To mark World Suicide Awareness Day and address the roots of suicide in East Texas, the Tyler Recovery-Oriented Systems of Care and Corpus Christi-based Avail Solutions will host a seminar Thursday in Hudnall Auditorium at UT Health Northeast.

Avail Solutions is accredited by the American Suicidology Association and provides a crisis hotline staffed by mental health professionals.

The event, from 9 a.m. to noon, focuses on suicide prevention, factors that put people at risk for suicide, and access to local resources.

Avail Solutions Chief Executive Officer Janie Harwood will serve as a keynote speaker. Ms. Harwood, who received a master’s degree in psychiatric nursing, has worked at 10 psychiatric hospitals in the last 40 years.

Dr. Tim Roddam, chairman of Tyler ROSC and Dr. Jeffery Matthews, a psychiatrist at UT Health Northeast, also are among the event’s speakers.

Roddam, who works from Avail’s Tyler office, also is a pastoral counselor for Michael’s House of Hope at New Life Worship Center. He said the seminar would be helpful to people from various sections of the community outside of mental health.

“The program generally will focus on the best practices and responses to people who are struggling with suicidal thoughts, maybe even suicidal plans,” Roddam said. “That would expand to other disciplines, other than just mental health professionals, like schools, medical clinics and other types of agencies.”

Panel discussions will feature mental health professionals and advocates who will discuss their role in the community as it relates to intervention and suicidal risks.

Admission is free, and the event is open to the general public. Door prizes, a continental breakfast and resources will be available to attendees.

The Andrews Center will provide continuing education units for licensed professional counselors and social workers.




What: World Suicide Awareness Day seminar

When: 9 a.m.-noon, Thursday

Where: Hudnall Auditorium, UT Health Northeast, 11937 U.S. Highway 271

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