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Brian Galdes heads up Suicide Prevention Coalition

Growth Works is excited to announce their new hire, Brian Galdes, as the Suicide Prevention Coordinator for the Western Wayne Suicide Prevention Coalition. As we bid farewell to Syndee Malek, we want to thank her for all her hard work in leading the coalition and we know Brian will continue her tremendous work.

This Coalition seeks to address youth suicide prevention, support their mental health, and in turn aim for zero completed youth suicides within the Western Wayne School Districts served. Over the past year, this initiative has helped train over 3,000 school staff members in seven school districts. We’ve implemented three major conferences as well as a lecture series to provide ongoing professional development for school mental health teams. Overall, the coalition represents 6,500 school staff members serving over 65,000 students.

The Suicide Prevention Committee started through a community health needs assessment initiated by St. Mary Mercy in 2015. This resulted in a suicide prevention forum developed through a collaboration of stakeholders in the seven participating school districts. With support from Trinity Health Livonia, the Flinn Foundation, and the Growth Works board of directors, we are pleased to announce that our agency will continue to support the coalition’s efforts for the next two years. We are grateful for the opportunity to support the staff and students represented by the coalition and we look forward to taking this work to the next level. 

“It is an honor to have this opportunity to continue to work with the Western Wayne Suicide Prevention Coalition in this new capacity,” Galdes said.  “This coalition will provide school districts powerful tools and resources to address adolescent depression and reduce the risk of suicide through the combined efforts of the coalition partners.”

Under the guidance of the district team lead, partner organization(s), and Coalition members, Galdes will support the school districts in implementing evidence-based programming, policies, and strategies that target risk and protective factors associated with youth mental health.

Brian Galdes is the former Superintendent of Schools with South Redford School District and brings with him a passion and dedication for this effort that is unmatched. He has been in the coalition since its inception and he participated in Trinity Health Livonia’s Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) which identified youth suicide as a priority for our area and we know he will do great things in this new role.

If you want to learn more about the Coalition, contact Alice Reinke, Alice.Reinke@gwcares.org.