Saving Lives One Question at a Time

Question. Persuade. Refer. Also known as QPR, these three letters (or words) can save lives. Similar in nature to CPR, QPR is a three-step process to help save lives from suicide. The goal of QPR is simple: To save lives and reduce suicidal behaviors by providing innovative, practical and proven suicide prevention training.1

When someone is going through cardiac arrest — or something of similar nature — there is a quick response and someone trained in CPR knows how to respond. QPR has taken this very concept, and essentially re-constructed for suicide prevention. If someone were to notice the warning signs of an immediate suicidal crisis, someone who is trained in QPR would know how to respond, what to do next and how to get the person in crisis to a professional who can actually help them work through their crisis.

Similar to how all individuals should be trained CPR, everybody should be trained in QPR. Why? Everyone has been affected by suicide, whether you know someone personally or have seen it on the news. Suicide is not something that concentrates itself to one particular community, it doesn’t concentrate itself to one type of person — it crosses all barriers and all boundaries.

Research says that for every completed suicide, they leave behind (at minimum) six suicide survivors — people who’ve lost someone they care about deeply and are left with their grief and struggle to understand why it happened.2 Once you have been directly affected by suicide, you are now at risk. That does not mean you are going to have suicidal thoughts, nor does it mean you are going to attempt suicide. But, because you are at risk, it is important to have things in place to make sure you are being take care of appropriately.

This is where QPR can be an effective resource. It is something that everyone should be exposed to, just like CPR. At one point, CPR was not widely known to the public. But, because communities understood and respected its goals, everyone has now heard of CPR. That is the same vision for QPR.

The training itself focuses on how to recognize signs of suicidal behavior, and how to initiate the conversation – most individuals do not know how to approach someone who may be suicidal. The first step is to get people to be comfortable to reach out to those they care about. Eventually, through conversation (question) and persuasion, the goal is to get individuals who are with a mental health issues or suicidal thoughts to seek professional help (refer).

Suicide prevention is everyone’s business. That is one of, if not the main idea that individuals should walk away with when they leave the training. It does not take a certification to help prevent suicide. It does not take years of schooling to help prevent suicide. The more people we have willing and able to be of some assistance in suicide prevention, the better steps we have taken as a society to make sure we are taking care of those who need it most.

To learn more about QPR, visit qprinstitute.com. SMA Healthcare offers a QPR course across its four counties of operation – Flagler, Putnam, St. John’s and Volusia. For more information, visit smahealthcare.org or call our 800-539-4228.

 

1 https://qprinstitute.com/about-qpr

2 https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/left-behind-after-suicide

STEWART-MARCHMAN-ACT FOUNDATION TO HOST THIRD ANNUAL WHO IS JAY? MENTAL HEALTH SYMPOSIUM

Daytona Beach, FL – The Stewart-Marchman-Act Foundation (the Foundation) is pleased to announce its 3rd Annual Who is Jay? Mental Health Symposium to be held at the Ocean Center in Daytona Beach on Friday, May 18, 2018 from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. The symposium, titled High Impact: Exploring the Impact of Mental Illness on our Communities and the Positive Impact Individuals Can Have on the Issues, is open to the community, and media is welcome.  Held in May as part of National Mental Health Month activities, the symposium is designed to bring awareness, education, and inspiration. The keynote speaker is Mike Veny, one of America’s leading mental health speakers, and 2017 PM360’s ELITE Award winner for his work with Transforming Stigma and Health Central. Mike’s perspectives have been featured on ABC, NBC, and CBS news.  He is a regular guest on The Fresh outlook TV news show, a writer for Corporate Wellness Magazine and HealthCentral.com.  Mental Illness is An Asset, his compelling TEDx talk, has been used in college classrooms and gotten sensational reviews.  Mike is fiercely committed to wellness, suicide prevention, and addressing the stigma surrounding mental illness. Presentations throughout the day will include the following:
  • State of the State: Behavioral Health in Florida – presented by Mark Fontaine, Executive Director of FADAA (Florida Alcohol & Drug Abuse Association)
  • PTSD in our Veterans – Presented by Dean Ehly, LCSW with the U.S. Department of Veterans Administration, and introducing K9Line, Inc.
  • The Critical Connection: Depression and the Opioid Crisis – Presented by Dr. James L. Fenley, Jr., Director of Addiction Services at SMA Behavioral Health Services, Inc.
  • Sources of Strength (Suicide Prevention Model) – presented by Parrish Healthcare
  • Mental Health in Diverse Communities – Panel Discussion with Chester Wilson, Ed.D. with SMA Behavioral Health Services, Inc.; Jesus Castro, Psy.D., Psychologist with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs; and Elena M. Naranjo, LMHC with SunServe
  • Because I Said I Would – presented by Amanda Messer, Co-Founder of the social movement and non-profit organization Because I Said I Would
“We are excited to bring such high caliber speakers from around the US and the State of Florida to our community” said Jennifer Secor, Executive Direction of the Foundation.  “The symposium was designed to bring mental health awareness and education to our community, and to touch on current and relevant topics”. The cost to attend is $45 if registered and paid on or before April 29 ($55 after). Students are $25, and NAMI members can attend for free.  The registration fee includes the full day of speakers and presentations, parking at the Ocean Center, lunch and refreshments.  For professionals, they can also earn up to four CEU’s.  To register, please visit https://www.whoisjay.org/2018-mental-health-symposium/ and click on the registration link. The Who is Jay? mental health awareness campaign started in May 2015 with a few billboards and t-shirts directing individuals to a website with mental health resources. To date the site has over 24,000 visits.  In 2016 there was the addition of a half day mental health symposium held in St. Augustine.  2017 brings yet another expansion to include a new and improved website (to be unveiled May 1), Votran advertising, and the full day symposium with national speakers.  “The success and growth of the Who is Jay? mental health awareness campaign has been amazing” said Melissa Murphy, Chairman of the Board for the Foundation “and we are very proud to be a part of it”. Funding for the event is provided in part by the Jay’s Hope Fund, which is managed by the Foundation, registration fees and sponsorships. If you are interested in sponsoring the event, please contact Cyndi Hines, PR Specialist at Stewart-Marchman-Act Foundation 386-254-1136 or chines@smabehavioral.org.  For more details about the event, please visit www.SMAFoundation.com or www.whoisjay.org.

SMA FOUNDATION REACHES RECORD NUMBERS AT ANNUAL BEACH HOUSE 5K

The Stewart Marchman-Act (SMA) Foundation is pleased to announce its 2017 BEACH House 5K, an annual fundraiser supporting SMA Behavioral Healthcare’s BEACH House and other programs, broke their record in attendance and funds raised. The BEACH House 5K and Sand & Sun Fest was held on November 11th. There were 306 runners who completed the course, more than double the participants from last year. A great deal of this increase may be attributed to the team at Florida Health Care Plans (FHCP).  SMA and the BEACH House 5K were chosen as the charity for their annual employee fundraising campaign, where FHCP staff coordinated fundraising activities and promoted the event. “We are grateful to all who came out to support our 5K,” said Jennifer Secor, Executive Director of the SMA Foundation. “This was a record year for us and we hope to experience the same success year after year moving forward.” On top of a record number of attendees, the event raised a net amount of nearly $13,000, which will go to support BEACH House and other SMA programs. More than 20 volunteers helped throughout the event, including volunteers from Easter Seals who staffed the event’s Kid Zone. “The support from throughout our community is critical to pulling off this event successfully,” said Secor. “We are so grateful to all our volunteers and especially the loyal support from the Ocean Deck team, which always pulls out all the stops, and the team from Easter Seals who took time out of their Saturday morning to entertain the children in attendance.”

SMA Foundation Launches Annual Bouquet of Hope Campaign for Thanksgiving

The Stewart Marchman-Act (SMA) Foundation is pleased to announce that they have launched their annual Bouquets of Hope fundraiser to support mental health awareness activities in our community. “This is our fifth year being able to offer these bouquets,” said Jennifer Secor, Stewart Marchman-Act Foundation Executive Director. “The beautiful arrangement, full of fall colors, can brighten a room and lift someone’s spirits, all while helping us spread the message of hope for individuals and their families who live daily with the challenges of mental illness,” she added. Businesses are encouraged to consider the bouquets as gifts for clients, employees or partners, showing recipients that they support the community and mental health awareness efforts. Businesses who purchase will be recognized on SMA’s website and social media for their generosity and desire to help those we serve remain safe and healthy. The Foundation partners each year with local business Flamingo Florist in Holly Hill. Thanks to work of the staff at Flamingo, and the volunteers who handle the deliveries, nearly half of every bouquet sold goes to the Jay’s Hope Fund.  These funds are then used toward awareness and education during the month of May, Mental Health Awareness Month.  Examples are the website www.whoisjay.org which offers information on local and national resources, and the mental health symposium held at the Ocean Center this past May. Bouquets are $50, including delivery, and can be ordered by visiting www.SMAFoundation.com or www.whoisjay.org, or by calling 386- 254-1136.  Deliveries are available in Flagler, Putnam, St. Johns and Volusia Counties and can be scheduled for either Saturday November 18, or Monday November 20 in. Order deadline is November 14th.

SMA Behavioral Healthcare Announces Ribbon Cutting for its Huger Adolescent Campus

Ivan Cosimi, CEO of Stewart-Marchman-Act Behavioral Health Services (SMA), is pleased to announce the official ribbon cutting ceremony for its Dr. James E. Huger Adolescent Campus. The event is scheduled for October 4th from 4-5 p.m. at 3875 Tiger Bay Rd. in Daytona Beach. Festivities will include the ribbon cutting ceremony performed by the Daytona Regional Chamber of Commerce as well as the presentation of the ‘We Noticed Award’ to SMA, brief tours of the newly renovated campus, and refreshments. It is open to the public and members of the media are also invited. The campus is named after the late Dr. James “Jimmy” E. Huger, local legend, activist, and one of SMA’s founding board members, and houses SMA’s RAP (Residential Adolescent Program) and B.E.A.C.H House (Bringing Enrichment and Children Home) programs. The Huger Adolescent Campus recently underwent major renovations over the past year as a result of fundraising efforts by the Stewart-Marchman-Act Foundation, as well as private grants and donations. Earlier this year, the SMA Foundation reached its $500,000 fundraising goal for the project and presented a check to the SMA Board of Directors. The campaign began in Summer 2015, and included events such as: the Stewart-Marchman-Act Foundation’s Annual Dinner & Auction Celebration, the September 2016 celebrity swim event “Rematch After Rio” with Ryan Lochte and Charlie Lydecker (in partnership with the Volusia Flagler Family YMCA in Ormond Beach), as well as the BEACH House 5K Run for Runaways held in November at the Ocean Deck. SMA offers special thanks to local developer Hall Construction Co., Inc. for its hard work on the project, and credits the Daytona Beach Racing and Recreational Facilities District for funding the creation and enhancement of the campus’ outdoor recreational elements. “Additionally, we thank all our donors, community partners, and individuals who helped us create this state-of-the-art adolescent campus,” said Cosimi. “With these renovations, we have the opportunity to reimagine what it means to deliver an exceptional experience for a child going through the most difficult time of his or her life. Thank you for your support!” Housed here at the Huger Adolescent campus are SMA’s RAP (Residential Adolescent Program) and B.E.A.C.H House (Bringing Enrichment and Children Home) House programs. RAP is a substance abuse treatment program serving substance dependent youth ages 13-17, utilizing individual, group and family interventions. B.E.A.C.H. House is a shelter that provides short-term respite for youth ages 10-17 who are truant, ungovernable or runaway/ homeless. More information on these programs may be found here at http://www.smabehavioral.org/services/residential-services/.

Who is Jay? Story Published in New Book

The Stewart-Marchman-Act Foundation (the SMA Foundation) is proud to announce that the story behind its Who is Jay? mental health awareness campaign has now been published in a new book. Former Ormond Beach residents, Co-Founders of Jay’s Hope, and mental health advocates, Hank and Susan Ashby, now have their story published in a new book to raise awareness about mental health and suicide prevention. On August 23, 2017 Skookum Hill Publishing released the compilation ebook, The i’Mpossible Project Lemonade Stand. Critics describe the book as a Chicken Soup for the Soul for the new Millenium. Author, actor and international speaker, Josh Rivedal, curated and edited the book. Hank and Susan authored their story, Who is Jay, which is one of the twenty stories written for this book. “Storytelling is the beginning of every great movement,” says author Rivedal. “I started telling my story to help others with mental health issues and suicide. But there is so much gratification in helping others tell their story. Some of the topics inside this book are not ones typically found in an inspirational-style book: alcoholism, assault, the loss of a child and more. Yet each story displays its own beauty and with each the author uncovers a piece of themselves, showing us a moment in their lives where they’ve overcome a tremendous obstacle, transformed or changed for the better—-and by doing so they allow us to peel back and examine a layer of our own soul”. “It is our hope that our Who is Jay story will help all the Jays in this world who are impacted by mental health challenges” says Ashby (visit www.whoisjay.org for more information). Hank and Susan met Josh in May 2017, when he was one of the featured presenters at the SMA Foundation’s 2nd Annual Who is Jay? Mental Health Symposium in Daytona Beach, Florida. The majority of the funding for the symposium was provided by the Jay’s Hope Fund, founded by Hank and Susan, and managed by the SMA Foundation. “We’re so excited to see the story of Jay, and the Ashbys’ advocacy growing and reaching further, beyond our own small community” said Jennifer Secor, Executive Director of the SMA Foundation. “The publication of the book comes at a good time, as the SMA Foundation is gearing up for its annual fall fundraiser to support the Jay’s Hope Fund.”  Each year the SMA Foundation sells “Bouquets of Hope”, beautiful fall colored arrangements created by Flamingo Florist.  The net proceeds go into the fund to support mental health awareness and education events.  Hank and Susan are very involved in the project, including hand delivering many of the arrangements. The I’Mpossible Project: Lemonade Stand is/will be available at Amazon, Kindle, Barnes & Noble, Books a Million and other major retailers: www.iampossibleproject.com/lemonade www.iampossibleproject.com/preorder

Stewart-Marchman-Act Foundation Raises Nearly $140k at Annual Dinner Celebration & Auction

The Stewart-Marchman-Act Foundation (SMAF) is pleased to announce it has raised nearly $140,000 at its Annual Dinner Celebration and Auction, held last month at the DAYTONA 500 Club at Daytona International Speedway. This year SMAF featured Austin Dillon, driver of the No. 3 Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing. The event was presented by title sponsor, Brown & Brown Insurance. The funds raised came through sponsorships, live auction sales and tickets for prizes. The live auction, always a hit at the event, included a Stetson hat autographed by all artists who performed at the 2017 Country 500; an all-access NBC TV experience at the Coke Zero 400 for four; and a handmade leather DAYTONA 500 champion jacket autographed by Kurt Busch, the winner of the 2017 DAYTONA 500. Those proceeds will be used to support the immediate needs of SMA’s mental health programs and services. “With mental health being the number one community health priority for many of the communities SMA serves, we are proud of the Foundation’s fundraising efforts,” said Jennifer Secor, Executive Director of SMAF. “Because of the continued support from our community SMA is able to aggressively and strategically tackle this priority.” Volusia County Sheriff, Michael Chitwood, presented a check for $25,000 from forfeiture funds. These funds will be earmarked for drug prevention and/or education in our community. This year’s theme was “The Great Outdoors: Join the Adventure,” inspired by Austin Dillon’s love for hunting and fishing, which resulted in the recommended dress being ‘camo couture.’ In line with the theme, there was also live music by the Penny Creek Band, a contemporary bluegrass band from Melbourne, Florida. “Our sold-out dinner may have been our very best to date,” said Melissa Murphy, chair of the SMA Foundation board. “The support from our community, combined with a fun atmosphere, inspirational speakers and incredible sponsors made this an event to remember for the SMA Foundation and we are grateful to all who supported the event.”

Stewart-Marchman-Act Foundation to Host Sold Out Annual Dinner Celebration & Auction Featuring Race Car Driver Austin Dillon

Daytona Beach, FL- The Stewart Marchman-Act Foundation (SMA Foundation) is pleased to announce the details of their sold out annual Dinner Celebration and Auction fundraiser. This year’s event will feature Austin Dillon, driver of the No. 3 Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing and is being presented by title sponsor, Brown & Brown Insurance. Scheduled for June 28 at the DAYTONA 500 Club at Daytona International Speedway, the event will begin at 6 p.m. with a social for all and a VIP reception for sponsors, followed by dinner and program at 7 p.m. This year’s theme is “The Great Outdoors: Join the Adventure”, inspired by some of Austin’s hobbies, hunting and fishing. In line with the night’s theme, there will be live music from 6-7pm by the Penny Creek Band, a contemporary bluegrass band out of Melbourne, Florida, and the recommended dress is Camo Couture. The funds raised will be used to support the immediate needs of SMA’s mental health programs and services. “Mental health was identified as the number one community health priority for 2017 for many of the communities that SMA serves” said Melissa Murphy, Chairman of the Board for the SMA Foundation, “making it a priority for the Foundation’s current fundraising efforts”. Held every year immediately prior to the summer races at Daytona International Speedway, this fundraising event draws over 400 attendees each year and is supported by numerous business and individuals in the community. “We are proud of the support of our community and sponsors” states Jennifer Secor, Executive Director of the SMA Foundation, “and we want to offer them a great experience when they come out to our events”. The live auction is one of the most popular activities during the evening. Some of the items being presented for auction on June 28 are:
  • A Stetson hat autographed by all artists who performed at the 2017 Country 500
  • All Access NBC TV Experience at the Coke 400 for Four (4)
  • Handmade leather Daytona 500 champion jacket, autographed by 2017 winner
For more information about the event, please contact Cyndi Wysong at 386-254-1136, or email cwysong@smabehavioral.org.  

STEWART-MARCHMAN-ACT FOUNDATION TO HOST SECOND ANNUAL MENTAL HEALTH SYMPOSIUM

The Stewart-Marchman-Act Foundation (the Foundation) is pleased to announce its 2nd Annual Who is Jay? Mental Health Symposium to be held at the Ocean Center in Daytona Beach on Friday, May 12, 2017 from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm. The symposium, titled Creativity in Treatment: Creative & Innovative Approaches to Mental Health Recovery, is open to the community, and media is welcome.  Held in May as part of National Mental Health Month activities, the symposium is designed to bring awareness, education, and inspiration. The keynote speaker is Yashi Brown, presenting “Coming Out: From Powerless to Empowerment”.  Ms. Brown, a writer, poet, spoken word artist and passionate mental health advocate, and daughter of Rebbie Jackson, eldest member of the high profile musical Jackson family, was diagnosed with Bipolar Type I.  She openly shares her resilient story of recovery and wants the world to know recovery is not only real, it should be the expectation. Presentations throughout the day will include the following:
  • “Who is Jay?” by Hank & Susan Ashby
  • “The Role of Man’s Best Friend in Mental Health Recovery” by Norma Ross, Founder and Head Trainer at Pawsitive Action Foundation
  • “The Unbiased Truth: Impact of Marijuana on Mental Illness” by Kevin P. Hill, MD, MHS, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and Director of Substance Abuse Consultation at McLean Hospital
  • “Flourishing Through the Art of Caregiving” by The Atlantic Center for the Arts, Community Arts & Wellness Initiative
  • “When Helping Hurts: The Effects of Compassion Fatigue and Vicarious Trauma” by April Lott, MSW, President & CEO of Directions for Living
  • “Kicking My Blue Genes in the Butt: How Storytelling is Suicide Prevention 2.0” by Joshua Rivedal, author, actor and suicide survivor
“We are excited to bring such high caliber speakers from around the US to our community” said Jennifer Secor, Executive Direction of the Foundation. “The symposium was designed to bring mental health awareness and education in some pretty unique ways, and to touch on current and relevant topics”. The cost to attend is $45 if registered and paid on or before April 21 ($55 after). The registration fee includes the full day of speakers and presentations, parking at the Ocean Center, lunch and refreshments.  For professionals, they can also earn up to four CEU’s.  NAMI members are offered a $25 discount. The Who is Jay? mental health awareness campaign started in May 2015 with a few billboards and t-shirts directing individuals to a website with mental health resources. To date the site has over 24,000 visits.  In 2016 there was the addition of a half day mental health symposium held in St. Augustine.  2017 brings yet another expansion to include a new and improved website (to be unveiled May 1), Votran advertising, and the full day symposium with national speakers.  “The success and growth of the Who is Jay? mental health awareness campaign has been amazing” said Melissa Murphy, Chairman of the Board for the Foundation “and we are very proud to be a part of it”. Funding for the event is provided in part by the Jay’s Hope Fund, which is managed by the Foundation, registration fees and sponsorships. If you are interested in sponsoring the event, please contact Cyndi Wysong, PR Specialist at Stewart-Marchman-Act Foundation 386-254-1136 or cwysong@smabehavioral.org.  For more details about the event, please visit www.SMAFoundation.com or www.whoisjay.org.

STEWART-MARCHMAN-ACT FOUNDATION AND SOUTHEAST CENTER FOR PHOTOGRAPHIC STUDIES UNVEIL WINNING PHOTOGRAPH AT SMA’S WARM AT THE VINCE CARTER SANCTUARY

The Stewart-Marchman-Act Foundation (the Foundation) and Southeast Center for Photographic Studies (SECPS) proudly unveiled at SMA Behavioral Healthcare’s WARM at the Vince Carter Sanctuary, the winning photograph from the “Ripple Effect” photography competition. The photographer of the winning piece is Michael Bradtke, who has been involved in photography since the age of 15 when his father bought him his first camera. His work has been published both nationally and internationally.  Mr. Bradtke is not only an Alumni of the SECPS program, but a staff member at the Daytona State College’s School of Photography, sharing his talent and knowledge with students and faculty.  “Michael’s talent is undeniable and he is a great asset at Daytona State” said Dan Biferie, Chair and Senior Professor at DSC’s School of Photography “We are excited to see his work being used in such a positive way.”
Ripple Photo Op with title
Pictured here (left to right): Robert Biferie (SECPS); Dan Biferie (DSC); Michael Bradtke (Photographer and Alumni/Staff at SECPS); Anna Temple (SMA/WARM); Rhonda Harvey (SMA); Jennifer Secor (SMA Foundation); and Kenya Griffin (SMA/WARM)
The photograph, now prominently displayed in the Michele Carter-Scott Community Center at WARM (Women Assisting Recovering Mothers), was the result of a competition for alumni from SECPS. The competition was sponsored by the Foundation and SECPS, and inspired by one of the Foundation’s longstanding Board members, Jill Simpkins.  The theme “Ripple Effect” was chosen to remind us that little “drops” of effort really do matter as they pass from person to person, causing a series of other positive events to happen.  ”The Foundation is proud to have a Board member with so much dedication to programs like WARM and a passion for encouraging women to achieve more” said Jennifer Secor, Executive Director. The Ripple Effect competition was the second partnership between the Foundation and SECPS resulting in inspiring photography on exhibit at WARM.   In November 2015, the photography exhibit “Positive Exposure” was placed at WARM.  All of the photos in that exhibit were contributed by Alumni and students of SECPS.