Did you know that suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for Alabama children ages 10-14 and the 3rd leading cause of death for ages 15-24? Studies show that ongoing family conflicts, abuse, violence, lack of family unity, and parents’ mental health issues can raise a child’s suicide risk. A history of foster care and adoption also has been linked to children having a higher suicide risk.
SPEAK— which stands for Suicide Prevention, Empowerment, Awareness, Knowledge— is a collaborative effort involving the Huntsville Hospital Foundation, local school systems, Wellstone Behavioral Health, and others that work with children. The program addresses the increasing incidence of suicide and raises awareness about mental illness and provides resources and education through annual training’s, the SPEAK North Alabama app and more.
MCFAPA is excited to have Dr. Aparna Vuppala from Behavioral Sciences of Alabama come to speak about the SPEAK program and how they help those by offering the resources needed to prevent future tragedies. Dr. Vuppala is one of the few practicing child psychiatrists in North Alabama and is a valuable resource for our community.
Keep an eye out for the RSVP link for childcare. We hope to see you there!
Join us on Monday, July 22nd from 6PM-7:30PM at DHR as Rebekah Smith comes to talk about the very latest in Trauma Informed Care.
Some of the topics covered will include:
-Adverse Childhood Event’s study (ACE’s) and how this relates to foster care
-The biology of trauma
-Trauma-informed care and applications: The six principles of safety, collaboration, trustworthiness/transparency, peer support, empowerment/choice, and culture.
-The role of self-care
Rebekah is currently a social worker that specializes in trauma informed care. She was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. She attended Walla Walla University in Washington where she graduated in 2015 with a Bachelor of Social Work degree as well as a Bachelor of Science in Theology. After graduating, she and her husband moved to Nashville where she worked as a mental health case manager. In 2016, they moved to the Philadelphia area in Pennsylvania where they both worked as teachers. Rebekah was a 6th grade teacher for two years before deciding to return to school for her Masters of Social Work degree.
They moved, once again, to Huntsville and are finally settling down. She is nearing the end of her program at Edinboro University which is specializing in trauma and trauma-informed care. Rebekah is very passionate about helping others in ways that truly makes a difference and is excited to call Huntsville home!