Date: Saturday, September 30, 2023
Time: 9AM
Location: Emory University Rollins School of Public Health


The death rate from suicide for black or African American men was four times greater than for African American women in 2018. Since 2017, suicide has been the second leading cause of death in those 10-19 years old. Rates of suicide among Black youth have risen faster than in any other racial/ethnic group in the past two decades, with suicide rates in Black males 10-19 years old increasing by 60%.

Join us Saturday, September 30, 2023, at 9 AM a the Emory University Rollins School of Public Health for an empowering and interactive forum for those who share interests and experiences in reducing health disparities for Black boys and men, preventing suicide, and promoting healthy strategies to improve healthy living. At the end of the summit, participants should be able to:

  • Describe techniques to promote wellness and reduce ideation of hopelessness and helplessness.
  • Explore the social drivers that impact mental well-being in Black communities and ways to mitigate harm.
  • Practice healthy coping strategies to promote suicide prevention.

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.

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.