Christina Cernansky, suicide prevention specialist and board president for the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), is a 2022 Idaho Business Review Women of the Year honoree and, through her work with NAMI, trains advocates to share their stories to community leaders. Cernansky works in suicide prevention in the military setting. In that capacity, she hosts classes and workshops to train personnel on intervention and suicide-prevention skills. She builds valuable relationships with leaders in striving for a suicide-free climate.
She is also co-leading the governors and mayors challenge to prevent suicide among service members, veterans and their families (SMVF) in Idaho. The organization convened in August 2022 with about 30 advocates, with a second meeting slated for later this year. The challenge, intended to implement statewide suicide prevention best practices for SMVF in each state, is under the auspices of the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
“I am excited to continue on with my work in suicide prevention by utilizing this initiative to bring together voices across the state to collaborate on prevention measures,” Cernansky said. Those voices include government and military agencies, veteran services organizations, mental health nonprofits and faith leaders, she explained.
Cernansky is also co-chair of the Idaho Suicide Prevention Collective and is a master trainer in the community resiliency model and a trainer for the applied suicide intervention skills training.
“I have been part of conversations to expand upon six working groups on helping with prevention efforts,” she said, “and have conducted over 20 ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training) courses in the past two years.”