Meet Our Training Corps

Facilitating Suicide Bereavement Support Groups for Adults

Franklin Cook, M.A.

Franklin Cook is owner of Unified Community Solutions, a private consultancy in Boston, Mass., specializing in suicide grief support and education as well as in project development, management, and leadership. He served from 2010 to 2012 as Director of Survivor and Bereavement Programs for SAVE (Suicide Awareness Voices of Education). Franklin began his career in suicide grief support in 1999 as a volunteer with Black Hills Area Survivors of Suicide and co-facilitated the group for 10 years. He also served as a member of the Pennington County (S.D.) LOSS Team. He helped found the Front Porch Coalition in 2001, a grassroots suicide prevention task force in Rapid City, S.D., and served for four years as FPC's first executive director.

During his time in South Dakota, Franklin co-authored the S.D. Strategy for Suicide Prevention and continued facilitating its implementation through 2010, including working on project management and training for two Garrett Lee Smith projects there. For many years, he was a member of the Survivor Council of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) and continues as a trainer with AFSP's Suicide Bereavement Support Group Facilitator Training. Franklin was a member of the board of directors of the Suicide Prevention Action Network (SPAN USA) for six years, prior to its merger with AFSP in 2009. He is also a longtime member of the Survivor Division of the American Association of Suicidology (AAS). He edited and published the online news magazineSuicide Prevention News and Comment from 2008 to 2010 and now blogs at www.personalgriefcoach.info. Franklin is a survivor of his father's suicide in 1978.

John R. Jordan, Ph.D., F.T.

John (Jack) Jordan is a licensed psychologist who maintains an active private practice in Wellesley, MA, and Pawtucket, RI. He has specialized in work with survivors of suicide and other losses for more than 30 years and is a Fellow in Thanatology from the Association for Death Education and Counseling (ADEC).  He has run support groups for bereaved parents, young widows & widowers, and suicide survivors, with the latter running for over 13 years.  He was also the Founder and the Director until 2007 of the Family Loss Project, a research and clinical practice providing services for bereaved families.  Jack is the Clinical Consultant for Grief Support Services of the Samaritans in Boston, Professional Advisor to the Survivor Council of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), and a former Board member of AFSP’s former New England Chapter and ADEC. In 2006 Jack was invited to become a member of the International Workgroup on Death, Dying, and Bereavement, and was the recipient of the ADEC 2006 Research Recognition Award. He has been involved in several research projects on the needs of people grieving after a suicide, and in 2004 received research funding from AFSP. 

Jack has provided training nationally and internationally for therapists, healthcare professionals, and clergy throughPESIHealthcare/CMI Education, AFSP, and as an independent speaker. He has also helped to organize and lead many healing workshops for suicide survivors. Jack has published clinical and research articles in the areas of bereavement after suicide, support group models, the integration of research and practice in thanatology, and loss in family and larger social systems. He has published in professional journals such asOmega, Death Studies, Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, Psychiatric Annals, Crisis, Grief Matters,andFamily Process. He is the co-author, with Bob Baugher, ofAfter Suicide Loss: Coping with Your Grief, a book on suicide bereavement for surviving friends and family. He is the co-editor, with John McIntosh, of the new bookGrief After Suicide: Coping with the Consequences and Caring for the Survivors(Routledge), a professional book on the impact of suicide and interventions to help suicide survivors. 

Doreen Marshall, Ph.D.

Doreen Schultz Marshall is an Assistant Professor in the Counseling Department of Argosy University in Atlanta, Georgia.  Dr. Marshall previously served as the Associate Director of the Link’s National Resource Center for Suicide Prevention and Aftercare.  A member of AFSP’s Survivor Council, she has conducted research and clinical work in survivor issues, has worked as a consultant in suicide prevention and aftercare since 2000, and is herself the survivor of her fiancé’s suicide.  She holds a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Georgia State University and an MA in Counseling from The College of New Jersey.

Andy McNiel, M.A., L.P.C. 

Andy McNiel serves as Executive Director of the National Alliance for Grieving Children, a national network organization that facilitates communication between hundreds of children's bereavement centers nationwide and conducts professional workshops across the country. Andy has provided organizational leadership for over twenty years, most recently serving as Executive Director of The Amelia Center, a grief counseling center in Birmingham Alabama. He has also served as Director of Grief Counseling Services for Hospice of Martin & St. Lucie in Stuart, Florida.  

A highly-experienced bereavement support group facilitator, Andy has facilitated numerous groups for bereaved parents, widows and widowers, children, and teenagers.  A Licensed Counselor, he has also provided individual bereavement counseling to children, teenagers, and adults. Andy has also lectured extensively on support group facilitation, grief and bereavement, and building resiliency. Andy holds a Bachelor of Arts in Religion from Palm Beach Atlantic College and Master of Arts in Counseling from The University of Alabama at Birmingham.  He is a Licensed Counselor with the State of Alabama.

Wendy M. Resnick, R.N., M.S., C.S.

Wendy Resnick is a Clinical Nurse Specialist in Psychiatric Nursing. For ten years, she worked as a psychiatric nurse in inpatient psychiatry and chemical dependency centers. In 1986, she co-founded The Depression and Related Affective Disorders Association (DRADA), a non-profit organization focused on education and support for persons affected by mood disorders and their families. She was Editor of DRADA’s newsletter, published quarterly and distributed nationwide. She developed a network of mutual-help support groups across the mid-Atlantic area and a one-to-one peer support program serving individuals nationwide. 

Wendy created a nationally renowned group leader training program, and for the last twenty years has taught thousands of individuals to facilitate effective support groups. She is the author ofThe Manual for Mood Disorder Support Groups. She provides group leader training and consultation to leaders of all types of groups, and provides ongoing training to The Compassionate Friends, an international organization to help bereaved family members. She works with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention as a trainer and consultant to support group leaders for survivors of suicide support groups. Wendy was recently appointed as an adjunct faculty member at The Catholic University of America.

Edmond Yomtoob, Psy.D.

Edmond Yomtoob earned his Doctorate in Clinical Psychology at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology in 2000 and is also the survivor of the suicide of his mother, Farideh Yomtoob, over a decade ago. Dr. Yomtoob facilitates bimonthly survivor support group meetings for the GLBTQ community in Chicago, and is working to develop culturally-sensitive support groups for other underrepresented communities.  He is a member of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s national Survivor Council and also serves as President of AFSP’s Greater Chicago/ILLINOIS Chapter, as well as chairing that Chapter’s survivor initiatives committee.  Dr. Yomtoob’s private practice specializes in grief, loss, men’s issues, GLBTQ issues, anxiety, and depression.

Facilitating Suicide Bereavement Support Groups for Children/Teens    

Pamela Gabbay, M.A., F.T. 

Pamela Gabbay, M.A., FT, is the Program Director of The Mourning Star Center for Grieving Children in Palm Desert, California where she works extensively with grieving children, teens and their families. She is also the Camp Director for Camp Erin - Palm Springs, a bereavement camp for children and teens.  Pamela currently collaborates with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Coachella Valley Chapter, in their Teen Suicide Prevention Campaign and International Survivors of Suicide Day.

Pamela is on the Board of Directors of the National Alliance for Grieving Children, recently serving as Vice President.  Formerly, Pamela was President of the Southern California Chapter of the Association for Death Education and Counseling. She is also a contributing author at Open to Hope. Pamela was awarded the Fellow in Thanatology by the Association for Death Education and Counseling.

Andy McNiel, M.A., L.P.C. 

Andy McNiel serves as Executive Director of the National Alliance for Grieving Children, a national network organization that facilitates communication between hundreds of children's bereavement centers nationwide and conducts professional workshops across the country. Andy has provided organizational leadership for over twenty years, most recently serving as Executive Director of The Amelia Center, a grief counseling center in Birmingham Alabama. He has also served as Director of Grief Counseling Services for Hospice of Martin & St. Lucie in Stuart, Florida.  

A highly-experienced bereavement support group facilitator, Andy has facilitated numerous groups for bereaved parents, widows and widowers, children, and teenagers.  A Licensed Counselor, he has also provided individual bereavement counseling to children, teenagers, and adults. Andy has also lectured extensively on support group facilitation, grief and bereavement, and building resiliency. Andy holds a Bachelor of Arts in Religion from Palm Beach Atlantic College and Master of Arts in Counseling from The University of Alabama at Birmingham. He is a Licensed Counselor with the State of Alabama.

Margo Requarth, M.A., M.F.T

Margo Requarth, M.A., MFT was just under four years old when she lost her mother to suicide.  Today, she is the Child/Teen Bereavement Coordinator at Sutter Hospice in Santa Rosa, California, where she leads grief support groups, trains volunteer facilitators, and provides crisis intervention to schools and community groups facing bereavement situations.  Her thirty-five-year career in the mental health field also includes facilitating groups for adult survivors of suicide and private practice as a licensed marriage and family therapist.  She served for 5 years on the board of directors for the Northern California Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

Margo is the author of After a Parent’s Suicide: Helping Children Heal.  She is a frequent national presenter on the subject of childhood bereavement, including for the American Association of Suicidology and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.  She received her undergraduate degree in Sociology from the University of California at Santa Barbara and her M.A. in Psychology from Sonoma State University.

Donna L. Schuurman, Ed.D.

Dr.Donna Schuurman is an internationally recognized authority on grief and bereaved children, teens, and families, and the author of Never the Same: Coming to Terms with the Death of a Parent (St. Martin's Press, 2003). She is Executive Director of The Dougy Center for Grieving Children & Families in Portland,Oregon. Founded in 1982, it is the first peer-support program in the United States for children, teens, and their parents or adult caregivers who have experienced the death of a family member. The Dougy Center's pioneering model, replicated in over 170 sites throughout the United States and into Australia, England, Jamaica, Japan, Germany, and Rwanda, has been the subject of numerous articles, including those in Newsweek, People, and U.S. News & World Report, and was featured on ABC's “20/20” and “Good Morning, America.”

She served for eight years on the Board of Directors of The Association for Death Education & Counseling (ADEC), including as President in 2001/2002. In 2003 she received ADEC’s Annual Service Award. Donna is also a member of the invitation-only International Work Group on Death Dying and Bereavement (IWG). She also served as Treasurer on the Board of Directors of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention-NW Chapter. Donna earned her master's degree in communications from Wheaton Graduate School, and her doctorate in education from Northern Illinois University's Department of Psychology, Counseling, and Special Education.

Joan Schweizer Hoff, M.A.

Joan Schweizer Hoff has been the Director of Program Services for The Dougy Center,NationalCenterfor Grieving Children and Families, since 1992. She has over 30 years of experience in working with children and families and has served on a variety of local and national boards. She is a member of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s national Survivor Council and is Co-Chair for the 2011 American Association of Suicidology/American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Healing After Suicide Conference. She is a member of NOVA, National Office for Victims Assistance. She conducts training nationally and internationally on issues related to program development; the impact of suicide, trauma and violent death on children, teens and their families; crisis response; and children and teen grief.