SPR Health Forum: Suicide Awareness

The audience provided some thought-provoking questions at the 2017 SPR Health Forum, Suicide Awareness.

SPR's 2017 Health Forum: Suicide Awareness was recorded in front of an audience. SPR’s panel of experts discussed several topics about suicide, mental health, and Washington state’s Death with Dignity Act.

Additional resources, including crisis hotlines

Read reports on Suicide from SPR, Northwest News Network, and NPR

SPR hosted a health forum on March 22 in the Spokane City Council Chambers.

Mental health and suicide affect all members of a community from family and friends to local schools. In Washington, one person dies by suicide every eight hours. It is the second leading cause of death for ages 10-34. Idaho ranks sixth in the nation in suicides per 100,000 people, well above the national average.

Steve Jackson hosted and moderated the discussion. “We want to give listeners, and the greater community, an opportunity to have questions answered by experts they wouldn’t usually have access to,” he said.

Panelists included:

  • Staci Cornwall, Frontier Behavioral Health Crisis Services Director
  • Dr. Kevin Heid, Providence Health Services Pediatric Psychologist
  • Arline Hinckley, End of Life Washington Board Member
  • Sherryl Shepard, Hospice of Spokane Chaplain
  • Scot Haug, Post Falls Police Chief

Thanks to event donors WSU Health Sciences Spokane, The Journal of Business, Providence Health Care, and Kauffman & Associates, Inc.

Please click here to read or listen to multiple news reports on the topics of teen suicide, veteran suicide, Washington state's Death with Dignity Act, and more.

A representative from Spokane School District 81 addresses the panel.

About the panelists:

Staci Cornwell is the Director of Crisis Response Services for Frontier Behavioral Health and a licensed mental health professional. She has provided crisis intervention and involuntary treatment assessments in Spokane for 17 years. Cornwell is on the executive leadership team for Spokane’s Suicide Coalition. She also partners with the Spokane Police Department to facilitate Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training for officers.

Scot Haug is in his eighth year as the Chief of Police for the Post Falls Idaho Police Department. He has served in the department in 1986. Chief Haug holds an Associate’s Degree in Law Enforcement from North Idaho College and a degree in Administration of Justice. 

Dr. Kevin Heid is the Director of Psychology Services for Providence Psychology Clinic and Providence Medical Group. He specializes in assessment and treatment of children and adolescents. Heid was named Mental Health Professional of the Year 2013 by Providence Health Care Foundation, Eastern Washington.

Arline Hinckley grew up in Seattle and earned a Masters in social work from the University of Washington. Her work at University of Missouri Medical Center convinced her of the need for better end-of-life care and opportunities for terminally ill adults to control their last days. She now is a board member and volunteer client adviser for End of Life Washington.

Sheryll Shepard joined Hospice of Spokane and received certification in Death and Grief studies in 2005. A survivor herself, Shepard has facilitated Survivors of Suicide loss groups for the last 10 years. She began her career in chaplaincy in South Dakota and completed her training through Gonzaga in 2002.