OSPF is fortunate to have a staff of committed and compassionate professionals working every day to raise awareness and foster suicide prevention efforts across the state.
As Executive Director, Tony leads the charge to support community-based efforts in Ohio to reduce the stigma of suicide, promote education and awareness about suicide prevention, provide training and development, and increase resources and programs that reduce the risk of lives lost to suicide.
Prior to joining the OSPF, Tony served as the Director of Programs and Services for the Ohio Association of County Behavioral Health Authorities, where he managed Recovery-Oriented Systems of Care, the Statewide Advocacy Network and the Committee to Address Suicide for the organization. He has also served as the Director of State and Local Affairs for Smart Approaches to Marijuana and as legislative director for the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Toledo.
Director of Community Engagement
Michelle is responsible for the support and cultivation of suicide prevention coalitions in Ohio, providing one-on-one support, resources and funding opportunities.
She was drawn to suicide prevention through personal experience with depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation. She began her career as a suicide prevention educator at Helpline of Delaware and Morrow Counties, Inc., sharing the Signs of Suicide program with middle school and high school students. Later she became the suicide prevention program manager, coordinating prevention education in both counties and serving as coalition chair for the Delaware Suicide Prevention Coalition. There she facilitated a Survivors of Suicide Loss Support Group, as well as collaborated with community mental health and suicide prevention partners.
Michelle is a certified QPR and Working Minds instructor, is trained in Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) and Mental Health First Aid (MHFA), and is an Ohio Certified Prevention Specialist Assistant. She received her bachelor’s degree in comparative religion from The Ohio State University.
Austin serves as program director, managing suicide prevention programming, training, events, education, and resources through a 5-year, SAMHSA Garrett Lee Smith (GLS) Youth Suicide Prevention Grant and a 3-Year, SAMHSA Mental Health Awareness Training (MHAT) Service Member and Veteran Grant.
He works with community partners across Ohio, including local suicide prevention coalitions, government agencies, Local Outreach to Suicide Survivors (LOSS) Teams, mental health organizations, and many others to empower them and their communities to embrace suicide prevention training and build their knowledge and skills.
His passion for suicide prevention comes from his personal struggles with depression, as well as having friends and family members who live with mental illness. Austin is a certified Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) and Working Minds instructor, and earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology from The Ohio State University.
Program Manager / Veteran Liaison
Jason is the Program Manager for the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) effort to supply suicide prevention programming to youth who are served by programs that work with socio-economically disadvantaged children. Jason will also serve as the liaison to the veteran community for the Ohio Suicide Prevention Foundation.
Jason served 22 years in the United State Army and retired from military service in 2019, most recently as a Sexual Assault Response Coordinator for the Ohio National Guard for 12 years. After retiring from the military, Jason worked as the Sexual Assault Response Network Outreach Coordinator for HelpLine of Delaware and Morrow Counties, Inc.
Jason graduated from the University of Phoenix in 2010 with an Associate of Arts in Criminal Justice degree. He is also a certified Master Resilience Trainer, a published author, and has 10+ years of experience in victim advocacy and suicide prevention.
Keiko oversees social media, traditional media and marketing for the Ohio Suicide Prevention Foundation (OSPF). She also serves as the Project Director for the Be Present Ohio campaign, which was created to increase peer-to-peer conversation around mental health and to break stigma around the subject.
Prior to working with OSPF, Keiko worked as a technical director and producer in television, starting her career at KHQA in Quincy, Illinois, and continued her career at WCAX in Burlington, Vermont. working as a morning show producer. Keiko has also worked as a freelance writer for Bustle Digital Group, where she wrote numerous articles for magazines and online media outlets.
Keiko holds a bachelor’s degree in Communications from Centenary University, and a master’s degree in Broadcast Journalism from Boston University.
Suicide & Opioid Research Specialist
Nithya serves as our VISTA through Americorps. In this role, she will establish best practices and prevention materials for comorbid opioid use and suicidality.
Nithya recently graduated from The Ohio State University with degrees in Neuroscience and Public Health. During her time at OSU she focused on understanding social determinants of health, allowing her to pursue research in HIV treatment and intern with the refugee resettlement agency, UsTogether.