Reece, also known as the Southern Fried Asian (because of her experience growing up as a Korean-American in Arkansas), is no stranger to the desperate need for suicide prevention, having suffered multiple significant traumas in her early childhood and later fighting major depression throughout her formative and adult years.
She is a powerfully engaging story teller who conveys passion by drawing from her own tragic and rewarding experiences. Reece deftly blends humor, education, and enthralling stories in a unique and memorable manner to compel any audience to become advocates and leaders for social change. She uses hard learned lessons to empower audiences to overcome life’s obstacles.
She is a staunch mental health activist who is not afraid to tackle a difficult issue head on. She holds multiple roles as well as volunteer positions that allow her to champion grassroots efforts geared toward improving mental health awareness and access.
Reece strives to raise awareness of the issues of suicide, interpersonal violence, mental health, substance use disorders, diversity/inclusion, and interpersonal communication. She acts as a social entrepreneur connecting, educating, and empowering stakeholders on their unique roles and assets when dealing with social issues within their communities.
Susie [수지] is the Director of Lived Experience Initiatives for the Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC). As Director, Reece leads the development of multi-organizational inclusion practices, acts as a liaison and authority for national lived experience experts, and builds national guidance to center lived experience across any field. Reece also bolsters Lived Experience (LE) engagement by elevating experts from diverse experiential backgrounds and perspectives.
Reece was one of the inaugural Lived Experience Advisory Council Members for the SPRC. SPRC’s Lived Experience Advisory Committee is a national-level group of leaders and advocates personally impacted by suicide. The committee provides expertise and insights from their lived experience to help ensure that suicide prevention efforts effectively meet the needs of people affected by suicide. The Suicide Prevention Resource Center boasts a unique Lived Experience Advisory Committee where advisors co-develop, support, and lead national mental health and suicide-centered initiatives. This bold approach moves LE inclusion beyond trauma-limited storytelling and tokenizing practices to elevating the voices of experience in meaningful, empowering, and long-lasting ways.
Reece began her prevention career as a grassroots organizer in Arkansas. She worked in substance use prevention for several years before becoming the first and only Violence Prevention specialist for CHI St. Vincent- Arkansas. Reece has championed and led multiple county and state-level activism efforts revolving around suicide prevention, mental health, social justice, and systemic improvement.
Reece serves as a member on several boards throughout Arkansas and nationally. Reece’s highest-priority volunteer role is as the committee lead for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s Corrections Implementation project, which falls under the AFSP Project 2025 strategy. She is one of two AFSP Project 2025 Champions for Arkansas.
Susie is currently working on:
SPRC: DIRECTOR OF LIVED EXPERIENCE INITIATIVES (NATIONAL)
SPRC’s Lived Experience Advisory Committee is a diverse group of suicide prevention leaders and advocates who have been personally impacted by suicide. The committee provides expertise and insights from their lived experience to help ensure SPRC’s suicide prevention efforts effectively meet the needs of people at risk of suicide and their families. The Suicide Prevention Resource Center boasts a unique Lived Experience Advisory Committee where advisors co-develop, advise, and guide national mental health and suicide-centered initiatives moving beyond transactional and tokenization to elevating voices of experience in meaningful and long-lasting ways.
As Director, Susie leads the development of internal cross-organizational inclusion practices, acts as a liaison for national lived experience leaders, and is developing national guidance to demonstrate how to center lived experience in any field.
Find out more here: https://www.sprc.org/advisory-committee
PROJECT 2025 CHAMPION (NATIONAL- VOLUNTEER)
Project 2025 is the collaborative effort to implement and scale suicide prevention strategies nationwide across four targeted areas: Emergency Rooms, Healthcare Systems, Firearms, and Corrections Systems.
Susie is one of two state-level champions who is informing national efforts and bringing national strategies back to state initiatives.
Find out more here: https://project2025.afsp.org/
PROJECT 2025: CORRECTIONS CHAIR (ARKANSAS-VOLUNTEER)
By screening for and identifying 50% of at-risk individuals at key points within the corrections system, such as at times of entry and exit, and delivering comprehensive care that addresses both physical and mental health, we can expect an estimated 1,100 lives saved through 2025.
Susie is the chair and lead community partner focused on identify best practices for implementing suicide prevention within correctional systems. Her team has been awarded funding to pilot a project that will develop an implementation guide that can be replicated and inform other communities who wish to lower suicides and raise suicide education within these systems.