Formation of Florida Suicide Prevention Coalition

An initial meeting was held in Orlando, June 8, 2002 in an attempt to organize and pull together the State of Florida at the grassroots level, addressing the issue of suicide prevention. Thirteen attendees spent the day discussing the need and organization of this entity.

The result was the name of the organization, an Interim Officer group, the idea to divide the State into Regions for communication and coordination, a proposed mission statement, short and long term goals developed following the “Action Plan” of the Surgeon General’s National Strategy for Suicide Prevention: Goals and Objectives for Action and to follow and coordinate with the Florida Suicide Prevention Task Force, lead by James McDonough, Director, Florida Office of Drug Control in Tallahassee, and the discussion of the development of a formal State Plan.

It was determined that the group needed to outreach and have a meeting inviting interested members from around the State. Participants were: Wendy Wiles, PhD-Facilitator, Terry R. & Valerie Smith, Pat & David Scoones, Dennis Ross, Brenda Molinaro, Laura Meyer, Liisa Hyvarinen, Donna Haramis, Angela Blocker, Pam Harrington, and Donna Cacciatore.

A three day meeting was held October 14-17, 2002, administered by the Florida Army National Guard at Camp Blanding, FL. This Coalition building program, developed and administered through the Florida Counterdrug Training Academy, was sponsored by Jim McDonough of the Florida Office of Drug Control.

Thirty members from around the State took part in the training and development of the organization with the following results:

Committees were established (see above)

Organization was Incorporated and By-Laws were approved


501 (c)(3) has been applied


Membership (individual and corporate/organization) and fee established


Day at the Capitol to be determined


Annual Conference for October/November, site to be determined


Education brochure, newsletter and web site to be developed


A needs assessment will be developed


Region Directors and programs established for each of the 15 Regions

Education, prevention, intervention and aftercare programs to be established