to the development of meaningful training programs that support communities to better respond to persons with suicide thoughts and experiences. In her current role, Dr. Schmidt focuses on Design, Development and Evaluation of the LivingWorks Education suite of programs. Dr. Schmidt completed her Ph.D. at the University of Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada and her work has focused primarily on therapeutic client work, program development, Suicidology, faculty work, and facilitation of therapeutic and skill development with graduate students and professionals. Dr. Schmidt has provided training and consultation across North America and internationally focusing on program and systems development specific to suicide prevention, psychological therapies, skill development and appropriate interventions for at-risk individuals. Having lived experienced with suicide, Dr. Schmidt believes that programs and services require thoughtful strength-based design and accessibility which helps people navigate through crisis or chronic situations with adequate support and guidance to grow and recover in their life such that personal power can be embraced, and self-sufficiency restored.
Ron White is the Chief Program Officer of Samaritans, Inc. with operational responsibilities for the Helpline Services (phone and text), Grief Support Services, and Community Education. Ron is responsible for the more than 500 people who volunteer at Samaritans in a direct service capacity. He received his Bachelor of Social Welfare and Master of Social Work degrees from The Ohio State University and is currently a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW) in Massachusetts. Ron has spent much of his professional career managing service centers both in the US and abroad. He joined Samaritans as Director of Programs and Services in 2007 and was promoted to his current position in 2009. Ron has also served as a member of the Massachusetts Gay, Lesbian Bisexual and Transgender Youth Commission under appointment from the Massachusetts Suicide Prevention Coalition. He is also a member of the Massachusetts Coalition for Suicide Prevention Executive Committee and Co-Chair of the Greater Boston Regional Coalition for Suicide Prevention. He currently serves on the board of the National Association of Crisis Organization Directors (NASCOD).
Tia Dole, Ph.D., is the Chief Clinical Operations Officer at The Trevor Project, the world’s largest organization for suicide prevention for LGBTQ youth. Dr. Dole oversees all of The Trevor Project’s crisis services programs as well as our volunteer community on TrevorLifeline, TrevorText and Trevor Chat. She is a licensed clinical psychologist and a long-time advocate for LGBTQ rights. She received her Master’s degree in Developmental Psychopathology from Columbia University (Teacher’s College), and she received a Fulbright Fellowship to study Forensic Psychology in Switzerland. She then completed her doctorate in clinical psychology at Fordham University. During the course of her studies, Dr. Dole focused on LGBTQ people of color and early psychosis. One of her passions is normalizing mental health conditions within communities of color and helping people get access to services. Prior to coming to The Trevor Project, she was formerly the Director of Psychological Services and Training at North Central Bronx Hospital and the Director of Training at Jacobi Medical Center. She is based in New York.
Anthony R. Pisani, Ph.D. is devoted to preventing suicide and promoting strength, recovery, and wellbeing. Researcher, educator, and clinician, Dr. Pisani serves on the faculty of University of Rochester–Center for the Study and Prevention of Suicide, and as founder and lead educator of SafeSide Prevention. Pisani’s work spans the prevention continuum: upstream (enhancing school and community-based prevention with technology); healthcare (educational innovations to support Zero Suicide); and crisis and treatment intervention for individuals at greatest risk (crisis counseling, brief interventions). Dr. Pisani has published numerous academic papers and served on national and state workgroups. He has conducted research with the Crisis Text Line and collaborated on evaluations with Lifeline services (lead: M. Gould). Pisani’s work is guided by the core conviction that suicide prevention must be about “more than safety.” Safety is essential, but not the final goal. Even large systems can aim higher: toward health, justice, human flourishing and connection.