Gun Violence and Behavioral Health: Incidence, best practices, and strategies from experts

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Gun Violence and Behavioral Health: Incidence, best practices, and strategies from experts

24 September, 2020 @ 1:00 pm 5:00 pm CDT

12:50 pm (CDT)Log-in, Introductions 
1:00Lessons Learned from a Critical Incident: The Gilroy Garlic Festival Shooting Deane Wiley, PhD   
2:20Safer Home Collaborative: Preventing Gun Suicide Katie Ellison, MA   
3:4021 Risk Factors for Male gun violence: Behavioral Health Prevention and Intervention Strategies Mark Sanders, LCSW   
4:40Virtual networking 
5:00 pmAdjourn 

About the program:

Deane Wiley, PhD | Lessons Learned from a Critical Incident: The Gilroy Garlic Festival Shooting

Dr. Wiley completed his PhD in Social Psychology at St. Louis University in 1996 with an emphasis in Psychology in the Law. He worked for four years as a research assistant professor for the Missouri Institute of Mental Health. While there he worked on a number of projects including the evaluation of a non-violent offender boot camp and the development of a cultural competency plan for the State of Missouri. In 2000, he was hired by the County of Santa Clara’s Department of Alcohol & Drug Services Data Analysis & Evaluation Unit working as a project development specialist. He was promoted to Director of the Unit in 2004, where he remained until late 2007 when he switched departments and was again promoted to Division Director of the Mental Health Department’s Learning Partnership. He directed the activities of the Division comprised of three Units, Decision Support (the Department’s research and evaluation unit), Cultural Competency (ensures that cultural needs of the County’s ethnic and racial populations are met by the Department) and Continuous Learning (responsible for staff development and consumer workforce education and training). In May of 2013 he was promoted to Deputy Director of Mental Health Operations were he assisted in the planning, organization and direction through subordinate managers, of the staff and functions of the Department of Mental Health within the Santa Clara Valley Health & Hospital System. As part of the integration of the Mental Health Department and Substance Use Treatment Services (formerly the Department of Alcohol & Drug Services), he was promoted to Deputy Director of the newly formed Behavioral Health Services Department. He was responsible for administration and coordination of departmental service, administrative and performance improvement functions, including budget, business systems, state audits and reviews, and administrative policies and procedures and acts for the Director in his/her absence until he retired in December of 2019.


The goal of this presentation is to share what was learned during a critical incident from a non-first responder perspective. Things that were learned are shared as well as insights on how to support those involved. Unfortunately, events such as these have become all too common. But after the news teams leave to cover the next big event, the communities affected still have a lots of work to heal and try to get back to a sort-of normal life. This presentation will take a look at how a behavioral health department supports the community in the aftermath of the shooting and beyond.

Upon completion of this program participant will be able to:

  1. Share Lessons Learned After a Shooting Incident
  2. Describe what to Expect from Law Enforcement
  3. Provide insights into Supporting Your Staff

Katie Ellison, MA | Safer Homes Collaborative: Preventing Gun Suicide

Katie has a Bachelor’s Degree in Family and Human Development from Utah State University, a Master’s degree in Psychology from the University of the Rockies and is a Counselor in Training at Bradley University. Katie Ellison has worked in community and school suicide prevention for over ten years. She is recognized as a specialist and consultant in state-wide, community and school suicide prevention best-practices. She is a certified trainer & coordinator for several suicide prevention, intervention and postvention programs; including QPR, ASIST, Connect, Signs of Suicide, Hope Squads, Conversations on Access to Lethal Means and has been trained to conduct psychological autopsies through the American Association of Suicidology. Katie spent the first ten years of her career working in adult and juvenile probation in the states of Utah, Wyoming and South Dakota before transitioning to working in K-12 public education, specializing in school suicide prevention. Katie is currently the Project Director for the Safer Homes Collaborative with the Missouri Institute of Mental Health at UMSL.

Description: The Safer Homes Collaborative is a joint effort between the gun owning community and the suicide prevention community to raise awareness that suicide can be prevented through safe gun storage. Firearms are the leading method by which people end their lives in the United States and Missouri. Statistically, more people attempt suicide by overdose or suffocation; however, more people die in a suicide attempt with a firearm. In fact, six out of ten suicide deaths in Missouri are with a firearm.

Research has shown that putting time and distance between the person at risk for suicide and a firearm can save a life. The Safer Homes Collaborative is working to include suicide in the conversations gun-owners have about gun safety. We encourage gun owners to adopt an 11th Commandment to the 10 Commandments of Firearm Safety: Consider temporary off-site storage of firearms if you or a family member may be suicidal or going through an emotional crisis.


At the conclusion of this presentation, participants will be able to:

  • Recognize that the means by which someone attempts suicide varies in lethality and relate how reducing access to the most lethal means matters in preventing suicide.
  • Recognize that gun-owners and gun retailers play an important role in suicide prevention by promoting safe storage of firearms.
  • Identify lethal means reduction strategies they can enact, in their home or with the population they serve, to prevent suicide.

Mark Sanders, LCSW, CADC | 21 Risk Factors for Male Gun Violence: Behavioral Health Prevention and Intervention Strategies

Mark Sanders, LCSW, CADC is an International Speaker and consultant in the behavioral Health Profession. He is the author of five books and has two stories published in the New York Times Bestselling Book Series Chicken Soup for The Soul. He authored Preventing Gang Violence in Schools and works as a consultant for several gun violence intervention programs. Mark taught at The University of Chicago. Loyola University of Chicago and Illinois State University Schools of Social Work.


This virtual presentation highlights 21 risk factor for gun violence among males, including: male depression; rage; feeling invisible; father hunger-father wounds; economic recessions; marginalization; rejection, bullying; unresolved trauma; a killed spirit etc. Worldwide non-traditional approaches to prevent gun violence and research based traditional prevention and intervention strategies will be discussed.

Objectives: By the end of this presentation you will be able to:

  • Access clients for the 21 risk factors for gun violence.
  • Utilize four non-traditional approaches to prevent gun violence
  • Utilize three research-based intervention approaches
  • Draw from 15 intervention strategies for individuals at risk for gun violence.