NCSP Board Members

M. Amaris Knight, MEd, Chair & Public Relations Committee Chair

Amaris currently works as an Assistant Research Analyst at the Nevada Institute for Children's Research & Policy at UNLV where she is pursuing a PhD in Public Health. As an attempt survivor, she focuses her research on universal upstream strategies for youth suicide prevention with a mission to promote mental health awareness, end stigma, and encourage opportunities for all youth to learn resilience, courage, and strength in the face of adversity. Amaris has been a member of the Nevada Coalition for Suicide Prevention since 2015, was chosen to be the first chairperson of the Public Relations Committee in November 2016 and voted in as the Coalition Chair in July 2017. As a member of the evaluation team for this project at the Nevada Institute for Children’s Research & Policy, Amaris will not provide oversight of project implementation activities. All project supervisory roles and decisions will be deferred to a quorum vote of the remaining NCSP Board members.CONTACT

Heather Shoop, Immediate Past Chair

Heather is an administrator and certified drug and alcohol counselor at WestCare Nevada. She has more than 10 years of experience in behavioral healthcare with children, adolescent and adult clients suffering from substance dependence, mental illness, homelessness and trauma. Heather has been a member of the Nevada Coalition for Suicide Prevention and an ASIST trainer since June 2012 and served as the coalition chair from November 2012 until July 2017. - CONTACT

Kathleen Dickinson, Vice-Chair

Kathleen Dickinson, vice-chair of the Coalition, came to Nevada from the Washington, D.C. area in October, 1986 and immediately became involved with numerous civic and progressive organizations, as well as served as President of the Las Vegas chapter of the League of Women Voters. She has been the sole proprietor of Dynamic Impressions, a handwriting analysis and life coaching business since 1988. She moved to the Las Vegas area in November 1999. From 2003 to 2009 she was a Substance Abuse and Alcohol Prevention Specialist and worked with likeminded non-profit organizations, schools and grassroots organizations with a focus on preventing underage drinking, DUI fatalities and substance abuse. Currently she is the Law Related Education Coordinator for the State Bar of Nevada. She believes in all levels and meanings of healthy environments. She has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from George Mason University, and has completed the American University Campaign Management Institute Program, as well as the Washington Representative Program at George Washington University. - CONTACT

Janett Massolo, Secretary

Janett has been a member of the Nevada Coalition for Suicide Prevention since 2009 and in July 2010 took on the position of treasurer. Due to a conflict with work had to step down as treasurer and has been the Washoe County Rep since October 2011. She was voted in as secretary in November 2012. She has worked in suicide prevention, intervention and postvention for 22 years since the death of her daughter, Shannon, in June of 1996 by suicide at the age of 15. She was a volunteer on the suicide hotline for 21 years and the head trainer for the Crisis Call Center until April 2016 and a facilitator of the Survivors of Suicide Loss Support Group in Reno since 2001. She feels that by staying involved and passionate about helping people impacted by suicide, her daughter lives on and has a voice about the issue. In the area of suicide intervention, Janett became an ASIST trainer in July of 2009, a safeTALK trainer in November 2012 and a Youth Mental health First Aid trainer in June 2013. - CONTACT

Pamela Olsen, Treasurer

Pamela is currently working as a staff member at the Crisis Call Center, where she does volunteer work on the crisis lines as well. She is a survivor of suicide after her son Abel completed suicide in 2004 at the age of 28. She has been involved in many suicide prevention programs since that time, including three overnight “Out of the Darkness” 20 mile walks to raise suicide awareness, and multiple community walks in several states. She spends time with her children and grandchildren in Washington, California and Utah. Pamela feels that the Northern Nevada Coalition for Suicide Prevention is the most strong and stable suicide prevention program she has found, and she is proud to be part of this caring and compassionate group. Even though being a member of a suicide survivor’s group was never anything she could have imagined she would be part of, she has made some lifelong friends through working for a common cause of suicide awareness alongside other survivors. - CONTACT

Michael Bernstein, M.Ed., Clark County Representative

Mike worked for the Southern Nevada Health District Office of Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion from 1989 - 2016 , As a Health Educator, Mike coordinated the District’s Injury Prevention programs. He branched into other injury prevention areas and worked with several organizations such as Clark County SAFE KIDS and the SNHD Emergency Medical Services staff. Since retiring in 2016 Mike has started doing private consulting and remains an active member of the NCSP Board. His work’s focus is to reduce the high number of suicides in Nevada and Clark County, and the comprehensive Senior Fall Prevention Program in Clark County.  - CONTACT

Jacqueline Ragin, PhD, Clark County Representative

Jacqueline Ragin works for the Clark County School District (CCSD) as a program evaluator. Prior to working at CCSD she worked at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) in the Interdisciplinary Center for Aging Research and Education (ICARE). Jacqueline has been very involved with the Las Vegas community since moving here in 2006. She is a current board member of the Nevada Coalition for Suicide Prevention (NCSP) and has also been a volunteer with the Rape Crisis Center and the Alzheimer's Association for a number of years. She has worked with the Nevada Lifespan Respite Care Coalition and the Nevada Mental Health Coalition. She continues to work part time on weekends conducting mental health evaluations. She holds two masters degrees in Public Health (MPH) and Mental Health Counseling (M.S.) and also has a PhD in Sociology. Jacqueline has always had an interest in mental health issues, especially suicide. Jacqui has been an active NCSP member for eleven years and hopes to assist the coalition in reducing suicide rates of youth and older adults in Nevada. - CONTACT

Lynette Vega – Rural/Frontier Representative (North)

Lynette is currently a teacher in the Elko County School District where she has taught for 18 years. She advises the schools about suicide prevention and awareness programs. Lynette is the facilitator for Survivors of Suicide Loss of Northeastern Nevada. She has been a member of the coalition since 2010 and was voted in on the board in 2017 as a rural representative for the coalition. - CONTACT

Pam Bruehl – Rural/Frontier Representative (South)

Pam currently works at Mesquite Behavioral Health Center as a Mental Health Technician. Pam has been a member of the Nevada Coalition for Suicide Prevention since 2011 and is the Mesquite Walk Coordinator. Pam has been a board member since 2017.  - CONTACT

Bea Aikens – Clark County Rep

Bea is the Founder of Lanie's Hope, a non-profit organization dedicated to "humanizing and illuminating the disease of compulsive gambling." Named after Bea's sister, Lanie, who took her own life due to a gambling addiction in 2008, Bea’s work focuses extensively on the impact of gambling addiction on individuals, families and the community. After individuals began posting suicide notes on her website Bea knew she needed to get involved and learn about prevention. She became involved with the NCSP in 2014 by first taking the SafeTALK and ASIST Training and later served as the Keynote Speaker for the "Walk in Memory/Walk in Hope" in conjunction with the release of an NCSP/NV Council on Problem Gambling publication on Problem Gambling and Suicide. Bea joined the Board as a community representative in 2016 and, in addition to reaching the addiction and recovery community, hopes to help the coalition meet its long-term goals to expand initiatives serving the faith-based community.
Bea serves on the Board of the Nevada Council on Problem Gambling, is certified by the International Gambling Counselor Certification Board as spiritual outreach specialist on gambling addiction and is a certified NBHA Peer Recovery and Support Specialist. - CONTACT

Gene Dobrzynski – Washoe County Representative

Gene works for the Crisis Call Center as the Assistant Call Center Director. He has been a resident of Nevada since 2011. Prior to Nevada and before retiring, he was the Operations Director with the Alaska Office of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. He has a Bachelor of Science from Metropolitan State University and Masters Work from the University of Colorado in Denver, school of Environment Design and Architecture. He has always been involved in community issues. After retirement and when moving to Nevada, he was a volunteer on the suicide hotline with the Crisis Call Center where he became heavily involved in suicide prevention. Having served in the military and being a parent of two daughters, he has a real concern about the high number of military and youth suicides. He has been a member of the coalition since 2014, a board member since 2017 and has recently completed training to become an ASIST trainer. - CONTACT

Camille Vega – Washoe County Rep

Camille Sun Vega is the Suicide Prevention Coordinator at TMCC since 2014 under the Garrett Lee Smith Campus Suicide Prevention grant. During that time, she has worked to create numerous partnerships in the community to help further the efforts of many statewide programs such as the Nevada Office of Suicide Prevention and the Nevada Coalition Suicide Prevention. Camille became a Certified SafeTALK trainer earlier this year and a newly appointed board member for the Nevada Coalition for Suicide Prevention. - CONTACT

Misty Allen – Office of Suicide Prevention Coordination – OSP North Rep

Misty Vaughan Allen became the Suicide Prevention Coordinator of Nevada in December 2005. She works together with local advisory groups and community coalitions, providing oversight and leadership to launch this newly established program. As the Suicide Prevention Coordinator, she facilitated the development of Nevada’s first Suicide Prevention Plan consistent with the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention. Misty graduated with her Master’s Degree in counseling from the University of Nevada, Reno. She began her journey to prevent suicide as the coordinator for the Suicide Prevention Hotline of Nevada, a program of the Crisis Call Center in Reno. Misty advocates for suicide prevention to help create change for Nevadans. She was born in Reno, NV, and is the proud mother of Luke and Madelynne who assist her with suicide prevention events across the state. - CONTACT

Rick Egan – OSP South Rep

Rick is the Suicide Prevention Training and Outreach Facilitator for the Office of Suicide Prevention in Southern Nevada. He has more than 26 years of United States Air Force experience in suicide prevention and intervention. Rick has been a certified ASIST trainer since early 2013 and a safeTALK trainer since late 2013. - CONTACT