2013 Featured Survivors and Speakers
Christine Moutier, M.D., became AFSP’s new Chief Medical Officer in September of 2013, and most recently served as an Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Assistant Dean for Student Affairs and Medical Education at the University of California, San Diego. Dr. Moutier received her degree in medicine from UCSD School of Medicine, where she also completed her residency in psychiatry. She has previously served as the Medical Director of the Inpatient Psychiatric Unit at the VA Medical Center in San Diego, Associate Director of the UCSD Outpatient Psychiatry Services Clinic, and has attended on the Neuropsychiatric and Behavioral Medicine Unit at UCSD Medical Center in Hillcrest. She has authored numerous articles and book chapters for publications such as The Journal of the American Medical Association, Academic Medicine,The American Journal of Psychiatry, The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, and Academic Psychiatry. Dr. Moutier is the co-founder of the AFSP San Diego Chapter, and has helped organize International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day events.
Edmond Yomtoob, Psy.D, earned his Doctorate in Clinical Psychology at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology in 2000 and is also the survivor of his mother, Farideh Yomtoob’s, suicide. Farideh came to the United States with her husband as a Jewish-Iranian immigrant. She sacrificed her vocation as an artist and dedicated her life to be a stay at home mom. She kept her family stitched together with the same skill she used to create award-winning Purim costumes. However, years of emotional toil from family issues and depression overcame her, and she took her own life twenty years ago. Edmond has served as President of AFSP’s Illinois Chapter and has run a survivor of suicide loss group for several years. He is a member of the AFSP’s National Survivor Council and support group training corps. He is currently working on creating an online survivors of suicide loss chat room for the LGBT Community.
Theresa Castillo's brother, Christopher, died in 2004 at the age of 18. He had just graduated from high school in Southern California and had been accepted to several universities in California to study biology. He planned to attend school close to home to be near his family and to care for his mother as she recuperated from a recent surgery. He was at a crossroads in his life, but was an intelligent, loving young man. Theresa has walked in AFSP’s Out of the Darkness walk, is trained in facilitating bereavement support groups, and is an advocate in her local community for suicide prevention. She currently works as the manager of a veterinary practice in California.
Al Estock lost his partner of 22 years, Warren, in November of 2008. Warren was 65 years old when he passed away. For 20 years, Warren was a professional horticulturist with his own tropical plant and greenhouse business. At the time of his death he had been a successful real estate broker for an additional 20 years. Warren was a kind and funny man, who died following an untreated, acute depressive episode. Al is a retired veterinarian, and he has arranged two memorial scholarships in Warren’s memory. He participates in Chicago’s Out of the Darkness Community Walks every year and and is a suicide prevention and mental health advocate.
Elisia Triggs is a homemaker in Kentucky. Her son Jay died by suicide in September of 2009 when he was 19 years old. Jay attended the University of Charleston, and at the time of his death was transferring to Ohio University. He excelled in track and football and was well-loved by all his friends and family. Elisia has volunteered with AFSP’s Cincinnati, Ohio Chapter and works with her son’s high school to educate students about suicide prevention.
In May of 2009, Geraldine Unger lost her husband Mark, 45, to suicide. Though Mark was eventually overcome by bipolar disorder and alcoholism, he was a compassionate, gentle and generous man. He was a salesman at the time of his death and a wonderful father to two small children. Geraldine is a stay-at-home mom in Massachusetts who founded and facilitates a suicide bereavement support group for other survivors of suicide loss.
Wayne Gagnon lost his 22 year-old son, Joseph, in July of 2002. At the time Joe was living and working in Salt Lake City and had enrolled at the University of Utah to complete his bachelor’s degree. Joe was a wonderful and loving person, a great son and brother, and a loyal and caring friend. Wayne is the owner of a manufacturing firm in Massachusetts. He has been a committee member for the Out of the Darkness Walk in Portsmouth MA since 2003, and has organized a number of International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day events.
Joanne Harpel became AFSP's first-ever Director of Survivor Initiatives in 2002 after having served on AFSP's National Board of Directors, and most recently was AFSP's Senior Director for Postvention. Joanne is a former attorney with experience in non-profit administration, and is responsible for the full range of AFSP’s survivor programs, including International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day, the Survivor Outreach Program, the Survivor e-Network, and the Support Group Facilitator Training Program. She is a survivor of the 1993 suicide of her brother Stephen, who was a graduate of Yale University and Harvard Law School.
Robert Gebbia has been AFSP's Executive Director since 1997. Prior to joining AFSP, he was with the United Way, and also worked as a Senior Health Planner for the New York City Department of Health. He holds a B.A. in Sociology from Hofstra University and an M.A. in Sociology from the New School for Social Research.