Our State, Our Wellbeing

Summit Agenda

8:30 – 9:30am

Check-in and Continental Breakfast

Check-in at the registration table and join us for a continental breakfast before the Summit begins.

9:30 – 10:00am
Grumman Auditorium 

Building Momentum for Suicide Prevention in North Carolina
NC DHHS Secretary Kody Kinsley; UNC Suicide Prevention Initiative Director Patrick Sullivan

Community leaders here today have been building momentum across North Carolina to strengthen the connections and shared resources needed to reduce suicide. Starting off the day with a spotlight on local action, Carolina Across 100 will provide an overview of the “Our State, Our Wellbeing” program, lessons learned, and hopes for the day. UNC Suicide Prevention Institute Director Patrick Sullivan will recognize the accomplishments of the 15 participating teams in this program, and North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kody Kinsley will offer insights into how the local work supports the remarkable work happening at the state level to prevent suicide and improve mental and behavioral health.

10:05 – 10:45am

Connecting with Experts at Concurrent Sessions

Community Connectedness in Suicide Prevention
Brandy Harrell, Foundation for Health Leadership and Innovation; Jane Ann Miller, NC DHHS; Lynn Allen, NAMI NC

Preventing suicide and improving mental and behavioral health requires connection and coordination between individuals, sectors, and communities. Hear from a group of state and community experts about promising practices for fostering connectedness and alignment in the effort to prevent suicide.

Understanding and Addressing Disparities in Suicide Risk
Adam Bryant Miller, RTI; Sonyia Richardson, UNC Charlotte; Anna Bauer, UNC

Risks of suicide vary across population segments, which makes it critical for suicide prevention strategies to be tailored to community contexts. Join us for this panel discussion to learn more about what makes certain populations more vulnerable and how these factors should inform communities’ responses.

10:45 – 10:55am


10:55 – 11:35am

Connecting with Experts at Concurrent Sessions

Controlling Access to Lethal Means of Suicide
JP Jameson, Appalachian State University; Melanie Meeks, UNC Health; Donna Rosser, Durham County Dept. of Public Health

Firearms, poisoning, and overdose are among the most common and most fatal methods of suicide, but resources and strategies exist to limit access to lethal means. Learn from organizations whose work to reduce access to lethal means is saving lives in NC.

Expanding the Behavioral Health Workforce and Improving Access to Care
Andy MacCracken, NC Center on the Workforce for Health; Lisa Zerden, UNC Behavioral Health Workforce Research Center; Justin Oyler, NC Community Health Center Association

Many communities throughout North Carolina lack adequate access to potentially life-saving behavioral health services and providers. In this session, organizations working to expand the workforce and improve access to care will highlight promising new strategies to meet these critical needs.

11:35 – 11:45am


11:45am – 12:15pm
Grumman Auditorium 

Aligning with the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention
Charlene Wong, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Senior Advisor for Health Strategy Charlene Wong will overview the CDC’s national approach to suicide prevention and discuss the role of local communities in addressing the challenge of suicide in North Carolina and beyond.

12:15 – 1:00pm
Trillium Dining Room

Seated Lunch Buffet

1:00 – 2:00pm
Grumman Auditorium

Focusing on Community Action
Beth Ford, TC Strong; Bettie Murchison, Village of C.A.R.E.; Lydia Nichols, YouthTHRIVE; Amelia DeFosset, Abacus Evaluation

A panel of Our State, Our Wellbeing team leaders join Carolina Across 100’s community engagement director Michael Welker on stage to share their experiences with cross-sector community collaboration on the issue of suicide prevention and what’s next for these 15 teams representing 24 counties. UNC’s Abacus Evaluation will also share updates about the impact of the Our State, Our Wellbeing cohort’s work to date. 

2:00 – 2:30pm

Community Action Showcase
Our State, Our Wellbeing Community Teams

Engage with Our State, Our Wellbeing team leaders as they highlight their experiences over the last year pursuing community-based suicide prevention strategies. Learn more about the connections these teams have built, the progress they have made, and their plans to continue moving the work forward.

Dogwood and Redbud Rooms

Suicide Prevention Resource Fair

Connect with representatives from 30 different state and local organizations offering resources helpful to communities working to reduce suicide. Additional resources will be made available on the Summit event site.

Grumman Auditorium

Policy Landscape for Suicide Prevention and Mental and Behavioral Health in NC
Sen. Gale Adcock; Sen. Jim Burgin; Rep. Tim Reeder

At both the state and local levels, leaders in North Carolina have identified the need to reduce suicide as a critical health priority. In this session, policymakers and experts will discuss challenges and opportunities facing North Carolina in our collective efforts to reduce suicide and improve access to services and resources in the state.

Grumman Auditorium

Our Collective Commitment to Suicide Prevention
Dr. Samantha Meltzer-Brody, UNC Chapel Hill

As we conclude our program for the day, we will invite attendees to reflect on the resources and connections they plan to carry back to their communities in the work to prevent suicide. UNC’s Samantha Meltzer-Brody, one of the nation’s leading experts on mental health, will share words of inspiration and lessons learned from a career advocating for mental health care.  

The Atrium


Presenters and community leaders will join together to continue making new connections and sharing ideas while enjoying music and refreshments. Aimee Wall, Dean of the UNC School of Government, and Lee Roberts, Interim Chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, will offer brief remarks, and attendees will engage in an art project to collect their ideas for taking action in their communities. 

What is Our State, Our Wellbeing?

Our State, Our Wellbeing is a 12-month initiative to identify and implement strategies to improve mental health and reduce the number of suicides in North Carolina, launched by Carolina Across 100 and the UNC Suicide Prevention Institute

Understanding Suicide Prevention in NC

Our conversations and research about suicide prevention work led Carolina Across 100 and the UNC Suicide Prevention Instutute to a few clear conclusions. First, the issues of suicide and mental health are shared across the state, but they affect every community differently. In turn, every community brings different assets, resources, and relationships to this challenge. To address this issue effectively, we need local-level input and context alongside coordinated efforts across state-level partners and systems.

**If you or someone you know are thinking about suicide, call or text the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988.**