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Psychiatrist To Be Keynote Speaker at Suicide Prevention Program Hosted By A-State Counseling Center


JONESBORO, Ark. — Arkansas State University’s Counseling Center will team with the Celebrate Recovery Ministry of First Baptist Church in Jonesboro to host a suicide prevention program and to honor those who have lost loved ones to suicide, Monday, Nov. 18, at 7 p.m. in the Carl R. Reng Student Union auditorium, third floor.

Dr. Leigh Anne Bennett, a board certified psychiatrist, is the keynote speaker. She will present, “A Lifeline of Hope…A Personal Story of Depression, Suicide and Prevention.” This event is free and open to the public. Parking is available in the parking garage located next to the Carl R. Reng Student Union on North Caraway Road.

"We know that suicides are on the increase," said Dr. Phil Hestand, director of the A-State Counseling Center. "As of last May, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) reported that now suicide exceeds traffic deaths. We all talk about traffic accidents all of the time—don't text and drive, don't drive drunk, be careful.

"We don't talk as much about suicide prevention. Suicide is preventable. There is a positive side to the message. There is life after for the survivors and all sorts of opportunities from seeking help from a professional or a self-help group like Celebrate Recovery."

A native of Arkansas, Dr. Bennett received her medical degree from the University o Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) in 2000 and completed her psychiatry residency training in 2004. She is currently a partner of Arkansas Psychiatric Clinic and Arkansas Psychiatric Research Clinical Trials in Little Rock. She is also medical director for Health Resources of Arkansas, a community mental health clinic, which provides services to 15 counties. Recently, Gov. Mike Beebe appointed Dr. Bennett to the social work licensing board for a term of three years.

Dr. Bennett was the 2003 recipient of the M. Joceyln Elders Community Award for her contributions toward the establishment of the Dr. Robert E. Elliott Foundation in the memory of her father, Robert Elliot who suffered from depression and died by suicide.

The Dr. Robert E. Elliott Foundation’s mission is to provide a lifeline of hope by offering services, education, resources, and support to people with depression and to survivors of suicide. A representative from the foundation will be available with information and resources.

The A-State Counseling Center, directed by Dr. Phil Hestand, is available to the entire university community and is committed to helping to deal with concerns before they develop into more serious problems. For additional information, contact the center office at 870-972-2318.