00:47 AM

DMC hosting annual Suicide Prevention Symposium September 8-9 featuring guest speaker Gabe Alvarado

Two-day symposium featuring guest speakers, including founder of Gabe Alvarado Foundation, Texas Suicide Prevention Council’s Terri Mabrito and TAMU-CC’s Dr. Pamela Greene

Article by: Rosa Linda Reynoso


The topic can be a sensitive one, but it’s not one that can be ignored.

On the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) website, they state that suicide is a leading cause of death in the United States with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reporting in 2020 that suicide was the second leading cause of death among individuals between ages 10 and 14 as well as between ages 25 and 34. Suicide was the twelfth leading cause of death overall across the country, claiming the lives of nearly 46, 000 people, according to the post.

National Suicide Prevention Week is Sept. 4-10 with organizations across the country hosting events to open discussion and training for professionals and community members alike. These efforts are organized to let others know there’s hope and understanding and to empower individuals by changing the way the world sees mental health. 

Suicide prevention IS everyone’s business. 

This week on Sept. 8 and 9, Del Mar College’s Office of Student Engagement and Retention has partnered with the Suicide Prevention Coalition of the Coastal Bend (SPC-CB) to offer the annual Suicide Prevention Symposium. The two-day offering is the first in-person symposium since COVID-19 began. 

Events are scheduled in the Retama Room (second floor) in the Harvin Student Center on Del Mar College’s Heritage Campus, 101 Baldwin Blvd. (78404), directions and map All events are free and open to the public. 

For more information, contact Cathy Garcia at 361-986-8200 or catherine.garcia2@hcahealthcare.com.

Seating is limited for both days. Interested community members are invited to register for one or both of the following events:

Thursday, Sept. 8, 6 to 8 p.m.: Guest speaker Gabe Alvarado, founder of the Gabe Alvarado Foundation

Sponsored by NAMI Greater Corpus Christi, guest speaker Gabe Alvarado will present “Life Can Change in a Flash.” Alvarado was injured in an oil refinery explosion that resulted with the loss of his left arm and burns over 60% of his body. After a long road to recovery both physically and mentally, he came to the realization life was worth living. Today, Alvarado helps others who are dealing with thoughts of suicide due to physical or emotional trauma, In 2018, he founded the Gabe Alvarado Foundation and partnered with Wonder Media to produce Living Life with Purpose, an animated series for teenagers that focuses on suicide prevention. In 2020, another partnership with the Cook Center for Human Connection led to the production of My Life is Worth Living as a 20-episode series aimed at 13 to 18-year-olds. During this event, attendees can expect access to local mental health resources and agencies with information about their services and programs. SPC-CB also will provide counselors from the local community to offer support. Other activities include therapy dogs—Oliver and Max—making the rounds among attendees, a presentation by TAMU-CC’s Community Outreach Collaborative, a video tribute of loved ones lost to suicide and networking and community resources. Organizers also will provide door prizes and refreshments. 

Friday, Sept. 9, 8 a.m. to noon: Two presentations covering suicide prevention, intervention and postvention

SPC-CB organizers are offering two FREE presentations about suicide prevention, intervention and postvention geared toward providers and professionals, along with the general public, as personal and professional development training. Terri Mabrito with the Texas Suicide Prevention Council will provide the keynote presentation, “Teen Suicide Prevention: Hope in Action.” Dr. Pamela Greene with TAMU-CC will conclude the symposium with “Reducing Stigma and Suicide by Understanding the Experiences of Suicide Attempt Survivors.” Participants will receive 2.5 Continuing Education Units (CEUs). 

Other sponsors include Avail Solutions, Corpus Christi Medical Center-Bayview, Islander Suicide Prevention Program (I-SPEAK), National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Greater Corpus Christi, Nueces Center for Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities, Suicide Prevention Coalition of the Coastal Bend (SPC-CB) and Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi (TAMU-CC). 

About Del Mar College

Del Mar College empowers students to achieve their dreams. We offer quality programs, individual attention, outstanding instruction through faculty with real-world experience and affordable costs to credit and noncredit students in Corpus Christi and the South Texas Coastal Bend area. Nationally recognized while locally focused, we’re ranked in the top two percent of community colleges in the country granting associate degrees to Hispanic students (Community College Week). Del Mar College focuses on offering our students programs that match current or emerging career opportunities. Whether students are interested in the fine arts, sciences, business, occupational or technical areas, students get the education they need for the future they want at Del Mar College.