Suicide is the second-leading cause of death among people aged 15 to 24 in the U.S. According to the Center for Disease Control, nearly 20% of high school students report serious thoughts of suicide, and 9% have attempted to take their lives. However, less than 10% of youth reported accessing services to support their mental health. As we continue to thrive through the pandemic, social unrest, community violence, and wavering economy, Silence the Shame (STS) wants to equip you with the tools to support mental health for youth and young adults.

Join us for our second annual My Life is a Gift: Suicide Awareness Summit on September 14, 2022, 10:00 AM-2:00 PM. We are excited to offer an authentic hybrid opportunity of youth and young adult lived experience, behavioral health & suicide prevention professionals, and family support.

About My Life is a Gift: Suicide Awareness Summit

My Life is a Gift (MLG) Summit is designed to explore experiences of suicide in vulnerable populations, i.e., BIPOC, LGBTQ+, children and their families, and older adults, from a community, faith, and family perspective. Learn from the experts about suicide prevention, intervention, and meeting the needs of suicide survivors and survivors of suicide attempts (SOSA). This event is created to meet attendees' diverse interests and needs while creating a powerful opportunity for learning and developing techniques to prevent suicide in vulnerable populations.


Summit Goals and Objectives

My Life is a Gift: Suicide Awareness Summit provides a forum for those who share an interest in preventing suicide across the life span to meet and share information about suicidal behavior and the impact of Suicide in underserved communities. At the end of the summit, participants should be able to:

  • Describe techniques individuals can use when people verbalize suicidal ideation and refer them to appropriate treatment opportunities.
  • Identify and assess psychological risk factors for suicidal behavior to improve outcomes and reduce the incidence of suicidal behavior.
  • Describe the opportunities and challenges of implementing suicide prevention within underserved communities to increase participation and contributions to the community.
  • Describe the impact of Suicide on survivors and SOSA to improve care for those who have lost a loved one to suicide or attempted suicide in the past.

This half-day summit will offer limited in-person seating at The Gathering Spot in Atlanta, Georgia, with a live stream for partners to learn far and wide on how to support youth and young adults through crisis and access behavioral health care. This year, the summit will offer an authentic experience of youth and young adult voices addressing the challenges of the pandemic mental health. We will offer creative pauses and mental wellness activities to practice with youth and young adults.

Register today to reserve your free spot for the live stream or Sponsor to reserve your in-person seating!

Thanks to Our Sponsors

Tanya Waldon is a Georgia native and single mother.  She attended Bauder Fashion College and proceeded with a career as personal assistant to a prominent music producer and as a costumer.

Tanya’s life changed forever when her only child, attempted suicide via gunshot.  

In the recovery aftermath, Tanya learned that mental healthcare services were limited and difficult to find and there was nothing specifically for survivors of suicide attempts (SOSA).  She named it all “The Secret Society”.

Finding herself unheard she created a voice and called it “My Life is a Gift”.  An advacy and liaison that locate services for SOSA (survivors of suicide attempts), mental health and suicide prevention.

In tow with DiDi Hirsch Mental Healthcare, Tanya was instrumental in launching the pilot curriculum for SOSA (survivors of suicide attempts) classes and groups in Georgia.

Tanya continues to build her toolbox becoming certified as a CPS-P certified peer specialist - parent), QPR,  Mental Health First Aid, OWL and SOSA support group facilitator.  Completing classes with AFSP and NAMI.  Volunteering with Silence The Shame and more.

“My Life Is a Gift” is a collaborative with Silence The Shame during the month of September for Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.  

Tanya’s passion for the cause has taught her that every journey has a story.