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Resilience and Suicide Prevention Programs in Schools: 
Practical Tips and Tricks from the Trenches

Watch the full session here.

Download our suicide prevention resource guide here.

Learn best practices straight from four different perspectives in the trenches: Dr. Terry O. Pruitt, Chief Academic Officer for Spartanburg School District Seven; Tye Tindal, Clinical Director of Spartanburg District 7 RBHS Program; Colin Bauer, Lead District Social Worker for District Seven; and Ruth Schoonover Coordinator of Parenting and Social Work at Spartanburg School District Three will each offer expertise and resources that districts can utilize to build resilience.


Colin Bauer is currently the Lead District Social Worker and McKinney-Vento Liaison for Spartanburg School District Seven where his primary responsibilities with the school district are to ensure students, who are living in homelessness, receive comparable educational services, and assist families in overcoming homelessness.  After graduating from Ithaca College with a Bachelor of Music in Oboe and English Horn Performance, Colin joined the Peace Corps in 2002 and where he worked as a Community and Youth Development worker in Grenada, West Indies.  While in Grenada, he provided with the Grenadian Scout Leaders in developing scouting curriculum and the coordination of national programs, which was the basis of his pursuit of becoming a social worker.  After returning to SC, Colin obtained his Masters of Social Work from USC-Columbia and found a passion for Micro and Macro Social Work within the schools and Spartanburg community.  Currently, he is working on several school and community initiatives to address generational literacy, chronic poverty, a county-wide suicide prevention model, and homeless prevention interventions.


Dr. Terry O. Pruitt is the Chief Academic Officer for Spartanburg School District Seven. Dr. Pruitt oversees all aspects of curriculum, instruction, assessment and leadership within the District 7 organization and works closely with the superintendent on all aspects of District initiatives. Before coming to Spartanburg, he served five years as Superintendent of Hampton School District One. Prior to his position as Deputy Superintendent, Dr. Pruitt served two years as Assistant Principal of Wade Hampton High School and six years as Principal of Wade Hampton High School.


Ruth Schoonover is the Coordinator, Parenting Programs & Social Work for Spartanburg School District Three. Her duties include working with students and families undergoing homelessness, coordinating attendance interventions, crisis and social work interventions with students and families, and coordinating parent educators in the elementary schools.  Ruth is the President of the SC Association of School Social Workers, and has served on over 17 organizations and task forces, including the child & adolescent behavioral health task force for Spartanburg County.  Ruth earned her Bachelor’s Degree focused in Social Work and Psychology from Columbia College (SC) and a Masters in Social Work from University of South Carolina.  She is certified through the SC State Department of Education as a school social worker, a  Clinical School Social Worker through NASW, is a Darkness to Light certified facilitator, and has a Parents as Teachers Supervisor Certification.


Tye Tindal is the Clinical Director of the Spartanburg District 7 RBHS (Rehabilitative Behavioral Health Services) Program as well as a licensed professional counselor (LPC) in the state of South Carolina.  He received his Masters' from Clemson University (2010) and undergraduate degree from Wofford College (2008).  He has worked with Spartanburg School District 7 since 2011.  Currently, Tye provides therapy services to students and families at Carver Middle School as well as supervises staff in the RBHS program.  In addition, he has assisted in creating/revising the Threat Risk Assessment Process for Spartanburg School District 7, which defines protocols and best practices for school officials to follow when a student is deemed to be at risk to harm themselves or others.

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. 


All Fireside Chats are hosted by Robyn Hussa Farrell, MFA, E-RYT, co-founder and CEO of Sharpen, who 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.  In her role, 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, Mental Fitness, 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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