David W. Covington, LPC, MBA
Clinical Division Director
David serves as CEO and President of RI International, is an owner of Behavioral Health Link and leads the international initiatives "Crisis Now" and "Zero Suicide." He is a two-time national winner of the Council of State Governments Innovations Award, in 2008 with the Georgia Crisis & Access Line and again in 2012 with Magellan Health. For five consecutive years, he competed as a national finalist in innovations award competitions, including Harvard University's Innovations in American Government in 2009, and was featured in Business Week magazine.
He is an acclaimed global speaker, with top-ranked TED-style Talks and conference keynotes. In 2015, readers of his healthcare innovations blog at davidcovington.com represented 90 different countries. Previously he served as Vice-President at Magellan Health responsible for the administrative, clinical, financial and programmatic operations of the $750 million per year integrated health plan contract with Arizona Medicaid and the Department of Health Services.
Mr. Covington has served as a member of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention since it was created in 2010, co-chairing task forces on clinical care and crisis services. He has served as vice-chair of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline SAMHSA steering committee since it was created in 2005. He has served as the clinical division chair of the American Association of Suicidology since 2014. He served on the National Council for Behavioral Health board of directors from 2011 to 2014 and the Relias Learning Behavioral Health Advisory Board from 2014 to 2016.
Mr. Covington's behavioral healthcare management history also includes CEO of Behavioral Health Link and Director of Public Sector Quality Management at APS Healthcare. He is a licensed professional counselor and has an MBA from Kennesaw State and a Master's of Science from the University of Memphis.
Crisis Centers Division Director
Amelia Lehto is the Resource & Crisis Helpline Coordinator - Suicide Prevention at Common Ground, an agency which helps people move from crisis to hope through a variety of programs and services in Oakland County, Michigan. Her position serves several functions ultimately supporting those intimately affected by suicide. Specializing in suicide prevention and postvention on the local, state, and national levels through trainings, advocacy and innovative technology. Amelia is a team leader on Common Ground's Crisis Response Team, which provides debriefings in the community to those involved in a traumatic event.
She is a Certified American Red Cross First Aid/CPR/AED Instructor and a LivingWorks ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training) and suicideTALK Trainer. She is the Vice President on the Board of Directors for Six Feet Over. A local nonprofit which works to prevent suicide through education, advocacy, and support; with a special interest in suicide survivors support and fundraising for families suffering from the loss of a loved one from suicide. Amelia is involved with many suicide prevention coalitions and taskforces throughout the community.
After experiencing loss at a young age, she discovered that one is not defined by how they died, but how they lived. And so it's been her life mission to improve the lives of those around her through love, listening and laughter. To quote the famous and favorite Lorax, "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not."
You can also find her on Twitter @Atoes84.
Lived Experiences and Attempt Survivor Division Director
DeQuincy Lezine, PhD, is a suicide attempt survivor who has been active in suicide prevention since 1996, including roles in the development of national and state suicide prevention plans. He received his PhD in Clinical Psychology from UCLA, and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Rochester focused on public health approaches to suicide prevention. Dr. Lezine is the Co-Chair of the Consumer Survivor Subcommittee for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and a member of the Steering Committee for the Suicide Prevention Resource Center. He is also a a member of the Suicide Attempt Survivors Task Force, of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, and principal author on the Way Forward: Pathways to Hope, Recovery, and Wellness with Insights from Lived Experience which is in press. He has also worked with organizations including Suicide Prevention Action Network (SPAN) USA, Organization for Attempters and Survivors in Interfaith Services (OASSIS), National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI), and the Oklahoma Suicide Prevention Council. Dr. Lezine is the author of Eight Stories Up: An Adolescent Chooses Hope Over Suicide (Oxford University Press, 2008) and President & CEO of Prevention Communities, focusing on suicide prevention and mental health promotion.
John Draper, PhD
Prevention Division Director
Dr. Draper has nearly 25 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.). Dr. Draper provided clinical leaderships to a mobile crisis team for 7 years before establishing the award-winning LifeNet in 1996, New York City's first 24/7 crisis hotline service that was also central to the nation's largest-ever disaster mental health response following 9/11. Since 2004, Dr. Draper has been the Director of the SAMHSA-funded National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (800-273-TALK), overseeing all aspects of this service. Dr. Draper is also the primary Lifeline liaison to both SAMHSA and the Veterans Crisis Line. In addition, Dr. Draper is President of Link2Health Solutions (L2HS), a wholly-owned affiliate of the Mental Health Association of New York City (MHA-NYC). As president of L2HS, Dr. Draper and L2HS staff administers other national networks of crisis services, including the NFL Life Line, the SAMHSA-funded Disaster Distress Helpline. Dr. Draper serves on two task forces for the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, acting as a faculty member of the Zero Suicide Academy and as co-chair of the Suicide Attempt Survivors Task Force. Dr. Draper Earned his Ph.D. from the University of Missouri-Columbia Counseling Psychology Department in 1996. Dr. Draper has also maintained a private psychotherapy practice in New York City since 2000, working with individuals and couples.
Lisa Brenner, PhD
Research Division Director
As the Director of the Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN) 19 Mental Illness Research, Education, and clinical Center (MIRECC), Lisa has worked to create a culture that values collaboration with professionals across disciplines to conduct meaningful research aimed at reducing suicide and increasing quality of life among those who have served. She is also Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, and Neurology at the University of Colorado, Denver School of Medicine. In addition, Lisa is a researcher, investigating suicide prevention among military personnel and Veterans, with a focus on promising clinical interventions.
Raymond Tucker, MS
Student Division Director
Raymond Tucker, MS is a fifth year graduate student in clinical psychology PhD program at Oklahoma State University studying under Dr. LaRicka Wingate. Raymond completed his undergraduate education at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin where he received his BA degree in Psychology and worked with Dr. Gerald Metalsky. Raymond earned his MS degree at Oklahoma State University in 2012. His research interests included the interplay between cognitive and interpersonal risk factors for suicidal thinking, such as attention and memory biases, thwarted belongingness, perceived burdensomeness, and repetitive negative thought patterns. He is also interested in how cognitive tasks may also serve as indirect measures of suicide risk. Clinically, Raymond is currently working as a psychology practicum student at the Oklahoma City VA Medical Center with the suicide prevention team where he provides therapeutic/assessment services for veterans presenting with suicide-related concerns on the inpatient unit and case management services for veterans following discharge.
Janet Schnell, MSW LSW
Survivor Division Director
Janet Schnell MSW LSW, is a suicide loss survivor following her brother Kent's died by suicide in 1994. She has been active in suicide postvention since 1996 when she helped form Survivors of Suicide of Dubois County in Indiana. Janet previously served on the board of the Suicide Prevention Advocacy Network (SPAN USA). She is a Question Persuade Refer (QPR) suicide prevention instructor and founding member of the Indiana Suicide Prevention Coalition. Janet is a member of the Indiana Suicide Prevention Advisory Board with the Indiana Division of Mental Health and Addiction, the Southwest and Dubois County Suicide Prevention Coalition, and she is an American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Faces of Suicide quilt organizer. She authored a chapter about her experience for Seeking Hope: Stories of the Suicide Bereaved and had an article published about suicide loss survivors after Robin William's death with the National Association of Social work. She is an adjunct trainer for Vincennes University - Jasper Campus, coordinator for the Dubois County Substance Abuse Council, a grant reviewer for Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and is certified in Psychological Autopsy Investigation.