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About Us

Since the 1980/90’s, Pennsylvania has made strong efforts to prevent suicide through various programs and non-profits throughout the Commonwealth.  Programs and organizations such as Feeling Blue, and the (STAR-Center),along with a variety of other approaches were doing wonderful things concerning suicide prevention in local areas. The Advisory Committee of the Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS) prioritized a state suicide prevention plan as one of their major goals to prevent suicide in Pennsylvania.  A work group was formed and began to meet in July 2005. This prevention plan is a collaborative effort between those dedicated individuals from both the public and private sectors of our state. The work group strived to raise awareness about suicide and its prevention so that fewer Pennsylvanians experience the pain and grief resulting from the suicide death of a loved one.  Two entities were divided to devote suicide prevention plans for the Adult/Older Adult Suicide Prevention Steering Committee and the Youth Suicide Prevention Steering Committee.  Both committees grew into two separate organizations in 2012 (PA Adult/Older Adult Suicide Prevention Coalition and the PA Youth Suicide Prevention Initiative).  In 2015, talks began to occur about combining both organizations into one to create a stronger, more unified entity to prevent suicide in Pennsylvania.  2017 is the culmination of the efforts of many dedicated individuals wanting to make a difference.  

Board of Directors:
  • Govan Martin
    Chair/ Board of Directors

    Govan A. Martin, III is the Chair/Board of Directors of Prevent Suicide PA. For five years, he was Co-Chair/Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania Adult/Older Adult Suicide Prevention Coalition. He is a survivor of his brother Michael's suicide who died in 1980. Govan retired from the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) in 2012 after serving 29 years. During his tenure in the PSP, Govan was instrumental and helped create/write legislation for Confidentiality for Law Enforcement Peer Support and Critical Incidents in 2010. Govan is currently a consultant/trainer on Suicide Prevention and Critical Incident Stress Management. Trainings that he conducts include; (Master Trainer) in QPR (Question Persuade Refer), ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training), Group Crisis Intervention, Assisting Individuals in Crisis, and Psychological First Aid. Govan has given multiple and varied trainings across the Commonwealth. Govan lives in Dauphin County.

  • Matthew Wintersteen
    Vice Chair Executive Board

    Dr. Wintersteen is Associate Professor and Director of Research in the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University. In collaboration with OMHSAS, he has served as Co-Investigator and Co-Program Developer of several SAMHSA-funded programs focused on youth suicide prevention across Pennsylvania. He is Director of the Pennsylvania Higher Education Suicide Prevention Coalition and co-chairs the Delaware Valley Medical Student Wellness Collaborative. In addition to his grant-funded projects, Dr. Wintersteen has served on national task forces convened by the Suicide Prevention Resource Center, the American Association of Suicidology, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and the National Institute of Mental Health. He was a consultant to the National Center for the Prevention of Youth Suicide (NCPYS) and served as the Co-Chair of the Pennsylvania Youth Suicide Prevention Initiative for nearly a decade. As a clinical psychologist at Jefferson, Dr. Wintersteen provides clinical care, educates students and residents, and carries out his research on youth suicide prevention.

  • Mary Brown
    Treasurer Executive Board

    Mary Brown has been an AOASPC board member since 2010. In 2015, she was named Co-Chair. She has also served as chair of the Fundraising and Training committees. She has been employed with Community Connections of Clearfield/Jefferson Counties since 1998. Mary is currently the Crisis Program Specialist; she oversees the County Delegates and the two County Crisis system. Mary is also the DCORT (Disaster Crisis Outreach Referral Team) Coordinator. She is co-chair for the two county CDRT, Child Death Review Team. Mary was instrumental in organizing the Clearfield Jefferson Suicide Prevention Team in 2008; she has been the Team Coordinator since its inception. Mary is a certified trainer for Mental Health First Aid for Adults, Youth and Public Safety and also a QPR Master Trainer.

  • Erich Batra
    Secretary Executive Board

  • Jean-Loup Archawski
    Board Member

    Jean-Loup Archawski, a retired French executive living in the Philadelphia area for the past 39 years, was exposed as a teen-ager to the debilitating effects of mental illness on his older sister who eventually had to be institutionalized for most of her life. At the age of 22, he was witness to his father’s taking of his own life. At the age of 48, he experienced a depression which lasted ten years. When he was 57, his second daughter, aged 23 at the time, suffered a major crisis with attempted suicide leading her to her first of many subsequent hospitalizations. She was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, and borderline schizophrenia. In 2010, she abandoned for several months all professional activities. Then, in May 2014, considering his experience as a witness of the suicide of his Father, he was asked to serve on the “Suicide Prevention Task Force” of the City of Philadelphia’s Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disability services to which he belongs to this day. In July 2017, Jean-Loup was invited to join the Board of “Suicide Prevention PA”

  • Ann Blankenhorn
    Board Member

  • Francesca Pileggi
    Board Member

    Francesca joined the AOASPC board in 2012 and began serving as the chair of the Communication Committee. She has been active in suicide prevention efforts since losing two family members to suicide and dealing with her own mental health issues as a teenager and young adult. Francesca currently lives in Delaware County and works as a high school counselor in Delaware. She is a public speaker, certified peer specialist, and certified QPR Master Trainer.

  • Kate L. Rogers
    Board Member

    Kate L. Rogers, M.A., is a psychotherapist in Hershey, Pennsylvania, where she has provided outpatient psychotherapy services to children, adolescents, and adults since 2009. She believes that every individual is worth saving, and that life is about thriving, not simply surviving. Kate promotes and advocates for genuine wellness within the individual, families, and the community. Kate has supported efforts to increase awareness of suicide prevention initiatives and decrease stigmatization of suicide within the context of the community, schools, families, and individuals. She is trained in Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM), and is a Question Persuade Refer (QPR) Certified Gatekeeper Instructor. Kate holds a Masters of Arts from The Pennsylvania State University, and is nearing the completion of an additional Masters of Arts from Messiah College.

  • Beth Sprentz
    Board Member

    Beth served as a member of the Executive Board for the Pennsylvania Youth Suicide Prevention Initiative since 2010. She has been employed as the Region X Coordinator for the Pennsylvania Network for Student Assistance Services since 1998, providing technical assistance to school districts and county Mental Health and Drug and Alcohol Student Assistance Program (SAP) providers in the following counties: Cameron, Crawford, Elk, Erie, Forest, McKean, Potter and Warren. She resides in Warren PA.

  • Marisa Vicere
    Board Member

  • Govan Martin
    Chair/ Board of Directors

    Govan A. Martin, III is the Chair/Board of Directors of Prevent Suicide PA. For five years, he was Co-Chair/Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania Adult/Older Adult Suicide Prevention Coalition. He is a survivor of his brother Michael's suicide who died in 1980. Govan retired from the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) in 2012 after serving 29 years. During his tenure in the PSP, Govan was instrumental and helped create/write legislation for Confidentiality for Law Enforcement Peer Support and Critical Incidents in 2010. Govan is currently a consultant/trainer on Suicide Prevention and Critical Incident Stress Management. Trainings that he conducts include; (Master Trainer) in QPR (Question Persuade Refer), ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training), Group Crisis Intervention, Assisting Individuals in Crisis, and Psychological First Aid. Govan has given multiple and varied trainings across the Commonwealth. Govan lives in Dauphin County.

  • Matthew Wintersteen
    Vice Chair Executive Board

    Dr. Wintersteen is Associate Professor and Director of Research in the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University. In collaboration with OMHSAS, he has served as Co-Investigator and Co-Program Developer of several SAMHSA-funded programs focused on youth suicide prevention across Pennsylvania. He is Director of the Pennsylvania Higher Education Suicide Prevention Coalition and co-chairs the Delaware Valley Medical Student Wellness Collaborative. In addition to his grant-funded projects, Dr. Wintersteen has served on national task forces convened by the Suicide Prevention Resource Center, the American Association of Suicidology, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and the National Institute of Mental Health. He was a consultant to the National Center for the Prevention of Youth Suicide (NCPYS) and served as the Co-Chair of the Pennsylvania Youth Suicide Prevention Initiative for nearly a decade. As a clinical psychologist at Jefferson, Dr. Wintersteen provides clinical care, educates students and residents, and carries out his research on youth suicide prevention.

  • Mary Brown
    Treasurer Executive Board

    Mary Brown has been an AOASPC board member since 2010. In 2015, she was named Co-Chair. She has also served as chair of the Fundraising and Training committees. She has been employed with Community Connections of Clearfield/Jefferson Counties since 1998. Mary is currently the Crisis Program Specialist; she oversees the County Delegates and the two County Crisis system. Mary is also the DCORT (Disaster Crisis Outreach Referral Team) Coordinator. She is co-chair for the two county CDRT, Child Death Review Team. Mary was instrumental in organizing the Clearfield Jefferson Suicide Prevention Team in 2008; she has been the Team Coordinator since its inception. Mary is a certified trainer for Mental Health First Aid for Adults, Youth and Public Safety and also a QPR Master Trainer.

  • Erich Batra
    Secretary Executive Board

  • Jean-Loup Archawski
    Board Member

    Jean-Loup Archawski, a retired French executive living in the Philadelphia area for the past 39 years, was exposed as a teen-ager to the debilitating effects of mental illness on his older sister who eventually had to be institutionalized for most of her life. At the age of 22, he was witness to his father’s taking of his own life. At the age of 48, he experienced a depression which lasted ten years. When he was 57, his second daughter, aged 23 at the time, suffered a major crisis with attempted suicide leading her to her first of many subsequent hospitalizations. She was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, and borderline schizophrenia. In 2010, she abandoned for several months all professional activities. Then, in May 2014, considering his experience as a witness of the suicide of his Father, he was asked to serve on the “Suicide Prevention Task Force” of the City of Philadelphia’s Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disability services to which he belongs to this day. In July 2017, Jean-Loup was invited to join the Board of “Suicide Prevention PA”

  • Ann Blankenhorn
    Board Member

  • Francesca Pileggi
    Board Member

    Francesca joined the AOASPC board in 2012 and began serving as the chair of the Communication Committee. She has been active in suicide prevention efforts since losing two family members to suicide and dealing with her own mental health issues as a teenager and young adult. Francesca currently lives in Delaware County and works as a high school counselor in Delaware. She is a public speaker, certified peer specialist, and certified QPR Master Trainer.

  • Kate L. Rogers
    Board Member

    Kate L. Rogers, M.A., is a psychotherapist in Hershey, Pennsylvania, where she has provided outpatient psychotherapy services to children, adolescents, and adults since 2009. She believes that every individual is worth saving, and that life is about thriving, not simply surviving. Kate promotes and advocates for genuine wellness within the individual, families, and the community. Kate has supported efforts to increase awareness of suicide prevention initiatives and decrease stigmatization of suicide within the context of the community, schools, families, and individuals. She is trained in Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM), and is a Question Persuade Refer (QPR) Certified Gatekeeper Instructor. Kate holds a Masters of Arts from The Pennsylvania State University, and is nearing the completion of an additional Masters of Arts from Messiah College.

  • Beth Sprentz
    Board Member

    Beth served as a member of the Executive Board for the Pennsylvania Youth Suicide Prevention Initiative since 2010. She has been employed as the Region X Coordinator for the Pennsylvania Network for Student Assistance Services since 1998, providing technical assistance to school districts and county Mental Health and Drug and Alcohol Student Assistance Program (SAP) providers in the following counties: Cameron, Crawford, Elk, Erie, Forest, McKean, Potter and Warren. She resides in Warren PA.

  • Marisa Vicere
    Board Member

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