NAMI New Hampshire welcomed Kelley (Gaspa) Caravona recently as their new Suicide Prevention Coordinator!  We asked Kelley to tell us a bit about her background and why she loves prevention! Check out her blog below:

With a background in education and public health, I have dedicated a significant portion of my career to prevention.  I truly believe in the importance and power of prevention and its relationship to an improved quality of life for all.  Suicide prevention has become my passion.  My suicide prevention expertise began several years ago with a Community Connect Gatekeeper training delivered by Ann Duckless from NAMI NH.  I was so inspired by not only her knowledge and energy, but by the Connect philosophy, in that everyone plays a role in suicide prevention.  I went on to become a 2nd generation Connect trainer and delivered various Connect and other suicide prevention trainings throughout the Winnipesaukee Public Health Region and New Hampshire. Obtaining my NH CPS and graduate degree in psychology has also enhanced my understanding of this complex public health issue.  It has really come full circle for me, 7 years later joining the NAMI NH team as a Suicide Prevention Coordinator.

I believe that to do your work well, you must start by loving what you do.  This work feeds my soul.  It has impacted my thinking and the way I live on a level I never thought possible.  Having educated and supported many community partners in various sectors and settings, one constant holds true…connection is critical for us all.  Being a “connector” for folks never stops.  It’s not a 9 to 5 job and that has by far been the biggest impact.  However, as I mentioned, when you love what you do, it simply becomes who you are.

My knowledge and experience have provided opportunities for ongoing collaboration around suicide prevention.  They add to the supportive network that exists here in our great state.  This is not just the work of “experts.”  It’s the work of us all.  I am grateful to be a small part of an important infrastructure that educates and empowers communities to  respond effectively to individuals at risk of suicide.

To learn more about NAMI NH visit https://www.naminh.org/