A Conversation on Suicide Awareness and Prevention: September 22, 2020

As we continue to navigate the pandemic and these unprecedented times, paying special attention to your mental health and the mental health of those you love is crucial. In honor of Suicide Awareness and Prevention Month, King County employees are invited to join Balanced You for a virtual conversation featuring speakers from the Black / African community, LGBTQ community, Native American community, and others on September 22, 2020, from 1:00 – 2:30 P.M.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to preventing suicide and improving mental health. During this 90-minute panel discussion, attendees will learn strategies from experts representing different communities, including how to normalize conversations around mental health, how to identify early warning signs of suicidal ideation, and what resources are available to support the mental health of employees and their loved ones.

How to register

A Conversation on Suicide Awareness and Prevention will be held on September 22, 2020, from 1:00 – 2:30 PM. Registration for this free event is required. Tickets can be accessed here. For more information, contact balancedyou@kingcounty.gov.

Meet the Panelists

Read on to learn more about the panelists for this event.

Reginald B. Cole

While getting his Business degree at Brown University, Reginald B. Cole spent a semester at Bank Street College of Education which inspired him to take the remainder of his courses in education and nonprofit leadership. After working in education and nonprofits with children, youth, young adults, and families for over 10 years, Reginald brought his passion to Best Starts for Kids (BSK) in order to have a more systemwide impact. He is now a Program Manager on the Stopping the School-to-Prison Pipeline team and a member of the Equity and Social Justice Leadership Team within the Department of Community and Human Services (DCHS). As a Skyway native, he seeks to help lift up the voices of youth from his community and beyond in order to radiate a change that bends our society towards what is true and good.

Stacey McQuade-Eger

Stacey is an enrolled tribal member of the Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribe of the Flathead Reservation located in western Montana. She has worked for her Tribe for many years as a legal representative as well as serving in Executive Management for different tribal ventures. She has also represented Tribes and Native American initiatives at the local, state and federal level, advocating for increased awareness and representation of indigenous people. Stacey has volunteered her time and resources in support of tribal youth related initiatives and serving on panel discussions on Indian Law and its century’s long impact and how that translates to present day for Indigenous People.

Here at King County, Stacey serves as the Director of the Career and Culture Division within the Department of Human Resources and is on temporary assignment to the Office of Equity and Social Justice to support Equity Officer Anita Whitfield in developing , enhancing, and in some cases, renewing relationships with Native American/Alaska Native peoples within our organization and region. In her personal time, Stacey spends a great deal of time actively competing in equestrian events, specifically in Reining. Additionally she enjoys doing traditional beadwork, constructing moccasins, and regalia, as well as working to refurbish and upcycle furniture.

Amabel Narvaez

Amabel Narvaez is a holistic coach, consultant, speaker, and entrepreneur.  She has worked in outpatient mental health as a Certified Peer Specialist and trainer for Certified Peer Specialists in Washington State.  Amabel has been active with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) as an In Our Own Voice presenter and volunteer since 2007.  She is currently a part of Radiant Coaches Academy coaching and yoga certification pilot program.  She is also a member of the Copeland Center for Wellness and Recovery’s Doors to Wellbeing National Youth Advisory Board.  

Michael Reading

Michael Reading earned a Master of Science degree from the University of Memphis in 1996 in Community Agency Counseling.  He is a National Certified Counselor and a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Washington State.  Having worked in the King County Public Mental Health System for more than 20 years serving individuals living with severe and persistent mental illness, Michael joined King County’s Department of Community and Human Services Behavioral Health and Recovery Division in 2017 where he now serves as Chief of Crisis Systems and Services. Prior to joining King County, he served as Director of Crisis Services at Crisis Clinic in Seattle, WA where he oversaw the Crisis Services Department which provides various services: 24/7 Crisis Line to provide emergency telephone support for King County residents; participation with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline; provides Crisis Chat services; 24/7 WA State Recovery Help Line to connect WA State residents to local treatment resources for Substance Abuse, Problem Gambling and Mental Health; WA Warm Line; Teen Link peer to peer support line; and support for Survivors of Suicide.  Michael is well versed in crisis intervention, suicide prevention. He is a certified ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills) Master Trainer and Mental Health First Aid trainer for adults and youth.  Michael is currently the Chair of the International Council for Helplines Board of Directors.

Joshua Wallace

Joshua Wallace is the CEO & President of Peer Washington, a peer led peer emotional support and development service organization with the following direct services sites: Peer Seattle, Peer Spokane, and Peer Kent. Josh identifies as a person thriving in long term recovery from co-occurring challenges having spent many years experiencing homelessness on the streets of Seattle with untreated mental health and addiction issues.  Like many of his staff, Josh was a member of Peer Washington before finding employment there in 2009 and is a co-founder of the Washington Recovery Alliance, Washington Peer Advancement Coalition, Partnerships for Peer Access Coalition, and the King County Recovery Coalition. He currently serves by appointment as the Co-Chair of the Washington Behavioral Health Advisory Council and in representation of Recovery Service Organizations on the King County Mental Illness and Drug Dependency Advisory Committee. Outside of his role with Peer Washington, Josh provides consultation internationally on peer service program development, training, and evaluation for behavioral health and chronic illness subject matter.

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