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National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Standards, Training And Practices Subcommittee

The role of the Standards, Training and Practices Subcommittee is to identify and recommend essential, minimum standards for network member centers. This subcommittee focuses on identifying appropriate evidence based trainings and program evaluation to support the maintenance of all recommended standards. This subcommittee submits all recommendations to both Lifeline leadership and the Lifeline Steering Committee.


Charlotte Anderson, Co-Chair ([email protected])

Ms. Anderson has worked with Hotline, a 24-hour crisis and information service in Charleston, South Carolina, since 1981 and served as the Executive Director since 1986. She recently spearheaded her community's initiative to implement “211” and designed a merge of Hotline with the local United Way. Ms. Anderson served two terms as the crisis center Division Director on the board of the American Association of Suicidology. She has led a suicide survivors support group for over 15 years and is part of the local crisis response team. In addition, she has worked as a teaching parent with emotionally disturbed youth, provided drug and alcohol education for the Navy, and designed and taught a course at Trident Technical College.


Bart Andrews, Ph.D. ([email protected])

Bart Andrews, Ph.D., is the Vice President of Clinical Operations at Behavioral Health Response (BHR). Dr. Andrews started his academic career as a business major, but switched to psychology after experiencing severe boredom and spreadsheet inadequacy. After completing his bachelor’s degree in psychology, Dr. Andrews gained greater appreciation for the principles of a free market economy and entered graduate school with the hopes of obtaining gainful employment. Dr. Andrews started work as a crisis intervention clinician at BHR in 1998 right after completing his doctoral internship. The power of telephonic access for people in crisis altered his professional path. Dr. Andrews recognized the need for improved training in suicide assessment/intervention and developed BHR’s first comprehensive lethality training program. Dr. Andrews became an Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) trainer early in his career as a crisis line manager. Dr. Andrews continues to provide ASIST trainings and is an active member in the LivingWorks’ ASIST Training Coach Network. Dr. Andrews believes that there are many parallel processes between providing services to clients, providing training to clinicians and increasing awareness in the community about mental health needs. Dr. Andrews’ primary goal is to ensure BHR maintains clinical excellence while supporting BHR’s community and partners in providing superior behavioral health services. Dr. Andrews believes a key part of achieving this goal is to enhance access to suicide intervention and mental health services whenever possible.


Jennifer J. Armstrong, LPC-MHSP ([email protected])

Jennifer Armstrong has over 15 years of experience working in community mental health and crisis services. She currently serves as the Clinical Program Manager for Crisis Care Services for Centerstone, one of the nation’s largest community-based mental health providers. Centerstone’s Crisis Care Services, based out of Nashville, Tennessee is the primary crisis provider for 20 counties in Middle Tennessee. Crisis Care Services also serves as crisis service provider for six additional local and national entities. Ms. Armstrong is a member of the American Association of Suicidology and the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation. She is an active member of the Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network, and serves on the task force for the “Tennessee Lives Count” Suicide Prevention Project. Additionally, she has worked closely with the Tennessee Department of Mental Health in development of minimal standards of care and standardized risk assessment in provision of crisis services. She holds a Master’s Degree in Clinical Social Work from the University of Tennessee.


Jennifer Battle, MSW ([email protected])

Jennifer Battle is currently the Director of the Mental Health Mental Retardation Authority (MHMRA) of Harris County HelpLine, the largest public mental health hotline in Texas. The MHMRA HelpLine also serves as the crisis line for 39 additional Texas counties. Jennifer is the Co-Chair of the Texas Suicide Prevention Council. She holds an M.S.W. from the University Of Houston Graduate College Of Social Work and a certification in Non-Profit Management through the Non-Profit Leadership Alliance at University of Houston. Jennifer was the Director of Development at Crisis Intervention of Houston and the Director of Volunteer Services at Bay Area Women's Center previous to her work at MHMRA. She is on the Board for the National Association of Crisis Center Directors (NASCOD) and teaches in the social work programs at the University Of Houston Graduate College Of Social Work and at the University of Houston –Clear Lake Bachelor of Social Work Program.


Michelle Bauer ([email protected])

Michelle Bauer is the Operations Supervisor at 281-CARE. 281-CARE is the crisis/suicide hotline in Cincinnati, OH and a call center of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. 281-CARE is a part of the Community Care services at Talbert House. She has been working in the Mental Health field for over 20 years. Over the last 5 years, her focus has been on suicide prevention, intervention and postvention. She has been a board member for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention-Cincinnati Chapter for three years and has organized with board members and volunteers AFSP events such as the Out of the Darkness Walk, International Survivors of Suicide Day and ISP (Interactive Screening Program). She implemented and chaired the committee for an annual event “Suicide is a Drag.” This event brings awareness of suicide prevention to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning community. As a Field Advocate and State Captain for the state of Ohio through the AFSP, she, along with other Ohio Field Advocates works with the DC office to encourage and educate our state representatives and senators on suicide prevention public policies. The Ohio team recently had success in advocating for the Jason Flatt Act to be signed into law. Ms. Bauer is the co-chair for the Tri-State Suicide Prevention Coalition through the Partnership for Mental Health. This coalition includes counties in Southwest Ohio, Northern Kentucky and Southeast Indiana. The coalition’s efforts are focused on recommending, implementing and assisting their communities with QPR training, Active Minds Chapters in schools, SOS groups, and on-going education. She is a QPR, suicideTALK, and ASIST trainer. Lastly, she is a member and consultant for her local community and school crisis team.


Lori Carnahan, LCPC ([email protected])

Lori Carnahan a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor with more than 10 years’ experience as a therapist and administrator in mental health. Lori is currently the Assistant Director of Emergency Services at the DuPage County Health Department. The Emergency Services department provides 24/7 mental health services to residents of DuPage County in Illinois. In her current role, Lori manages all child and adult crisis programs as well as a 10 bed Crisis Residential unit. She facilitated a merge of all child and adult crisis services in early 2012 and successfully cross trained all staff to provide interventions to both populations. This merge effectively increased direct care to clients and provides more efficient response times to residents. Lori also played a key role in the county becoming a Lifeline Center in May 2012. In her previous experience, Lori completed a similar merge of adult and child crisis services at a local mental health agency. At that agency, Lori worked in the field of crisis intervention for several years in a direct service role providing home based services to clients and their families and then as an administrator of those crisis programs. In her roles at that agency she gained extensive experience with high risk children and adolescents through the statewide SASS program.


Tim Jansen, LGSW ([email protected])

Tim Jansen, LGSW, is the Executive Director of Community Crisis Services, Inc (CCSI) “Home of the Prince George’s County Hotline” where he began his social work career as a hotline volunteer in 1998. Tim received his Master’s in Social Work from the University of Maryland School of Social Work. In the last five years, CCSI has more nearly tripled its budget, has earned the Seal of Excellence from the Maryland Association of Nonprofit Organizations (one of only 60 such organizations in Maryland), and has been listed in the 2006 Catalogue of Philanthropy named one of the areas finest small charities. Tim served as the Crisis Center Division Chair for the American Association of Suicidology, currently serves as Chair for CONTACT USA, and as a Senior Training Coach for Livingworks. Dedicated to making services in the nonprofit world work together for the benefit of the community is Tim’s guiding philosophy.


David A. Jobes, Ph.D., ABPP, Co-Chair ([email protected])

David A. Jobes, Ph.D., ABPP, is a Professor of psychology and Associate Director of Clinical Training at The Catholic University of America. His research and writing in suicide has produced numerous peer reviewed publications (including five books on clinical suicidology). As an internationally recognized suicidologist, Dr. Jobes is a past President of the American Association of Suicidology (AAS) and is the recipient of that organization’s 1995 “Edwin Shneidman Award” in recognition of early career contribution to suicide research. Dr. Jobes is the recipient of the 2012 AAS “Dublin Award” in recognition of career contribution in suicidology. He has served as a research consultant to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and has been a consultant to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, the FBI, the Department of Defense and Veterans Affairs. Dr. Jobes is Fellow of the American Psychological Association and he is board certified in clinical psychology (American Board of Professional Psychology). He maintains a private clinical and forensic practice at the Washington Psychological Center.


Marshall Knudson, Ph.D. ([email protected])

Dr. Marshall Knudson, a licensed psychologist, has worked in the field of crisis and suicide intervention for over 30 years and has been director of the Alachua County Crisis Center (Gainesville, Florida) for the last 25. Marshall holds the position of adjunct faculty in the University of Florida’s departments of Psychology and Counselor Education. He has been active on the local, state, and national level as a speaker, consultant, trainer, and interventionist in the areas of suicide, crisis, and community trauma response. He is also recognized for his work in the field of crisis center issues, including such topics as the use and training of volunteers, paraprofessionals and graduate counseling students; suicide and crisis intervention training models; and the expanded role of crisis centers in their communities. Marshall is a senior certification examiner with the American Association of Suicidology as well as a member of their Certification committee. He is a Board member of the Florida Suicide Prevention Coalition and has been appointed by the Governor to the Florida Suicide Prevention Council.


Brian Mishara, Ph.D. ([email protected])

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, Mr. 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.


Kimberley Mullen, Ph.D. ([email protected])

Dr. Mullen is a licensed clinical psychologist and the Clinical Care Coordinator for the National Veterans Crisis Line (VCL), a key component of the Department of Veterans Affairs suicide prevention program.   At the VCL, she oversees the clinical training and supervision of more than 250 crisis line Responders who man the organization's phone, text and online chat services. Dr. Mullen became interested in trauma and suicidal behavior among Veterans while completing her pre-doctoral internship at the Denver VA Medical Center. She speaks at national meetings and has been interviewed in the press on topics of suicide prevention and crisis intervention with Veterans. Dr. Mullen completed her bachelor's degree in Human Development and Family Studies at Cornell University and received her doctoral training at the University of Colorado at Boulder.


Keri Neblett ([email protected])

Keri Neblett graduated from the University of Iowa with a Master’s Degree in Social Work and a Bachelor‘s Degree in Psychology. She has worked at the Crisis Center of Johnson County in Iowa City, IA for the last 9 years. As the Community Intervention Director, she is responsible for the overall management of the Crisis Intervention Program, Suicide Prevention and Outreach Program, Suicide Survivor Support Services and Disaster Recovery Services. She is a member of the Iowa Disaster Behavioral Health Team and chair of the Long Term Recovery Committee (LTRC) for Community Organizations Active in Disaster (COAD). Keri is a certified QPR and ASIST trainer, and a site evaluator for Contact USA Accreditation. She has chaired the AFSP Out of the Darkness Community Walk for the last 3 years and is the founder and chairperson of the Johnson County Suicide Prevention Coalition.


Rodrigo Olivares, MSW ([email protected])

Rodrigo Olivares is the Director of Clinical and Crisis Services for La Frontera Arizona/EMPACT-Suicide Prevention Center.  He provides leadership and oversight to the clinical and crisis programs provided by EMPACT including the 24 hour-crisis hotline, mobile crisis response program, children’s crisis response programs, trauma healing services, peer navigator services, as well as general adult outpatient and substance abuse services.  He also chairs the agency Cultural Competency Committee.  Rodrigo’s work goes beyond the agency, as he is involved in several community initiatives and committees including the Crisis Innovation Committee, Magellan of Arizona Suicide Prevention Steering Committee, Veterans StandDown Coalition and is also a Certified Applied Suicide Intervention Skills(ASIST) Trainer.  Rodrigo also has 10+ years of experience in Crisis, Child Welfare and youth programs.  He has a Master of Science in Social Work from the University of Texas Pan American with major concentration in family focused practice with Latino individuals and families, and is currently completing a Doctoral program focused on Integrated Healthcare at Arizona State University. 


Debi Traeder ([email protected])

Debi Traeder, of Mental Health America-Wisconsin, is the co-founder and coordinator for Prevent Suicide Wisconsin, a statewide initiative for suicide prevention at the regional and community level. Debi has been working in mental health education and communication since 2000 and is a certified Master Trainer in QPR, Question, Persuade, Refer, a grassroots-based suicide prevention and awareness program. Working with the state, county coalitions and the schools throughout Wisconsin, she has been instrumental in developing statewide networks and collaboration, striving to build awareness and alleviate the fear and stigma that surround suicide and mental illness. She also teaches a number of other programs including coalition building, postvention/prevention, fundraising, mental illness topics and methods of stress control. She is a member of American Association of Suicidology, and an 18-year Rotarian. Debi is a graduate of UW-Superior with degrees in education and marketing, and currently lives in Weston, Wisconsin with her husband and sons.


Kathryn VanBoskirk ([email protected])

Kathryn VanBoskirk MSW is a licensed clinical social worker with over 30 years of experience as a leader, therapist, advocate, and educator including extensive work in Community Mental Health centers, suicide prevention, EAP programs, schools, and hospice. She is currently Vice President of Associate Care for LivingWorks Education, a premier training company for suicide intervention and prevention. She provides strategic planning, consultation and support to all LW associates in building suicide-safer communities. Kathryn was instrumental in setting up a national network of suicide prevention trainers in Australia, Norway, Scotland and Ireland. Kathryn was chosen to consult with the California State Mental Health Services Authority to collaborate on the design of their statewide request for funding proposals for suicide prevention initiatives and review submissions. She has taught at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Social Work in a program targeted on ethnic sensitive social work practice and specialized in providing training in culturally competent practice. Her extensive clinical work in urban and rural settings with disenfranchised and minority clients has formed the foundation for her depth of knowledge and skill in providing training. She is a minister and Rosen Method Bodyworker with a healing practice in her hometown of Sedona, Arizona. She is a member of the Arizona Suicide Prevention Coalition and a consultant with Native Americans for Community Action in Flagstaff, Arizona. She has provided training on reservations for tribal Nations in Arizona. She has been a member of the Standards, Training, and Practices subcommittee of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline since its inception, and a longtime member of the American Association of Suicidology.


Laura J. Weber, MA, LMFT ([email protected])

Ms. Weber manages the Crisis Connection which provides crisis call and text services throughout the state of Minnesota. Crisis Connection provides crisis response services for hospitals, counties, crisis response teams, state gambling helpline, state rural/agricultural services, and community mental health centers. Crisis Connection is a program of Canvas Health, a non-profit community mental health center in Minnesota. Canvas Health provides behavioral healthcare services including outpatient, psychiatry, chemical health, elder services, housing, early childhood, school-based, community-based, abuse, rape and sexual violence, and emergency services. Ms. Weber has provided clinical services directly in a number of these programs, along with supervising and managing programs delivering both outpatient and community-based services. Ms. Weber was involved with the development of the Mobile Crisis Team services along with providing suicide assessments for juvenile and adult inmates. She has provided clinical training and supervision for a variety of mental health practitioners and professionals. Ms. Weber is a Minnesota Approved Licensed Marriage and Family Supervisor and a Board of Behavioral Health and Therapy approved supervisor for LPC and LPCC licenses. Ms. Weber has presented to local, state, and national groups on topics including: crisis intervention, building collaborative services for SPMI consumers, clinical supervision, and mental health emergency services (including crisis assessments, call center and text center services). Ms. Weber provides consultation as a Commissioner appointed member of a Local Advisory Council along with participation on statewide task force committees. She provides consultation and recommendations as a member of a Quality Assurance Management Committee overseeing the provision of behavioral healthcare services.


Ron White ([email protected])

Ron White is the Chief Program Officer of Samaritans, Inc. with operational responsibilities for the Helpline services in Framingham and Boston, Grief Support Services, and Community Education. Mr. White is responsible for the more than 500 people who volunteer at Samaritans in a direct service capacity. Mr. White 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. Mr. White 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. He also serves as a member of the Massachusetts Gay, Lesbian Bisexual and Transgender Youth Commission under appointment from the Massachusetts Suicide Prevention Coalition. Mr. White is also a member of the Massachusetts Coalition for Suicide Prevention and the Greater Boston Regional Coalition for Suicide Prevention. Mr. White currently serves on the board of the National Association of Crisis Center Directors (NASCOD).


For questions about committee member contact information or further background on committee activities, please contact Andrea Weston, Lifeline Administrative Coordinator, at [email protected]