QPR Faculty & Master Trainers
Meet the people that are dedicated to suicide prevention and to teaching others the skills that can save lives.
Paul Quinnett, PhD.
A clinical psychologist and trainer for more than 35 years, Dr. Quinnett developed and managed a suicide prevention hotline, an emergency services department, and a dozen mental health service delivery programs. He has authored seven books, many professional articles and book chapters. He was Director of Training for the Spokane Mental Health APA-approved psychology internship program for more than 20 years and has served on board of the American Association of Suicidology. He was a founding board member of two national suicide prevention organizations: The Kristin Brooks Hope Center (1-800-SUICIDE), and The Suicide Prevention Action Network. Heavily involved in the training of mental health professionals, he currently serves as Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science at the University of Washington School of Medicine. To help prevent suicide, he donated the French and English electronic editions of his bestseller, Suicide: the Forever Decision to the world in 2005 via the World Wide Web.
Brian Quinnett, MS.
Chief Executive Officer
After 20 years as National Training Director for the QPR Institute, Brian was named CEO in November of 2021. Brian has been intricately involved in the development and growth of QPR's suicide prevention training programs, playing a crucial role in QPR becoming a world leader in suicide prevention training. He currently directs all training, coordination, credentialing and supervision of advanced QPR program instructors and master trainers. He also manages the Institute’s web-based suicide prevention educational programs for professionals and serves as a consultant to organizations seeking to implement suicide risk reduction practices. He also oversees business development and production of the QPR Institute's website, training materials and learning management systems.
Following a career in professional basketball, Brian earned a masters degree in Sports Psychology and Counseling from the University of Idaho. He worked in the business world for several years before joining the Institute in 2002.
Richard K. Ries, MD
Dr. Richard Ries is Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Washington Medical School in Seattle, Washington. He is board certified in Psychiatry and certified in Addiction Medicine by the American Society for Addiction Medicine, and in Addiction Psychiatry (1993) by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. Dr. Ries is Director of Outpatient Psychiatry, Dual Disorder Programs, and the Chemical Dependency Project at Harborview Medical Center. He is director of substance abuse education at the University of Washington Medical School and director of the Division of Addictions for the Department of Psychiatry. He has obtained NIDA sponsored clinical research grants in 1989 and 1997 to evaluate treatment outcome in dual disorders and also helped develop and participate in a NIDA sponsored training videotape (1996) on dual disorders.
Dr. Ries was chosen to chair the first official Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP#9-1994) on dual disorders by the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. In 1999 he became co-editor of the key reference text Principles of Addiction Medicine, published by the American Society of Addiction Medicine. He is heavily involved in clinical research and in teaching and training physicians about the role of substance abuse and mood disorders in suicide.
Norman S. Braveman, PhD
Senior Research Consultant
Dr. Norm Braveman is President and founder of Braveman BioMed Consultants (www.bbmcllc.net), a firm devoted to excellence in biomedical and behavioral research. In more than 25 years experience with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) he has provided leadership in strategic and implementation planning as well as in program development and evaluation for individual institutes including the National Institute on Aging, the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, and the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. As Acting Director of Planning and Evaluation and Chief of the Planning and Policy Research Branch for the NIH he was responsible for agency-wide program development and assessment activities.
His expertise spans the design, implementation and evaluation of clinical trials, program planning, development, evaluation and assessment, the development and peer review of research proposals, and strategic and implementation planning. During his 10 year academic career he taught statistics and experimental design as well as survey methods at the university level.
Skip Simpson, BA, JD
Risk Management Instructor
With a legal background ranging from duties as a U.S. Air Force Courts Martial Judge to services as Texas' top drug traffic prosecutor, Skip Simpson has created a private law practice in the area psychiatric and psychological malpractice. Profiled in the Wall Street Journal in 1997 for his pioneering work in suicide litigation, Mr. Simpson has been nationally recognized for his expertise in suicide and repressed memory cases. His work has been profiled in C.C. Risenhoover’s book The Suicide Lawyers: Exposing Lethal Secrets. Unlike mental health experts, Mr. Simpson’s work obliges him to look at suicide from every possible angle in preparing a case, and he has to make his findings easily understandable to a jury. As a leading attorney in the mental health field, in 2003 Mr. Simpson received an academic appointment as a senior fellow, Harvard Medical School Program in Psychiatry and the Law at the Massachusetts Mental Health Center, Boston, Massachusetts. He was also appointed Clinical Instructor at The University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, Texas, and in 2006 was promoted to Adjunct Associate Professor. In these roles, Mr. Simpson teaches medical residents subjects focusing on psychiatry and the law. In 2005 Mr. Simpson was named to the board of directors for the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill in Collin County where he served for a one year term.
Jack McClellan, MD
Dr. McClellan is a Professor in the Division of Child Psychiatry at the University of Washington. He is the medical director of Child Study and Treatment Center, the State Hospital for children and adolescents in Washington State. His research addresses the diagnosis and treatment of early-onset schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, and the genetics of complex neuropsychiatric illnesses. Dr. McClellan has also been involved in the development of the Practice Parameters for the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and is the primary author for the Academy's practice parameters on schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Unlike mental health experts, Mr. Simpson’s work obliges him to look at suicide from every possible angle in preparing a case, and he has to make his findings easily understandable to a jury. As a leading attorney in the mental health field, in 2003 Mr. Simpson received an academic appointment as a senior fellow, Harvard Medical School Program in Psychiatry and the Law at the Massachusetts Mental Health Center, Boston, Massachusetts. He was also appointed Clinical Instructor at The University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, Texas, and in 2006 was promoted to Adjunct Associate Professor. In these roles, Mr. Simpson teaches medical residents subjects focusing on psychiatry and the law. In 2005 Mr. Simpson was named to the board of directors for the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill in Collin County where he served for a one year term.
Greg Hudnall, Ed.D
Advisor and Master Trainer
Dr. Gregory A. Hudnall is the founder of Hope Squads and is a former high school principal, and associate superintendent with the Provo City School District. He is passionate about suicide prevention and he is famous for his mantra of, While it takes an entire village to raise a child, it takes an entire community to save one. He is the founder of HOPE4UTAH, a non-profit grass roots organization dedicated to suicide prevention, intervention and postvention in Utah.
A school-based program, HOPE Squads has been responsible for over 2500 students referred for help and over 300 hospitalized over the past fifteen years. Dr. Hudnall has been the team leader of a state-wide suicide crisis team that has responded to over twenty-five youth suicides, including a fourth grader who took his life on a school campus and three school suicide contagion events. Unlike mental health experts, Mr. Simpson’s work obliges him to look at suicide from every possible angle in preparing a case, and he has to make his findings easily understandable to a jury. As a leading attorney in the mental health field, in 2003 Mr. Simpson received an academic appointment as a senior fellow, Harvard Medical School Program in Psychiatry and the Law at the Massachusetts Mental Health Center, Boston, Massachusetts. He was also appointed Clinical Instructor at The University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, Texas, and in 2006 was promoted to Adjunct Associate Professor. In these roles, Mr. Simpson teaches medical residents subjects focusing on psychiatry and the law. In 2005 Mr. Simpson was named to the board of directors for the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill in Collin County where he served for a one year term.
Carolyn V. Coarsey, Ph.D.
Master Trainer and Advisor, Transportation, Business and Industry
Carolyn V. Coarsey, Ph.D. is co-founder of the Family Assistance Education and Research Foundation, an organization dedicated to assisting transportation companies and other business organizations respond effectively to trauma in their workplace. Carolyn customizes QPR training programs for aviation, cruise lines and other businesses with her own videotaped interviews and information pertinent to the specific workgroup. She also publishes a monthly article which shows the application of the principles of QPR to suicide prevention in business and industry.
Kevin Bratcher, MS
Advanced Clinical Trainer
Kevin Bratcher, M.S. has over 19 years experience in suicide prevention, intervention and training. As a clinical treatment provider for both adults and adolescents, he developed and co-authored the QPRT Suicide Risk Management System. Mr. Bratcher’s administrative experience includes work as a Quality Improvement Manager and Behavioral Health Service Clinic Coordinator in large public and private sector mental health agencies. His has provided clinical services on both an outpatient and inpatient basis. Kevin remains an active trainer, consultant and advocate for improving the national standard of care as it relates to suicide risk assessment and risk management. His energy over the course of the last six years has been focused on managing suicide risk from an administrative and systemic perspective within large healthcare organizations. He has trained hundreds of mental health professionals to improve their clinical assessment and suicide risk management skills both in professional seminars and university programs throughout the United States. Away from his work, Kevin enjoys time with his family camping and fishing in the Pacific Northwest.
Lou Sowers, PhD, MBA
Advanced Clinical Trainer
Dr. Lou Sowers is a Police and Public Safety Psychologist who has worked in the mental health field for over 30 years. Lou works with most public safety agencies in Eastern Washington and North Idaho completing psychological suitability evaluations, working with officers after critical events, and training officers how to intervene with suicidal citizens. Lou is also helping the Washington State Department of Corrections to redesign their mental health system of care and he runs the mental health unit at the Airway Heights Corrections Center. Lou completed his BA in psychology at Indiana University in 1983 and his MS and PhD in psychology at the University of Southern California in 1993. Lou worked with seriously mentally ill youth and adults on inpatient psychiatric units in Indianapolis and he worked as an inner city elementary school teacher in Los Angeles prior to moving to Spokane in 1992 to complete his APA internship training program at Spokane Mental Health (SMH). Lou worked at SMH for 18 years and ran all of their outpatient treatment services including an APA accredited internship training program until 2010 when he made a decision to focus more on police and public safety psychology. Lou has provided extensive training and supervision to clinicians over the years and he has been connected to the QPR Institute since its inception. He is the co-author of the QPRT-P Pediatric Suicide Risk Management Inventory and User's Manual that was published in 1998. In addition to serving on the QPR Institute faculty, Lou is an active member of the American Psychological Association, the International Association of Chiefs of Police - Police Psychology Services Section, the Society for Police and Criminal Psychology, and the American Association of Suicidology. Lou has been happily married for more than 20 years and enjoys spending time with his two teenagers and training for Ironman triathlons.
John Violanti, PhD
Law Enforcement Advisor
John M. Violanti, Ph.D. is a Research Full Professor in the Department of Social and Preventive Medicine (SPM), School of Public Health and Health Professions at Buffalo, NY and has been associated with this department for 25 years. Dr. Violanti is a member of the University at Buffalo, NY Medical School graduate faculty. Prior to his position at Buffalo, he also was a full professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology, Department of Criminal Justice. He is a police veteran, serving with the New York State Police for 23 years as a trooper, criminal investigator, and later as a coordinator of the Psychological Assistance Program for the State Police. Dr. Violanti served in the U.S. Army, 57th Military Police from 1963-1966. He has been involved in the design, implementation, and analysis of numerous suicide, stress and health studies over the past 25 years. Dr. Violanti has authored over 50 peer-reviewed articles and 14 books on suicide, stress and PTSD. He has lectured nationally and internationally at academic institutions on matters of suicide, stress and trauma at work.
Danielle R. Jahn, Ph.D.
Older Adult Advisor
Danielle R. Jahn, Ph.D. is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and a clinical research psychologist at the VA Capitol Health Care Network (VISN 5) Mental Illness Research, Education, and Clinical Center. She received her doctoral degree in clinical psychology from Texas Tech University; her clinical and research training was primarily focused in the areas of suicidology and geropsychology, and she has trained with experts in suicidology through the Military Suicide Research Consortium and with leading researchers in geropsychology through the National Institute of Mental Health-funded Summer Research Institute in Geriatric Mental Health. Clinically, Dr. Jahn is a licensed psychologist in the state of Maryland and provides consultation and education regarding suicide risk assessment and management. She also has a small private practice that focuses on individual psychotherapy with older adults. She has served on a national task force addressing gaps in clinical training in suicide risk assessment and management through the American Association of Suicidology. Currently, she acts as a peer reviewer for numerous geriatric mental health journals and participates in the older adult workgroup for the Maryland Governor’s Commission on Suicide Prevention. Dr. Jahn’s primary research to date has focused on aging and suicide risk, with a special emphasis on understanding perceptions of burden to others among older adults. She has authored over 30 peer-reviewed publications on topics related to suicide risk and aging.
Law Enforcement Advisor
Mr. Bragdon served on the Spokane Police Department for nearly 33 years, retiring in 2006. The last eight years of his career there, he was the Chief of Police. Mr. Bragdon has a strong background in police operations, having commanded the patrol, detectives, and special investigations units as well as the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team, among other assignments in his career. He has instructed in all areas of critical incident management, leadership, intelligence operations, and domestic terrorism for many years. He continues instructing for the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) in the areas of counter-terrorism programs and Intelligence Led Policing. Mr. Bragdon is also a consultant for the Community Colleges of Spokane (CCS) specializing in the management of safety and security programs. Mr. Bragdon is a graduate of the Northwest Law Enforcement Command College and the FBI’s National Executive Institute.
John Osborn, MD
John is an internist on staff at the Veterans Medical Center in Spokane since 1986. His work at the VA has included primary care clinics and as a hospitalist. John has also served as Chief of Medicine, Medical Director for Hospice, Chair of the Ethics Consultation Committee, Director of the HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis programs, and Director of the VA's Clinicians Web Support project for the Northwest/Alaska. Growing up, John worked with his mother, Marie Osborn, Idaho's first practicing Nurse Practitioner in developing a rural-health-care delivery system in the Salmon River region. John graduated from the College of Idaho in Caldwell, the University of Washington School of Medicine, and Internal Medicine Spokane. He worked briefly in mission hospitals in Thailand and Kenya before starting his care for Veterans. John's public interest advocacy has included reforming HIV screening for Veterans to comport with CDC recommendations, improving care for Indian Combat Veterans with PTSD, advancing ethical care at the end of life through Physicial Orders for Live-Sustaining Treatment (POLST), and extensive work on protecting rivers and drinking water supplies in the face of climate change. John dedicates his work in suicide prevention to his nephew Cameron Wilder who died by suicide, and to Veterans.
Mark Besen, PhD
Advanced Clinical Trainer
Mark Besen, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist who has been involved in leadership and program design in large community behavioral health agencies and managed care systems as a clinical director, vice president of operations, and CEO for over 20 years. He is a national suicide prevention consultant for the QPR institute and has worked with communities, hospitals, behavioral health providers, state government, military/veterans affairs, universities and school districts in building cultures of hope, access to evidence based treatment and implementation of organizational policies and practices consistent with zero suicide initiatives. He has trained professionals and advocated for improvement in risk detection and treatment for behavioral health problems including substance use and other psychiatric disorders. He is currently in private practice in North Carolina. Adjunct Faculty at Richard Stockton College. 15+ years in executive management in community behavioral health. QPR Master Trainer - QPRT, Triage, QPR Gatekeeper Master Trainer. Involvement in 1st implementation of QPR system in large community behavioral health center (Spokane Mental Health).
Louisa Walker, PhD
QPR Master Trainer
Louisa completed a Doctorate in psychology in 1995 from the University of Idaho. She is a NZ registered and US licensed clinical psychologist with 15 years of clinical experience working primarily in collaboration with general practice physicians. She has worked with GPs and specialist in efforts to build innovative models of practice integrating psychological services into primary health care. Louisa developed a Department of Behavioural Health for a regional US medical clinic and has worked with primary mental health care projects in New Zealand since 2002. She has experience in private practice, has been a clinical manager and has developed mental health programs in both the private and the public sectors. Louisa has taught in psychology graduate programs and provided clinical training and supervision for clinical psychology internship programs both in the US and in NZ. Louisa often provides continuing education training for physicians, psychologists and allied health professionals on a range of clinical treatment issues. Louisa is committed to developing effective cross-cultural mental health services that respect and attempt to integrate traditional cultural practices into primary mental health care delivery. She has engaged in research and practice regarding the mental health status of, and treatment protocols for, Native American, Asian, and Hispanic patients, as well as gaining recent experience working with Maori, Pacific and NZ Refugee populations. Louisa has extensive experience in clinical practice treating anxiety disorders, mood disorders, eating disorders, trauma and sexual abuse. She worked for a crisis intervention and suicide prevention project in the State of Maine in the US. While based in primary care, she developed a program to assess and treat ADHD in adults, adolescents and children and developed a neuropsychological testing service, training and supervising clinical psychology graduate students to conduct psychometric tests and neuropsychological evaluations. Since moving to New Zealand Louisa has worked in private practice, was a consultant to a regional NZ acute mental health service, and has worked with several NZ GP organizations in their ongoing efforts to further develop strategies to improve mental health treatment in primary care. Louisa was the Clinical Manager for a NZ Ministry of Health funded suicide bereavement service. She is a Consultant working in the areas of suicide prevention and postvention and is currently working with the NZ Coroner’s office developing psychological autopsy services investigating deaths by suicide. Louisa has been a QPR Master Trainer since 2008 and currently delivers QPR Level I – III training throughout New Zealand.
Sergio Perez, MD
Latin America Advisor
Dr. Sergio Perez Barrero is a clinical psychiatrist and the Founder of Suicidology Section of World Psychiatry Association and also Founder of World Suicidology Net. He is WHO and PAHO temporal advisor. Author of nine books about suicide prevention , he is also Clinical Titular Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Granma, Cuba. In addition to directing a large, public sector mental health program for adolescent, adults and elders, he maintained a public practice in primary care for 25 years. His primary interests are teach volunteers in preventing suicide and management of suicidal crisis for family, general practitioners, young psichiatrists and all people interested in this theme. He has been invited speaker in Italy, Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica , Dominican Republic, Uruguay, Peru, Mexico and Cuba.
Aruna Jha, PhD, LCSW
Advisor and Master Trainer
Dr. Aruna Jha has been active in suicide prevention in the US for 25 years and is the founding member of the Asian American Suicide Prevention Initiative (AASPI) in Illinois. AASPI was the first US-based registered, non-profit, coalition to address suicide in Asians and Asian Americans. Dr. Jha is an expert on culturally specific risk and protective factors for suicide among immigrants. She worked for 6 years at the Veterans Administration and, being from a military family, is passionate about addressing suicide in veterans and the military. Dr. Jha has a Ph.D. in Clinical Social Work and graduate degrees in Child Development, Mental Health Counseling, and Social Work. Aruna is an Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin at Whitewater in the Social Work department. Her research focuses on acculturation and life transitions as risk factors and the intersection of cultural beliefs in suicidal thinking and behavior among Asians/Asian Americans, and military veterans.
QPR Master Trainer
Tom is the past Executive Director of the Capital Area Substance Abuse Council (CASAC) and a suicide prevention expert who serves numerous Boards of Education, Community organizations and local Prevention Councils in Connecticut to promote mental health promotion, suicide prevention, postvention and grief support. He is the Tri Chair of Connecticut's Suicide Advisory Board and is the past Co-Chair of the newly formed Ct Chapter of American Foundation. Prior to his work as a Master Trainer, Tom worked extensively as an Executive Director for several non-profits including 30 years as a YMCA Executive in his 42 year career. He continues to work with many companies, government agencies and foundations. Tom has extensive senior management and leadership experience, much of which has been gained while working directly with community leaders and donors. Tom is a loss survivor. His son Tyler died by suicide in 2009.
Alice Jordan-Miles is the director of the Behavioral Health and Family Studies Institute at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne. The Institute focuses on issues related to the prevention of behavioral dysfunction and the restoration of lifelong mental health within an individual, family or community with the goal of increasing the quality of life in northeast Indiana. The other hat Alice wears is being the director of the Indiana Suicide Prevention Coalition where its mission is to coordinate, facilitate, advise and provide resources to Indiana communities for activities that reduce: deaths due to suicide; occurrence of suicidal behaviors; and effects of suicide on Indiana citizens. Alice is also a master trainer for both the adult and youth version of Mental Health First Aid. She has won both local and state awards for her outstanding achievements in her career and service.
Christopher W. Drapeau, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Education at Valparaiso University, serving as a faculty member in the graduate M.Ed./Ed.S. School Psychology Program. He has a M.A. and Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from Ball State University and completed a Clinical Psychology Postdoctoral Fellowship at Mississippi State University. Dr. Drapeau’s clinical and teaching interests include psychoeducational assessment, suicide risk assessment, parent management training, and behavioral sleep medicine. He runs a research lab at Valparaiso University and primarily teaches school psychology graduate courses focused on the assessment of cognitive ability, academic skills, and social, emotional, and behavioral functioning (with specific emphasis on suicide risk and sleep problems). Dr. Drapeau’s research aims to increase understanding and awareness about why people think about and engage in suicidal behavior, with specific emphasis on the contributions of pain, sleep, and social learning. His research also focuses on understanding the course of suicide loss for those left behind and how technology can assist in mental health promotion.
Alejandro Martinez is the Senior Associate director, Consultation and Liaison, for Counseling and Psychological Services and Lecturer at the Graduate School of Education at Stanford University. His areas of special interest include mental health promotion and risk reduction for young adults. His work involves the implementation of strategies that enhance protective psychological and social elements that contribute to the reduction of risk factors for Stanford students.
Colleen Carpenter led two statewide initiatives on suicide prevention over the last 11 years. During that time she built a suicide prevention resource center and helped set up community coalitions across in Indiana. She is a registered trainer in four evidence-based suicide prevention/intervention training programs and is a Youth Mental Health First Aid instructor. She has a master’s degree in sociology from Loyola University Chicago and a master’s degree in public health from the University of North Carolina’s Health Behavior and Health Education program. She has won both local and national awards for her work in suicide prevention. She is also a survivor of her uncle John’s suicide.
Dr. Connie Briscoe is currently the Director of the Wellness Center at Rollins College. Connie completed her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology at the University of Tennessee and interned at Texas Woman’s University. Connie is a Licensed Psychologist in Florida. She has a faculty appointment with the QPR Institute and is certified as a QPR Master Trainer. Her areas of special interest include suicide prevention, mental health promotion and risk reduction for young adults. She has served as a member of the Tennessee Suicide Prevention Advisory Council and as a Steering Committee member for the Association for University and College Counseling Center Outreach.
David Denino is Director Emeritus of Counseling Services at Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven, CT. He is currently an adjunct faculty member teaching in the Clinical Mental Health program at SCSU. He has served as an executive board member to the Connecticut Counseling Association and American College Counseling Association, and has presented at many state and national conferences.
Debi Traeder has been a QPR trainer for over fifteen years and a QPR Master Trainer for ten, training throughout the United States. She is also a trainer in QPR-T, Trauma-Informed Care and other programming. As founding member of Prevent Suicide Wisconsin and as chair of a local coalition in the state, she brings a special focus to suicide prevention for the entire community, able to facilitate trainings with specific audience emphasis, including education, mental health, law enforcement, primary healthcare, youth, and the community at large. Debi is a member of AAS, AFSP and serves on a subcommittee for LIFELINE and the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention – Zero Suicide.
Denis and his colleague Sean McCarthy piloted QPR Sport on a face to face basis in Ireland between 2013 – 2017. They subsequently were lead authors on the QPR Sport online version. Denis has been involved in the area of psychotherapy, supervision and training for the past 20 years. He holds an MA.in Supervisory Practice from Dublin City University, BSc.(Hons) Counselling & Psychotherapy from Middlesex University as well as qualifications in Sports Mind Coaching and in Clinical & Therapeutic Hypnotherapy. For the last 6 years he has worked specifically in the area of suicide prevention and postvention. He is a member of the Irish Association of Suicidology, the Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, and the Supervisors Association of Ireland. He has been involved in sport as a player, mentor, and administrator and is still actively involved in sport in his own community
Denis Walsh, LISW, is a clinical social worker who has worked in the field of community mental health for the past 30+ years. Denis is retired from NorthKey Community Care, the community mental health center in northern Kentucky, where he served as Vice President of Outpatient Services (1992-2008). Denis has a particular interest in suicide prevention, as well as working with persons who have been impacted by a suicide death. He is a certified gatekeeper trainer in QPR (Question, Persuade, and Refer), which has allowed him to teach basic communication skills to community members who may be dealing with someone who is suicidal. Denis has been involved in suicide prevention for the past 12 years, both in Kentucky and in greater Cincinnati, and currently consults with the Kentucky Department of Behavioral Health regarding suicide prevention initiatives.
Dr. Barnes is an Associate Professor at Howard University, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health and trains faculty, staff and students as well as the community on how to recognize the signs of individuals in a suicidal crisis. She teaches suicide risk management to 3rd year medical students; has published many articles, chapters, and given presentations on the topic across the country. She is the author of the Truth About Suicide published by DWJ books in New York as part of the “truth about series…” for middle school and high school students. She developed a campus-wide prevention program at Howard University; and is the co-founder of the National Organization for People of Color against Suicide (NOPCAS) after losing her son to suicide while he was in college; and through NOPCAS conducted a support group for friends and family members of victims of suicide from 2004 – 2016.
Barnes has been featured on several radio shows and media outlets including NPR, CNN, The Huffington Post and The Washington Post. She currently serves on the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control’s scientific board for the Centers for Disease Control.
Dr. Barnes is also a certified Life Coach from the International Coaching Academy based in Australia and a certified Grief Recovery Specialist
Donna Soileau is a graduate of Auburn University. She is the former Director of Mental Health America of Sumter County and currently serves as the Coordinator for Suicide Prevention for Mental Health America of South Carolina. She received her suicide prevention certification from the QPR Institute in 2004 and received her Master QPR trainer certification in June 2007. Donna is married, has two sons and enjoys reading, traveling and outdoor adventures.
Dr. Lacy Currie is a licensed psychologist who holds a B.A. in Experimental Psychology from the University of South Carolina, a M.S. in Psychology from Augusta State University, and a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Georgia. She began her professional career as the inaugural Coordinator of Suicide Prevention and Crisis Response at the Georgia Institute of Technology Counseling Center and spearheaded a campus-wide suicide prevention initiative based on the Zero Suicide model during her time there. Dr. Currie currently serves as the Coordinator of Suicide Prevention in Student Counseling and Psychological Services at Augusta University. Clinically, she is passionate about collegiate mental health and considers herself a generalist, working with students presenting with a wide variety of concerns. Dr. Currie’s professional interests include suicide prevention and postvention, grief and loss, couples and relationships, group therapy, spirituality, and substance use concerns. She is a past junior board member for the Georgia chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and has facilitated a weekly Survivors of Suicide support group for college students for the last 4 years.
Hyesun Lee is a Ph.D. candidate in Clinical Psychology in Korea University. She completed her advanced QPR training in the United States and in Korea. She has translated QPR program and Dr. Quinnett’s books into Korean. Dr. Yook and she are opening the Suicide Prevention Center in Korea University and plan to disseminate QPR in Korea.
Mr. Allen holds a Master of Public Health degree from the University of Oklahoma, College of Public Health and has worked in the field of suicide prevention for eleven years. He worked for the Oklahoma State Department of Health for eight years with an emphasis on adolescent health, which included suicide prevention as a priority focus area. He chaired the Oklahoma Youth Suicide Prevention Council for four years, and assisted with the development of Oklahoma’s state plan for the prevention of youth suicide.
Dr. Rickard, a licensed psychologist, is currently the CEO for Physician & Healthcare Consulting, LLC and Moment by Moment Suicide Prevention in Wenatchee, WA. Her work has focused around integrating psychologists into medical settings (Primary Care & Specialty), chronic disease management, troubleshooting models of care, program development, executive and leadership coaching, coaching disruptive physicians, team dynamics, and managing complex patient issues within treatment facilities. Dr. Rickard started the Suicide Prevention Coalition of North Central Washington (SPCNCW) in 2012 due to rising rates. She transferred the management to another agency in 2014 and has stayed involved training medical & mental health providers. In 2016 & 2017 she trained 733 & 350 medical providers and staff in QPRT Risk Assessment & Management Training Program. Then in January 2017 the Suicide Prevention Coalition transitioned to Confluence Health whom contracts Dr. Rickard’s to direct it. Her involvement in the Suicide Prevention Coalition has instituted the PHQ rollout at Confluence Health into all 17-primary care locations within four counties in WA State. Her current focus is on nursing/assisted living facilities within the Chelan/Douglas County region and implementing a mentoring suicide prevention model as well as the PHQ rollout at these facilities.
Julie Geddes is a graduate of the University of Central Oklahoma and has been in suicide prevention for over 19 years working on suicide prevention through the Garrett Lee Smith Youth Suicide Prevention Grant and other collaborations. She is one of two Master Trainers in Oklahoma for Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) and instructor for the school evidence based Lifeline’s Suicide Prevention Curriculum. She also provides postvention support to communities after a suicide. She was instrumental in the design of Mercy Health Systems suicide prevention instruction to over 4,000 physicians and nurses. She is part of the founding of the Oklahoma State Suicide Prevention Council and currently serves as the co-Chair. Julie was recently awarded the prestigious Commissioner’s Award of Excellence for demonstration of exceptional performance or action that enhances the mission and values of the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.
Julie Haurykiewicz is the Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning at Lawrence University (Appleton, Wisconsin), where she also teaches Freshman Studies and public speaking. She was part of Lawrence University’s Suicide Prevention Lifeline Core Team (an initiative funded by a SAMHSA/Garrett Lee Smith Suicide Prevention Grant) which allowed her to become a QPR Gatekeeper Instructor in 2010. In 2012, she advanced to the level of QPR Master Trainer through apprenticeship with Bridgette Hensley. Julie is active in coordinating and facilitating QPR suicide prevention trainings on the Lawrence campus and in her community more generally.
Kathryn Falbo-Woodson currently serves as the Program Consultant for the North Carolina Mental Health First Aid program. Previously, Kathryn worked as the Director of Advocacy & Outreach for eight years with the Mental Health Association of Central Carolinas. Kathryn has worked in the mental health field for more than 14 years, providing direct care, case management, advocacy, fundraising, program development, training, and outreach. Kathryn received her B.A. in Psychology from West Virginia University, and will obtain her Master’s in clinical Social Work (MSW), with a concentration on Marriage & Family Therapy (MFT) in May 2016.
Linda is a Social Worker, trainer, holistic practitioner and Life Coach. She has worked in health and human services as a Social Worker and trainer for over 15 years before embarking to pursue her passion as a holistic practitioner through her business, Wellness in Harmony. Linda has worked as a counselor for adjudicated youth, victims of Domestic Violence, and people living with HIV and AIDS. She currently works with individuals, couples and groups, helping her clients to reduce stress and anxiety, overcome life barriers and challenges, and heal their relationships. Linda has also been training Suicide Prevention for over 10 years as a QPR Instructor.
As an educator, Lindy Williamson has worked with communities, hospitals, mental health agencies, emergency services, military, schools, businesses, churches and service organizations. She regularly teaches several Critical Incident Stress Management Classes as an approved instructor with the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation and is in demand as a keynote speaker and panelist at national symposiums and conferences serving the needs of mental health agencies and emergency services on the state, regional and national level.
Dr. Burroughs is currently the Associate Director/Director of Clinical Services at the University of Tennessee Counseling Center. Dr. Burroughs completed her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology at the University of Southern Mississippi and interned at the University of Tennessee Counseling Center. Marci is a Licensed Psychologist/Health Service Provider in Tennessee and an Adjunct, Assistant Professor for the Counseling Psychology Department at UT.
Mary Chandler Bolin, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist, and since July 1998 has served as the director of the University of Kentucky Counseling Center: Consultation and Psychological Services. She has instructed as a QPR gatekeeper since Fall 2003. Dr. Bolin has served on the steering committee of the Kentucky Suicide Prevention Group [KSPG] and as a co-PI for a SAMHSA GLS grant, presented suicide prevention programs at many conferences, and became a Master Trainer for QPR in 2006. Her emphasis has been on helping other universities and colleges establish systematic suicide prevention efforts by training faculty, staff and students as QPR gatekeepers. She has certified QPR gatekeeper instructors at more than 40 sites, including the University of Central Oklahoma, Cameron University, University of Buffalo, The Ohio State University, Illinois State University, UCLA, and for the Association for University and College Counseling Center Directors, in addition to regional community-based groups
Mary VanHaute is a QPR Master Trainer and educator with more than 20 years of experience as a professional instructor, online learning facilitator, and expert in community-based suicide prevention strategies, with a special focus on preventing suicide among First Responders and their families. A leader in suicide prevention, Mary integrates QPR training into a broader program that addresses the unique health and safety issues inherent in culture of law enforcement and fire service organizations.
Michael currently serves as the Kentucky State Suicide Prevention Coordinator through the Kentucky Department for Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Addiction Services. With a clinical background, Michael conducts clinical trainings focused on suicide assessment, management and treatment throughout Kentucky. Michael also serves as the Project Director for a Garrett Lee Smith Memorial grant; a three year grant revolving around adolescent suicide prevention and intervention.
Is a Psychotherapist and trainer, who holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and a Masters Degree in Counseling/Education. Dr. Nancy Bohl has specialized in the field of trauma since 1985. She is the Director of The Counseling Team International (TCTI), which is also, The Southern California Critical Incident Stress Management Team. She is a certified Master Trainer for the QPR Institute focusing on Suicide Prevention and Intervention.
Naomi Kitajima’s established QPR at Foothill Community College and has provided QPR Master Training in the California Community College System. She has actively taught for the Santa Clara County (SCC) Behavioral/Mental Health Services and SC County K-12 schools. Currently, she lectures for Hope House of Redwood City for drug addicted women which targets incarcerated, pregnant women. As a Board Member of the Service League of San Mateo County Jail/Correctional Facilities (www.serviceleague.org),
Naomi participates in Service League projects benefiting, the Sheriff’s Office, inmates and support for inmate’s families. Also, her background as a foster home in San Mateo County has also brought insight & compassion into Naomi’s life’s work in Suicide Prevention and support for the community’s mental health and well-being.
Dr. Flint has over 16 years experience providing personal and career counseling at the University of North Texas and in her private practice in North Dallas. Prior to that, she worked as a registered nurse. She has a co-therapist, Dakota that works with her at the Student Counseling Center at UNT. Dakota is a Labrador retriever that has been certified by the Delta Society to work as an animal assistant.
Rhianna Brand is a proud third generation Cheyenne resident and received her Bachelor’s of Science degree majoring in communication with a minor in marketing and sales.
Rhianna had a career in the radio industry working in Austin, TX for Spirit 105.9 and Montgomery Broadcasting/KFBC when she returned to Cheyenne in 2014. She then transitioned to non-profit work for the state of Wyoming in the area of suicide prevention. You can see more about her work in news articles ranging from the Seattle Times all the way to the Rolling Stone (All American Despair).
She is the current Event & Program Coordinator for Meals on Wheels of Cheyenne and the Founder and CEO of Unconditional Inspiration, LLC where she is continuing the mission of suicide and substance abuse prevention and education in the front range. Unconditional Inspiration provides school presentations, training community members, and helping with strategic planning and fundraising ideas for non-profits. She also is Wyoming’s QPR Master Trainer, an ASIST Trainer, and Governor Mark Gordon appointed her to the Wyoming Behavioral Health Advisory Council in 2020.
Sal Caraco currently serves as the Compeer Director for the Mental Health Association of Central Carolinas, where he has been employed since 2006. He has worked in the field of human services since 1980, providing direct care, program management, and training. He is a certified trainer in Mental Health First Aid-USA and Gatekeeper Q.P.R. ® (Question, Persuade, Refer), Strategies for Crisis Intervention, and Prevention (SCIP), as well as a Master Trainer for Q.P.R.
As a clinical psychologist, mental health advocate, faculty member, and survivor of her brother’s suicide, Dr. Sally Spencer-Thomas sees the issues of suicide prevention from many perspectives. Currently, she is the CEO of the Carson J Spencer Foundation. Dr. Spencer-Thomas is a professional speaker and trainer, presenting nationally and internationally on the topic of suicide prevention and has published four books on mental health. She lives in Conifer, Colorado with her partner and three sons.
Sarah Gaer began working in human services in 1998. She is a Master’s level clinician and graduate of Antioch New England University. She has diverse experience working with a wide variety of populations and milieus including substance abuse treatment facilities, mental health, residential and outpatient clinical services for individuals with severe and chronic mental illness, as well as developmental disabilities, and forensic populations in community based programs.
Sean and his colleague Denis O’Connor piloted QPR Sport on a face to face basis in Ireland between 2013 – 2017. They subsequently were lead authors on the QPR Sport online version
Seán has worked in the field of mental health since 1980. During this time he has worked in the following clinical areas of acute psychiatry, rehabilitation, forensic psychiatry and community psychiatric nursing. He has also worked in nursing administration, before moving into the field of suicidology. He holds a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Nursing Studies and a Diploma in Health and Social Welfare from the Open University as well as numerous other certificates and awards. For the past 20 years he has worked in the field of suicidology. He was the first appointed full time suicide resource officer in Ireland, co-ordinating initiatives focusing on the areas of prevention, intervention and postvention, in a specific geographic area as well leading out on a number of initiatives nationally. He is a member of the International Association of Suicide Prevention (IASP) and has served as co-chair of the IASP Special Interest Group (SIG) on Bereavement and Loss. Seán has presented on QPR Sport in a number of Countries during the development of the training programme. He has also presented on his work in suicidology during conferences hosted by the Irish Association of Suicidology (IAS), IASP, the European Symposium on Suicide and Suicidal Behaviour (ESSSB) and the American Association of Suicidology (AAS). During his life sport has played a significant role for him as a player, coach, administrator and supporter.
Dr. Yook completed his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at Korea University in Seoul, Korea. He learned about QPR while on a post-doctoral fellowship in suicide prevention at the University of Rochester School of Medicine. He completed his advanced QPR training in the United States and in Korea. Dr. Yook has provided consultation and training to police departments throughout Korea and is the suicide prevention advisor to the Republic of Korea National Defense Ministry.