MHDD Webinar: Preventing Suicide through Empowerment of Youth with Disabilities

September 8, 2020

MHDD logo

Thursday, September 17, 2020  2:00-3:00 PM ET

Webinar Registration

According to recent reports from the CDC, suicide rates among our nation’s youth have increased 56% since 2007. Further reports shows that youth with disabilities are four times more likely to think about suicide than their nondisabled peers. In an effort to address this at-risk but underserved population, MHDD has developed training that will give young people with disabilities the tools to navigate the ableism and stigma they experience. MHDD's current work through the Center for Dignity in Healthcare for People with Disabilities, focused on the medical discrimination that people with disabilities often face when seeking mental healthcare in times of crisis, will also be discussed.


  • Kara Ayers, PhD, is the Associate Director and an Assistant Professor at the University of Cincinnati Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCCEDD). She is the Director of the newly formed Center for Dignity in Healthcare for People with Disabilities and also a co-founder of the Disabled Parenting Project. Dr. Ayers’ interests include disability identity/culture, bioethics, community inclusion, and the use of media to teach, empower, and reduce stigma.
  • Leah Smith, MPA, is currently the Project Coordinator for the Center for Dignity in Healthcare for People with Disabilities at the University of Cincinnati's Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities. Prior to this, Leah managed the #LiveOn campaign, which is an anti-suicide campaign aimed specifically towards people with disabilities. Leah has also served two terms as the Director of Public Relations for Little People of America (LPA), spearheading many efforts to destigmatize dwarfism in media representation and empower Little People in their everyday lives.

This webinar is hosted by the Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities National Training Center (MHDD-NTC). Learn more at The MHDD-NTC is funded by the Administration for Community Living.

Last modified on 09/08/2020

Back to Top