Jamie has distinguished herself as the lone student representative to a state-wide Suicide Prevention task force associated with the Montana University System. She is building a network of direct-support suicide prevention specialists (including being a qualified trainer) and she has provided direct support to clients, saving at least one life in the process. Jamie took advantage of an opportunity to speak to the Governor in support of increased funding for state agencies that support suicide prevention. Jamie has impressed her instructors, including the Faculty Advisor for the Student Government Association, and one of the lead Psychology instructors whose own research and service efforts focus on mental health care and suicide prevention. In short, Jamie is an ambitious and tireless advocate for those in need, and her community-based work is designed to address a particularly acute need in Montana, and in the city of Helena in particular.
My name is Jamie A. Smith-Eastwood a student at Helena College, suicide prevention advocate, former Student Government Association Senator, and single mother of an 8 year old daughter. I was asked to participate as the sole student representative on the Montana University System’s Suicide Prevention Task Force. I recognized the growing need to fight the stigma of suicide, so I decided to start a non-profit called “Breathe (Let’s Start a Conversation)”—a suicide prevention resource and research center in Helena, MT. After attending a QPR (Question, Persuade, and Refer) gatekeeper training for suicide prevention, I began to understand my driving passion for this topic. I am ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training) trained as well as an ASIST trainer. With the growing need for suicide and crisis intervention I now understand that I need to do something to address this state-wide suicide epidemic. My program of study is Social Work with an emphasis on Psychology.