Media Advisory: Indianapolis, IN Event 6/26 "Experts Discuss Suicide, Mental Health & Healing"

Media Advisory
For Immediate Release

Contact: Brooke Beloso: 317-940-8629
Carolyn Meagher 317-989-3847

Experts Discuss Suicide, Mental Health, and Healing:
What Helps and Should Pregnant Women Be Treated Differently?

When: Wednesday, June 26, 2013 6:00-8:00 pm (light refreshments provided)

Where: Butler University, Pharmacy Building 156 (For directions please see:; Parking free after 5:00 p.m.) If you are unable to travel to Indianapolis, you can watch remotely online by selecting the “ONLINE Participant (via web)” option on the online ticketing page.

Event registration:

In December 2010, Bei Bei Shuai, a woman who attempted suicide while 33 weeks pregnant, was rescued and underwent early cesarean surgery in a desperate effort to save her baby. Her baby was prematurely born alive but succumbed after four days of intensive care. As a result of her suicide attempt while pregnant, Bei Bei Shuai was arrested. She now faces a trial - unprecedented in US history - for murder of a viable fetus and attempted feticide. As of today, more than 43,000 people have expressed opposition to this prosecution through a petition. Now the experts will weigh in. The forum will address the psychology of suicide, myths and prejudices about suicide and mental health issues, and how people can best respond to the issue of suicide.

Speakers will address such questions as:
Why do people attempt suicide? Are pregnant women different from other people who attempt suicide? What are the life events most associated with suicide attempts?
How can those who attempt suicide be helped?
How can suicide be prevented?
How are family members and the community affected by those who have attempted or who have actually committed suicide?
Is it ever helpful to address suicide through the criminal justice system?
What laws and policies will help prevent suicide and advance understanding of mental health issues? What resources are available to individuals and families in Indiana?

Expert Speakers include:
Laura Miller, MD, MPH, Director, Women’s Mental Health Fellowship, Brigham and Women’s HealthCare, Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, Attending Physician, Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Dr. Miller is an expert in perinatal and postpartum psychiatry whose work focuses on integrating scientific research concerning women’s mental health with medical practice, education, and policy.

Brownsyne Tucker Edmonds, MD, MS, MPH, FACOG, Assistant Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Indiana University School of Medicine. Dr. Tucker Edmonds’ research interests are in patient-provider communication and decision- making for value-laden and preference-sensitive decisions. Her work is aimed at promoting and facilitating shared decision-making in high-risk obstetrical settings.

Debra J. Dial, JD, Director of Legal and Client Advocacy, Managed Health Services Ombudsman. Ms. Dial has provided services to and advocated for individuals with disabilities for over three decades. She was a therapist for 10 years, completed law school while working as a therapist, and continues serving individuals with disabilities through legal advocacy and representation. As the Legal Director and Managed Health Services Ombudsman, she has expanded MHAI’s advocacy program to include the provision of legal services to individuals affected by mental illness, addictions, or other disabilities.

Co-sponsors (list in formation) include: The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists; Backline; Demia (Butler University’s student chapter of the Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance); Gender, Women's, and Sexuality Studies at Butler University; Indiana Religious Coalition for Reproductive Justice (IRCRC); LRSJ (Law Students for Reproductive Justice) Bloomington; Mental Health America of Indiana; NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) Indiana; National Perinatal Association (NPA); National Advocates for Pregnant Women (NAPW)