National Advisory Board
John Austin, Jr.
John H. Austin, Jr. is an Assistant Special Agent in Charge for the Drug Enforcement Administration. Throughout his DEA career, Mr. Austin has directed, and managed critically complex international investigations with national security implications. He brings a tremendous amount of knowledge and real-world experience to discussions on domestic and international drug trafficking, money laundering and transnational organized crime. Mr. Austin leads, develops and evaluates a diverse workforce comprised of federal, state and local law enforcement officers, regulatory investigators, military and civilian intelligence analysts, security officers and support personnel. He establishes investigative priorities for the office, approves criminal and regulatory enforcement initiatives, directs the regional drug demand reduction program and mitigates all hazards and risk to personnel and facilities. Currently, Mr. Austin is pursuing a Master of Public Administration at the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University in New York and is a graduate of John Jay College (MA) and Temple University.
Dr. Michael Cheng
Michael is a psychiatrist with the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO), and helps suicidal, depressed and anxious children and youth by strengthening their close attachments and reconnecting them with the people and things that are truly meaningful. He works with the Ontario Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health on the eMentalHealth.ca website, which make it easy for anyone, anywhere to find out about mental health and mental health help.
Manon DeFelice JD, Executive Director and General Counsel of the AHA Foundation
Manon DeFelice is an attorney and executive director of the AHA Foundation. Manon helps protect women and girls from violence in the name of religion and culture. Previously Manon worked for the New York City Mayor’s Office on human trafficking issues and during law school interned at the District Attorney’s Office of New York, Sex Crimes Unit. Manon is a graduate of Barnard College and Brooklyn Law School.
Dr. Greg Dillon
Greg is a general psychiatrist with a special interest in addiction medicine and anxiety and mood disorders. He is the co-founder and President of Lower Fifth Psychiatric, a group practice in downtown Manhattan, as well as an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Public Health at the Weill Cornell School of Medicine and New York Presbyterian Hospital.
Jennifer Di Nicola, Call Center Manager, National Runaway Safeline
Jennifer serves as the call center manager for the National Runaway Safeline (NRS), the federally designated national communication system for runaway and homeless youth. She has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Jennifer has thirteen years of experience in providing direct crisis line services and managing call center operations, including; data collection, reporting, program evaluation and managing NRS’ phone, live chat, crisis email and bulletin service delivery by staff and over 165 trained crisis line volunteers.
John Draper, Ph.D., Director, National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Network
John has nearly 24 years of experience in crisis intervention and suicide prevention work, and is considered one of the nation’s leading experts in crisis contact center practices (hotline, online chat, SMS services, etc.). Since 2004, he has been the Director of the SAMHSA-funded National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (800-273-TALK), overseeing all aspects of this service. John is also MHA-NYC’s VP of Crisis and Behavioral Health Technologies, and is the founding director for MHA-NYC’s award-winning LifeNet call center (1996-2004), a center which is now one of 155 members in the Lifeline’s national network. He is also the primary Lifeline liaison to both SAMHSA and the Veterans Crisis Line and plays a key role in coordinating communications and service needs of these federal agencies with Lifeline staff, its vast network of crisis centers, and three national committees of suicide prevention experts that advise the Lifeline on best practice approaches.
Mary Drexler, MSW, Executive Director, ContactUSA
Mary has been in the field of crisis intervention/suicide prevention since 1995. Mary currently serves as the part-time Executive Director of CONTACT USA, a member organization serving over 50 crisis centers nationally. She also worked eleven years as the statewide information/referral and crisis center director for 2-1-1 in Connecticut. She served three years as Crisis Division Chair on the Council of Delegates for the American Association of Suicidology. Mary is also a certified ASIST trainer. She provides private consultation and training to social service agencies, focusing primarily on training in the areas of suicide prevention and intervention. Mary is also currently the Executive Director of the CT Council on Problem Gambling (CCPG). Mary hopes to pursue further research in the area of problem gambling and suicide. She holds a Masters of Social Work from the University of Connecticut School of Social Work.
April Foreman, Ph.D.
April is a licensed psychologist, serving veterans as Suicide Prevention Coordinator for Southeast Lousiana Veterans Health Care system. Dr. Foreman received her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Texas Tech University. She is known for her work integrating technology in the treatment of people with severe mental illness in rural Kanas. This project is also featured in the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services’ Agency for Health Research Quality’s Innovation Exchange. She is a champion for the role of technology in innovative mental health care design.
Christopher Gandin Le, CEO, Emotion Technology, LLC
Since joining the field of suicide prevention in 2003, Christopher has dedicated himself to harnessing the power of technology to save lives. When no one was discussing the intersection of social media and suicide prevention, Christopher was asking questions and pushing the work forward on a national level. This space exists in large part because of his work, especially the work done while helping to build two of the major national suicide prevention organizations, the Suicide Prevention Resource Center and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Since founding Emotion Technology, he has created social and interactive media for the Veterans Crisis Line, Oil Spill Distress Helpline and CrisisChat.org. During his time at the Lifeline, he established protocol for online suicide prevention and partnerships with all of the major social networking websites. Christopher is a graduate of Teachers College of Columbia University.
Ginny Gohr, Director, Boys Town National Hotline
Ginny Gohr has served as Director of the Boys Town National Hotline since 1998. Ginny’s background includes several years managing corporate call center operations dealing with credit card fraud, telephone long distance assistance, hotel reservations and now with crisis and referrals service for youth and parents. Ginny is responsible for a staff of approximately 75 employees. This past year, the Boys Town National Hotline answered over 117,000 calls and responded to 30,000 web-based contacts. Parents, youth and others contact the Hotline with issues that range from relationships and parental discipline to depression and suicide. In crisis situations, counselors assist callers and provide community resources and emergency intervention as needed.
Anastasia Goodstein, Product Development and Marketing, ReachOut.com
Anastasia serves as Vice President of the Advertising Council’s Digital group where she manages the team in charge of digital and social strategy for all Ad Council campaigns as well as AdCouncil.org. Prior to joining the Ad Council, she lead the product development and marketing for the Inspire USA Foundation’s primary service, ReachOut.com, a digital space for teens struggling with depression or other mental health issues. She has worked in media for the past 15+ years and helped launch youth oriented web and television properties for brands like Oxygen, AOL and Current TV before founding the influential youth marketing site Ypulse.com. Anastasia was one of the first graduates of the Medill School of Journalism’s new media program at Northwestern University, where she earned an MSJ in 1999. Her first book about teens and technology called Totally Wired: What Teens & Tweens Are Really Doing Online was published by St. Martin’s Press. She lives in the Greater New York City area with her husband and daughter.
Alan Green, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Clinical Education and School Counseling Program Lead at USC’s Rossier School of Education
Prior to his appointment at USC, Alan came from Johns Hopkins University School of Education, where he served most recently as chair of the Department of Counseling and Human Services. He earned a doctorate in counseling psychology from Howard University in Washington, DC and a master’s degree in school and community counseling from California State University in Sacramento. Dr. Green was the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship for his doctoral work in Guyana on adolescent stressors, coping responses and psychological adjustment. Prior to his appointment at Johns Hopkins, he was an adjunct professor in the Department of Applied Psychology at New York University and a clinical psychology intern at the Maryland Department of Safety and Corrections. In addition to his academic duties, Dr. Green served as Associate Director of the Johns Hopkins Urban Health Institute, member of the Hopkins Provost Advisory Committee, board member of Advocates for Children and Youth, and previously executive board liaison for the Empowerment Academy Charter School.
Jen works as the Crisis Line Coordinator and Chat/Text Program Specialist at Common Ground in Oakland County Michigan. Jen created and executed the Crisis Chat and Text Line program last year, which is the only program available in Michigan. The program now is a part of the National Portal through Lifeline. Jen also serves as a leader for the Crisis Response Team that provides debriefings in the community to those in a traumatic event.
Dr. Thomas Joiner
Dr. Joiner’s work is on the psychology, neurobiology, and treatment of suicidal behavior and related conditions. He went to college at Princeton, received his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Texas at Austin, and is now the Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor in the Department of Psychology at Florida State University (FSU). Author of over 480 peer-reviewed publications, Dr. Joiner was awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship and the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Residency Fellowship. He has received many notable awards, including the Shneidman Award for excellence in suicide research from the American Association of Suicidology. He is a consultant to NASA’s Human Research Program, and is the Director of the DoD-funded Military Suicide Research Consortium, a $30 million project. Dr. Joiner has authored or edited seventeen books, including “Why People Die By Suicide” (2005), “Myths About Suicide” (2010), and “Lonely at the Top” (2011). The book “The Perversion of Virtue: Understanding Murder-Suicide” is forthcoming from Oxford University Press in 2014. He lives in Tallahassee, Florida, with his wife and two sons.
Dr. Adam Kaplin graduated from Yale University before receiving his MD and Ph.D. from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. Kaplin currently has a joint appointment as a Clinician-Researcher in the Departments of Psychiatry and Neurology at Johns Hopkins where he focuses his research on immune-mediated mechanisms of depression and cognitive impairment in CNS autoimmune diseases. He is the principle psychiatric consultant to the Johns Hopkins Multiple sclerosis and Transverse Myelitis Centers.
Dr. Kaplin is the inventor and co-developer of Mood24/7.com, an eHealth mood tracking technology that also functions as an electronic patient diary and a means to individuals to coordinate care among their health care providers.
Dr. Kaplin is the Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board for the Montel Williams MS Foundation, and a Medical Advisor to the Cody Unser First Step Foundation (CUFSF), the Transverse Myelitis Association (TMA), the Johns Hopkins Project RESTORE, and the Nancy Davis MS Foundation.
He is also the CEO and President of Altammune, a start-up biotechnology company specializing in developing aggressive new therapies to put Autoimmune Diseases into long-term remission.
Deb has been the visionary leader of YTH youth + tech + health (formerly ISIS) since 2001. She has been working in the field of youth sexual health close to 30 years, adding tech to the mix when she discovered its power to discuss sensitive topics during the creation of the immensely popular Go Ask Alice at Columbia University. Her work has been cited in former President Clinton’s Advisory Council Report on Education and the Internet, she won a White House mobile challenge, Apps against Abuse, and in 2009, she was a Pop!Tech Social Innovation Fellow and named a Top 10 Woman to Watch by Elle magazine.
Alison K. Malmon, Executive Director, Active Minds
Alison is founder and Executive Director of Active Minds, Inc., the leading national organization that uses students as the driving force to change the perception about mental health on college campuses. Malmon founded the organization following the suicide of her only sibling, 22-year-old year old brother, Brian Malmon. Wanting to combat the stigma that had caused her brother to suffer in silence and ultimately take his own life, she created the group on her campus at the University of Pennsylvania to promote an open, enlightened dialogue around the issues. Shortly after graduation in 2003, Malmon developed a non-profit organization to expand and continue this dialogue on campuses around the country. She has since served as Executive Director of the non-profit, engaging thousands of students nationwide through more than 350 campus chapters, and promoting a unified national voice for young adults in the promotion of mental health awareness and prevention of suicide.
Jennifer Marsh, VP of Victim Services, Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN)
Ms. Marsh currently works for the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), the nation’s largest anti-sexual assault organization, managing the National Sexual Assault Hotlines and coordinating services and communication with 1,100 affiliate sexual assault service providers nationwide. In addition, Ms. Marsh acts as the RAINN Project Manager for the Department of Defense Safe Helpline, serving the DOD community worldwide. With over 10 years of experience in the field of nonprofit management, Ms. Marsh has been published in the journal Evaluation and Program Planning and presented at national victim services conferences on online crisis intervention best practices. Ms. Marsh testified before Congress in the spring of 2011 and is a member of the U.S. Department of Justice National Victim Assistance Standards Consortium and the Department of Defense Sexual Assault Advocate Credentialing Program Certification Committee. In 2012, Ms. Marsh was appointed by the Director of the Peace Corps to serve as the Chair of the Volunteer Sexual Assault Advisory Council. She has been featured on ABC News, NBC News and CNN, as well as in People, Seventeen, and Cosmopolitan magazines.
Wendy Metter, Associate Director of Student Life at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University
After working as a clinical social worker dealing with teens in crisis, she has spent her career working in human resources and higher education. While at Kellogg, she has worked closely with the Kellogg community to help introduce and engage them in the Evanston/Chicago local community organizations and social service agencies through various volunteer programs. Wendy has a Master of Social Work degree Indiana University. Working with youth has been a life long passion.
April Naturale, Ph.D.
April is a traumatic stress specialist; a licensed clinical social worker with a 25-year history as a health/mental health care administrator and clinician specializing in responses to traumatic events. She holds a Master’s degree from Columbia University and a PhD from New York University. Dr. Naturale was the Statewide Director for Project Liberty, the FEMA funded mental health response to the World Trade Center disaster that addressed over 1.2 million individuals in 32 languages and successfully delivered the media messages of hope, recovery and resilience. She has continued to provide disaster and traumatic stress response training and consultation throughout the U.S. and internationally. She helped launch SAMHSA’s National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and an international not for profit, Psychology Beyond Borders, where she worked with child soldiers and their families in several countries effected by disaster and armed conflict. She worked in each of the states affected by Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Wilma and Ike and then launched the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Distress Helpline network as well as the 9-11 10th Anniversary Healing and Remembrance program.
Katie Ray-Jones, President, National Domestic Violence Hotline
Katie serves as President of the National Domestic Violence Hotline and National Dating Abuse Helpline. Katie has a bachelor’s degree in child and family development from San Diego State University as well as a degree in Counseling and Psychology. Katie has managed emergency shelter, transitional and permanent housing programs, nonresidential services for survivors and their children, 24-hour hotlines, services for individuals with HIV/AIDS, housing for families who are homeless, case management programs for children who have been abused and neglected, and a therapeutic preschool for children who have witnessed violence. Due to her love for the nonprofit sector, Katie began working on a master’s degree in Nonprofit Management and Leadership at the University of San Diego. Katie is married and has three wonderful children, George, Maximillian and Cooper.
Jennifer Rosenblum, MD, Assistant in Pediatrics, Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine at MGH for Children
Jennifer Rosenblum, MD is a specialist in Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in Boston with an expertise in treating patients with eating disorders. Dr. Rosenblum and other division physicians provide consultative medical care to patients with eating disorders at MGH and Newton-Wellesley Hospital (NWH) in both the outpatient and inpatient setting. The Division is closely involved in research activities that determine the effects of eating disorders on bone mineralization and studies to determine the most effective treatment of bone loss from eating disorders. Dr. Rosenblum completed her medical training at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and her internship and residency in Primary Care Internal Medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. She then completed her fellowship in Adolescent Medicine at Children’s Hospital Boston where both her clinical training and research focused on patients with eating disorders.
Jason Rzepka, Senior Vice President, Public Affairs, MTV
Jason is senior vice president of public affairs at MTV, the #1 global youth brand. His charge, quite simply, is to use MTV’s superpowers for good. Jason does this by marshaling the network’s forces to engage and activate America’s youth on the biggest challenges facing their generation. He is responsible for the strategic direction of all of MTV’s “pro-social” campaigns, including the boundary-shattering, Peabody-winning “It’s Your (Sex) Life,” with the Kaiser Family Foundation, which has reached over 200 million young people on sexual health issues; Webby-winning “A Thin Line,” which has inspired well over 1 million young people to draw their own line between digital use and digital abuse; and “Power of 12,” which is built to unleash the exponential power of young voters in the 2012 elections – and beyond.
Phoenix Schneider, MSW, Director, Trevor Project
Phoenix has extensive experience overseeing a safety net of crisis services including a Lifeline, digital, and education programs for LGBTQ youth. Phoenix helps spearhead an international online crisis and support consortium for agencies implementing chat, text and other computer-based services.
Stephen Steinbergher, Guidance Counselor, Xaverian Brothers High School
Steve has been a Guidance Counselor at Xaverian Brothers High School in Westwood, Massachusetts since 2002. He is responsible for working with adolescent boys on a variety of issues including mental health concerns, stress, anxiety, family issues, academic counseling, career counseling, and college counseling. Steve is a Past-President of the Catholic School Counselors Association (CSCA) in Massachusetts. In 2012, he won the CSCA Counselor of the Year Award for his contributions to the counseling profession. Xaverian also recognized his work by awarding him the highest honor for a faculty member, the Ryken Award. When he is not busy with his counseling activities, he enjoys coaching cross country and track at Xaverian. Before working at Xaverian, Steve was a residential child care counselor responsible for implementing direct care for sixteen adolescent boys at the New England Home for Little Wanderers. He earned a C.A.E.S in Educational Administration from Boston College in 2007, and has a Master’s in School Guidance Counseling from Cambridge College in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Jenn Sturm, Director of Communications & Digital Strategy, Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice
Jenn has over fifteen years of communications, online strategy, and technology experience for progressive, human rights, and social justice causes. Prior to joining Astraea, Jenn served as Director of Online Communications at the Center for American Progress in Washington, DC. At CAP, Jenn led digital communications, outreach, and advocacy for Enough, the project to end genocide and crimes against humanity. While at the Human Rights Campaign, Jenn launched the Webby award-winning hrc.org website, which became the leading online source for news and information about LGBT civil rights in the U.S. As Director of Technology for the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network, Jenn led the development of the National Sexual Assault Online Hotline, winner of the NPower Greater D.C. Technology Innovation Award.
Eric F. van Furth, Ph.D., FAED
Eric is Clinical Director of the Center for Eating Disorders Ursula in Leidschendam, the Netherlands. He is a clinical psychologist and psychotherapist. After receiving his Ph.D. in psychology from Utrecht University, Eric went on to pen over 50 publications, primarily journals, chapters, educational videos, and conference papers on eating disorders. He has also published three books on the subject and is a member of the Editorial Advisory Board of the International Journal of Eating Disorders (IJED), European Eating Disorders Review (EEDR) and Eating Behaviors. He has been working clinically with patients with eating disorders for more than 25 years. After holding a seat as the Chair of the Dutch Multidisciplinary Treatment Guideline Workgroup on Eating Disorders (2004-2006), he is currently a Fellow and Past-President of the Academy for Eating Disorders.
Jill Wolski, LMSW, JataSource
Jill has over 10 years experience in the mental health field, working directly with families and individuals with a diverse array of concerns as well as six years managing a crisis and 2-1-1 center. Jill’s particular expertise area is in the adaptation of traditional mental health and suicide prevention approaches to the online environment. She has been instrumental in organizing and growing the USA’s first online crisis services network, CrisisChat.org. She has served on the board of CONTACT USA as the National Crisis Chat Coordinator. Currently, Jill also works as a consultant with Distress Centres Ontario to provide guidance and structure for implementation of Crisis Chat in Ontario.
Jerry Weichman, Ph.D.
Dr. Jerry is a clinical psychologist focused solely on teen and preteen issues. Based out of his private practice at Hoag Hospital’s Neurosciences Institute in Newport Beach, CA, Dr. Jerry is also an author of a teen self-help book, “How to Deal,” and a noted public speaker on teen-related topics including bullying, dating, substance abuse and adolescent coping skills. Dr. Jerry decided early in his career to specialize in helping teens and tweens navigate the adolescent years. Primarily this is because of the trials he faced growing up as a below-knee amputee, for which he faced more than his share of childhood challenges. Overcoming his obstacles, Dr. Jerry went on to become a stellar athlete: a Division I college football player. Today he is an Össur-sponsored amputee athlete as well as an avid snowboarder, surfer, and mountain biker. When not working or spending time with his family, Dr. Jerry is most likely boarding down a black diamond run and loving every minute.
James Wright, MS, LCPC Public Health Advisor, SAMHSA, Center for Mental Health Services
James Wright, M.S., LCPC, is a Public Health Advisor in the Suicide Prevention Branch, Center for Mental Health Services, at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Mr. Wright serves as Government Project Officer (GPO) for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, Crisis Center Follow Up grants and represents SAMHSA on the Juvenile Justice Task Force for the Action Alliance. He is also the GPO for states receiving Garrett Lee Smith grant funds to provide suicide prevention awareness and outreach across the United States. Mr. Wright serves on the Editorial Board for stopbullying.gov and the Federal Partners on Bullying Prevention, serves as the Center for Mental Health Services representative for the Health Information Technology team and the Federal Interagency Committee on Traumatic Brain Injury. Mr. Wright is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor, previously managed a Psychiatric Emergency Department for both Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center and Austin Travis County Integral Care (ATCIC). In cooperation with ATCIC and CONTACT USA, Mr. Wright previously served on the Board of Directors for CONTACT USA and was instrumental in the creation of www.crisischat.org through ATCIC. Mr. Wright is a veteran of the United States Army.