Lived Experience Advisory Committee

SPRC’s Lived Experience Advisory Committee (LEAC) is a group of external advisors who have various forms of suicide-centered lived experience. Insights from lived experience can contribute to positive messaging, enriched programming, enhanced safety, and the destigmatization of suicide. LEAC members use their “lifeworld knowledge” (knowledge from the environments and experiences that make up a person’s experience of the world) to help ensure all SPRC prevention efforts reflect a nuanced understanding of suicide that centers the unique insights of those who have experienced it. 

A. Alex Assadi

Dr. A. Alex Assadi is a mental health professional with extensive education and experience in clinical mental health counseling, higher education and student affairs, and career development. He has been a licensed professional counselor in Arkansas since 2009. Dr. Assadi completed his EdD in Higher Education-Student Affairs in 2021 at the University of Arkansas at... Read more

Cal Beyer

Cal Beyer is the vice president of workforce risk and worker wellbeing at CSDZ, a construction insurance and risk management company. CSDZ is a Holmes Murphy Company. He has worked to raise awareness of mental health, substance use disorders, and suicide prevention issues in the construction industry during his 30 years in the field. He is a member of the National ... Read more

Sriya Bhattacharyya

Dr. Sriya Bhattacharyya is a psychologist and yogi working at the intersection of social transformation and creative healing. At present, she works as a diversity director and instructor of clinical medical psychology at Columbia University Irving Medical Center and is an active member of the National Asian American Pacific Islander Empowerment Network. Her researc... Read more

Josie Caballero (Vice Chair)

Born and raised in small-town Texas, Josie Caballero manages the U.S. Transgender Survey (USTS) at the National Center for Transgender Equality. She organizes and coordinates researchers, academics, and activists to ensure the scientific integrity and efficacy of the USTS. She is a Navy veteran who worked as a nuclear reactor operator for six years. She is also a f... Read more

Tom Cruz

Retired Army First Sergeant Tom Cruz experienced deployments in Kosovo (1999), Iraq (2005-2006, 2006-2007, 2007-2008), and Jordan (2017). Over his 26-year military career, he was stationed at U.S. locations (including Fort Bragg; Fort Campbell; the Maryland/D.C. area; Tampa, Florida; and Puerto Rico), as well as Belgium. Cruz was a soldier who thought he cou... Read more

James R. Dixon

James R. Dixon (he/they) is a Black youth suicide prevention coordinator with the Behavioral Health Division of the Multnomah County Health Department in Portland, Oregon. They also work as a senior clinical research associate and psychedelic peer support facilitator at the Social Neuroscience and Psychotherapy (SNaP) Lab, which supports veterans with PTSD and subs... Read more

Shannon Donnick

Shannon Donnick has been director of support services for loss survivors at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) since 2016. Her work focuses specifically on the power of peer support and the idea that healing can begin with a conversation. As a survivor of her grandmother’s suicide, Donnick combines her personal perspective on suicide loss wit... Read more

Pamela End of Horn

Pamela End of Horn is an enrolled member of the Oglala Lakota Sioux Tribe of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. She was born and raised in Pine Ridge, South Dakota. With nearly 20 years of experience in the field of mental health, End of Horn has worked in suicide prevention for 13 years. End of Horn’s work focuses on national policy, standards of care, program d... Read more

Christopher Epperson

Christopher Epperson has worked in suicide prevention for over a decade, inspired by his experience as a suicide attempt survivor and suicide loss survivor. With a broad professional background that includes work as a youth pastor, Epperson is a co-owner of Soul Shop™ Movement, a faith-based organization focusing on suicide prevention and education in faith commu... Read more

Ysabel Garcia

Ysabel Garcia is a Dominican immigrant with a mission to dive heart-first into raw and honest conversations about mental health, equity, and suicide. As a psychiatric system survivor and suicidal person, she has witnessed the harmful effects of mainstream mental health practices, which often ignore the sociocultural factors underlying mental health issues. She show... Read more

Linda Henderson-Smith (Vice Chair)

Linda Henderson-Smith, PhD, LPC, CPCS, CCMP, is the founder and principal at ATC Consulting, LLC. She is a licensed professional counselor, certified professional counselor supervisor, certified Six Sigma Black Belt, and certified change management practitioner. She has over 20 years of clinical and administrative experience in community-based mental health and soc... Read more

Terresa Humphries-Wadsworth

Dr. Terresa Humphries-Wadsworth is a psychologist, speaker, writer, and encourager who works in suicide prevention and postvention, mental health advocacy, and behavioral health crisis care. Dr. Humphries-Wadsworth has worked with nationally recognized teams to develop resources on care practices and lived experience for the National Action Alliance for Suicide Pr... Read more

Steele Kelly

Steele Kelly works in suicide prevention in central Arkansas, where he currently focuses on preventing suicide among military service members, veterans, and their families. Kelly has worked in the suicide prevention field for over 10 years, including as a suicide prevention program manager for Accenture Federal Services, an IT service management company. He ... Read more

DeQuincy Meiffren-Lezine

Dr. DeQuincy Meiffren-Lezine is the director of the Lived Experience Academy, which focuses on life promotion and suicide prevention. He is a suicide attempt survivor who has worked in the field of suicide prevention since 1996. Dr. Meiffren-Lezine was the inaugural chair of the Attempt Survivor and Lived Experience Division at the American Association of Suicidolo... Read more

Annemarie Matulis

Annemarie Matulis is a survivor of childhood trauma and adult domestic violence and has spent 35 years balancing careers in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors including domestic violence, substance misuse, and suicide prevention. Matulis has decades of experience as a community activist, advocate, and organizer. Emotionally impacted by the suicidal crisis o... Read more

Bianca D. McCall

Bianca D. McCall is a retired professional women’s basketball player, keynote and TEDx speaker, and the leader of a fashion campaign promoting global well-being and charity in partnership with Parisian fashion house Givenchy, which works to increase diversity and inclusion. McCall is a licensed marriage and family therapist with more than 25 years of experien... Read more

Jamual Parks

Jamual Parks is a wrestling coach, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu grappler, and former Oklahoma State University (OSU) wrestler (2007-2012). During his time at OSU, Parks became one of OSU’s winningest wrestlers and earned NCAA All-American status. He also received a bachelor’s degree in education. During five years of incarceration, Parks completed Baylor University’s ... Read more

Torri Shack

Torri Shack, CEO and founder of Tangible Movement, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is a transformative advocate at the nexus of mental health and LGBTQIA2S+ issues. Shack is a two-time suicide attempt survivor, a recovering drug addict and alcoholic, and a person living with a mental illness. He identifies as transgender, using he/him pronouns. He graduated magna cum laude ... Read more

Lisa St. George

Lisa St. George, MSW, CPRP, CPSS, has over 40 years of experience in the health and human services field. She recently served as the vice president of peer support and empowerment at RI International, a 501c3 nonprofit mental health organization. Her work with RI spanned 23 years, during which time she provided executive leadership and program development in the or... Read more

Sally Spencer-Thomas

Dr. Sally Spencer-Thomas is an experienced psychologist, speaker, podcaster, and impact entrepreneur based in Colorado. As a suicide loss survivor, Dr. Spencer-Thomas is the co-founder and president of United Suicide Survivors International, a nonprofit organization for survivors of suicide attempt and suicide loss. Dr. Spencer-Thomas’ work in suicide prev... Read more

Tony Stelter

Tony Stelter is a mental health professional in central Oklahoma. He serves as the director of contact center operations and clinical services for Solari Crisis & Human Services, which partners with the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services to operate the state’s 988 Mental Health Lifeline. Stelter has worked in the field of... Read more

Pata Suyemoto (Chair of LEAC)

Dr. Pata Suyemoto is a feminist scholar, writer, educator, curriculum developer, equity trainer, mental health activist, jewelry designer, and avid bicyclist. She earned her doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania, focusing her research on anti-racist education and issues of race and racism. Dr. Suyemoto is the training director for the National Asian ... Read more