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Mindfulness & Suicide Prevention in Higher Education

Watch the full session here.

Download our suicide prevention resource guide here.

Three leaders in counseling and student affairs will discuss ways to use mindfulness as a preventative measure for suicide in student populations (undergraduate and medical students). Drs. Natalie Fadel and Alexis Stoner (VCOM), and Dr. Liz Jodoin (USC Upstate) have deployed unique programs to support resilience, manage stress and maintain mental wellness in their student populations. Their programs provide the foundation for comprehensive and dynamic counseling centers.

Dr. Natalie Fadel is an Associate Professor for Psychiatry and Neuro-Behavioral Sciences and Director of Counseling Services at the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM), Carolinas Campus. She obtained her Doctorate and Master's degrees in Clinical Psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, and earned a Bachelor's degree in Psychology from the University of Michigan. Dr. Fadel is a Clinical Psychologist licensed to practice in South Carolina, North Carolina, and Illinois. 

Dr. Elizabeth Jodoin is the Director of Counseling Services at the University of South Carolina Upstate. She obtained her Doctorate of Philosophy in Educational Studies from the University of North Carolina Greensboro, focusing her research on college counseling and college student mental health. She obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Springfield College and a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. Dr. Jodoin is a Licensed Professional Counselor in South Carolina, a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor Supervisor in North Carolina, and a Board Certified –Telemental Health Provider.

Dr. Alexis Stoner is an Assistant Professor and the Chair of Preventive Medicine and Public Health at the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine, Carolinas Campus. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Kenyon College, a Master’s degree in Public Health from The Ohio State University, and a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction -Instructional Design and Technology from Virginia Tech. During her Ph.D program, her dissertation explored incorporating mindfulness as an instructional strategy to enhance reflection within a situation learning environment.

All Fireside Chats are hosted by Robyn Hussa Farrell, MFA, E-RYT

Fireside Chats fulfill training requirements for SC Foster Parent Association certification.  To qualify, foster parents should attend the live or recorded session, then email Robyn Hussa Farrell at to obtain a printable certificate. 


Robyn Hussa Farrell is co-founder and CEO of Sharpen, and has spent the past 15 years collaborating with state agencies, educational systems, public health and psychology researchers to build and deliver evidence-based programs to K-12 schools and communities.  Robyn is responsible for building collaborative partnerships and developing programs that deliver powerful prevention content into communities across the U.S. 


As part of her work in population health and prevention, Robyn built mindfulness, stress reduction and yoga-based programs for patients struggling with a variety of mental illnesses. Her work has been published in peer reviewed medical journals and in other publications. Robyn’s experience working in treatment settings and with researchers in schools led her to scale her community-based programs by adapting them into video-based modules and a series of documentaries on mental health and educational initiatives. Many of Robyn’s programs have been implemented through the award-winning non-profit, MentalFitness, which Hussa founded in 2006 to deliver evidence-based content and resources to communities.


A leader in the mental health and wellness provider community, Robyn is certified in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) through the University of Massachusetts Medical School model, as well as a certified trainer for NAMI NH CONNECT Suicide Postvention program. Hussa has proudly served as Spartanburg county youth suicide prevention coordinator for the Behavioral Health Task Force for United Way of the Piedmont, is a member of the Dean’s Advisory Board for the Johnson College of Business and has served as a mentor for the StartME Spartanburg entrepreneurship program. Robyn served as the Resilient Schools mindfulness trainer in Spartanburg, Cherokee, Richland and Lexington County Resilient Schools initiatives, is a Founding Member of the Eating Disorder Recovery on Campus in Boston, an advisory committee member for Way to Wellville/Rethink Health Community Engagement and Listening Campaign, and has been a Keynote and Invited Presenter in over 50 medical and educational conferences.


About Sharpen

Sharpen works with national researchers and practitioners to deliver evidence-based mental health programs that improve behavioral health outcomes for communities. Sharpen Fireside Chats are a free resource for communities and aspire to bring the latest best practices to more individuals, communities and families.

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