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August 2018

Staff of Lines for Life Oregon's leading Lifeline Crisis Contact Center engage as a collective in Activating Hope TA Phase 2 with Eduardo Vega.


Leading-edge research has shown that 'lived experience of suicide' (LES), when effectively implemented, can help in reducing distress, suicide attempts and death in several ways.

Using and integrating the resource of LES where systems and organizations have been averse or uncertain is highly advanced through expertise with a focus on engagement and change management. Activating Hope is a process of bringing these to the table, along with leaders from around the US and world, to help speed change, empower individuals and support organizations as they integrate 'lived expertise' to reduce suicide everywhere.

The Activating Hope technical assistance process, developed by Humannovations in partnership with Prevention Communities, RI International, and the US National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a rapid-implementation approach to accelerating the integration of “lived expertise” in communities and suicide prevention organizations.


The purpose of the Activating Hope technical assistance process is to accelerate integration of the value of lived experience in suicide prevention at the level of organizations, systems and communities


 Activating Hope Technical Assistance is a highly engaged process of remote and site-based consultation in a 3-phase format involving dialogue, assessment and action planning. Each consultation is customizable depending on needs, goals and availability of the organization or communities.


The process is designed with the following key objectives:

1. Assist stakeholder communities, crisis centers and other organizations in their goals for

a) including, b) integrating and c) implementing lived experience in their efforts related to suicide prevention.

2. Provide key concepts, dialogue facilitation and problem-solving among stakeholders related to lived experience integration

3. Provide expert support to staff, volunteers and other stakeholders in exploring disclosure and related opportunities.

4. Implement a structured process of systems level self-assessment, strategic goal setting, teaming and action steps

5. Assist in the development/adjustment or change of organizational programs, policies and practices as related to the above, including culture change initiatives.

6. Foster leadership, community and co-learning; and build a related fund of knowledge and resources for progress in the field.

All aspects of Activating Hope are based in community-engaged dialogue, organizational change management principles and lived expertise , including some of the world's foremost leaders in suicide prevention innovation.


Communities that have benefited from Activating Hope Training & TA include:



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EDUARDO VEGA, M.Psy.; Project Director

CEO/Principal at Humannovations

Eduardo Vega has worked as a leader in advocacy and transformative behavioral health programs and practices including national, state and regional technical assistance, research and training projects and major policy initiatives in suicide prevention, stigma and discrimination reduction, consumer rights and empowerment, community integration, self-help and peer support services. From 2010- 2016 he served as President/CEO of the Mental Health Association of San Francisco as well as the founder and Principal Investigator of the Center for Dignity, Recovery & Empowerment. Eduardo has been invited expert to the Obama White House, the US State Department and the World Health Organization.He serves on the Steering Committee of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, the Global Anti- Stigma Alliance and the Executive Committee of the US National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, through which he founded the first national Suicide Attempt Survivor Task Force. For his work in culturally focused programs, stigma reduction, empowerment and systems change he’s been recognized by the United States Senate, the US Surgeon General and others. A wielypublished author, poet and playwright, he holds an M.A. in Psychology from New School for Social Research.

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DEQUINCY LEZINE, PhD; Director, Research and Evaluation

CEO Prevention Communities

Dr. DeQuincy Lezine, President & CEO of Prevention Communities, started working on student mental health issues as a sophomore at Brown University. An internationally known suicide researcher and speaker he is the author of Eight Stories Up, 13 Answers to 13 Reason Why and primary author of The Way Forward: Pathways to hope, recovery, and wellness with insights from lived experience of suicide (from the US Suicide Attempt Survivor Task Force). DeQuincy is the founding Chair of the Attempt Survivor Lived Experience Division of American Association of Suicidology and Co-Chair of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Consumer Survivor Committee. He earned his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from UCLA and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in suicide prevention research at the University of Rochester. Throughout his career, he has maintained a passion for mental health promotion and suicide prevention with college students.

SALLY SPENCER-THOMAS, Psy.D.; Associate Faculty,
Workplace Suicide Prevention, Bereaved and Post-vention


Sally is a clinical psychologist, inspirational international speaker and an impact entrepreneur. Dr. Spencer-Thomas was moved to work in suicide prevention after her younger brother, a Denver entrepreneur, died of suicide after a difficult battle with bipolar condition. Known nationally and internationally as an innovator in social change, Spencer-Thomas has helped start up multiple large-scale, gap filling efforts in mental health including the award-winning campaign Man Therapy and the nation’s first initiative for suicide prevention in the workplace, Working Minds. Spencer-Thomas has also held leadership positions for the International Association for Suicide Prevention, the American Association for Suicidology, and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. She has won multiple awards for her advocacy including the 2014 Survivor of the Year from the American Association of Suicidology, and the 2016 Career Achievement Alumni Award from the University of Denver’s Graduate School of Professional Psychology. In 2016 she was an invited speaker at the White House where she presented on men’s mental health. In her recent TEDx Talk she shares her goal to elevate the conversation to make mental health promotion and suicide prevention a health and safety priority in our schools, workplaces and communities. She has a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the University of Denver. She has written four books on mental health and violence prevention. She lives with her partner and three sons in Conifer, Colorado.

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For more information about Activating Hope or to request services contact Eduardo Vega, Project Director

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