Katie Ellison, MA, has twenty years of professional experience in youth corrections, adult & juvenile probation, K-12 public education and Suicide Prevention Program implementation in the states of Utah, Wyoming, South Dakota and Missouri. While working in public education she oversaw or was a part of the implementation of several prevention and intervention programs, including; developing and Wyoming’s first and only primary medical and behavioral health school-based clinic, ATOD use prevention, bullying prevention, truancy prevention and suicide prevention, and held leadership positions with the community’s prevention coalition advisory board
The primary focus of her work while in public education was in school and community suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention. Her school district was rocked by 15 suicide deaths of current and former students, under the age of 20, over a six year span and lead the district’s efforts to prevent additional suicide deaths through implementing comprehensive policy and practices.
She has earned professional training and certifications as a Question, Persuade and Refer (QPR) Facilitator Applied Suicide Intervention and Skills Trainer (ASIST), Connect Postvention trainer for Communities and Schools, Signs of Suicide (SOS), HOPE Squads, School Suicide Prevention Specialist certification and in conducting Psychological Autopsies from AAS. She oversaw and personally trained over 1800 school district employees and community members in QPR or ASIST in just four years. Ms. Ellison also led the team of educators and school counselors who rewrote the school district’s suicide prevention, intervention, postvention and management policy during the 2016-2017 school year. She was appointed to serve on Wyoming’s State Superintendent of Instruction’s committee to select and approve trainings for educators under the Jason Flatt Act from 2014-2017; and was widely regarded as a valuable resource for suicide prevention, intervention and management in the state of Wyoming.
In June 2018, Ms. Ellison resumed full-time work in suicide prevention at UMSL-MIMH, working as the Project Director for the Safer Homes Collaborative – a joint initiative between the gun owning and suicide prevention communities to promote lethal means reduction to prevent suicide. Ms. Ellison recently completed training to present Counseling and Conversations on Access to Lethal Means (CALM) in the health and general communities. Ms. Ellison is the developer of the Suicide Lifeguard training at MIMH, a training for professionals on suicide prevention, intervention, assessment and management training for licensure in the state of Missouri. She is a member of the St. Louis Regional Suicide Prevention Coalition. She has also presented at several conferences and speaking engagements; including the 2018 Kansas City Regional Suicide Prevention Conference, the 2018 St. Louis Suicide Prevention Summit, the 2018 St. Louis Regional Suicide Prevention Conference, the 2019 Harvey A. Friedman Center for Aging lecture at Washington University and at several local regional school suicide prevention events.
BS – Family & Human Development (Utah State Univ., 1998)
MA – Psychology (Univ. of the Rockies, 2013)
MA – Professional School Counseling (Bradley University, 2020)