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Alumna honored for suicide prevention work in East Tennessee

Campus News | August 04, 2016

(August 4, 2016) – Dr. Cynthia Lynn of New Market is this year's East Tennessee Regional Suicide Prevention Award recipient. The honor is given by the Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network (TSPN) headquartered in Nashville.

Lynn, a 1989 Carson-Newman University alumna who serves as adjunct professor of Nursing at the school, is recognized for her role in establishing the grief support group ComPASS (Communicating the Pain as Suicide Survivors).

"I am very excited to receive this recognition because it provides an excellent platform to begin the discussion about suicide prevention in our community," said Lynn. "This recognition would not be possible without the ongoing support of my colleagues, Jane Joyce, Dr. Greg Casalenuovo, and Dr. Bill Blevins. I would like to use this as a way to celebrate our group accomplishments."

Deriving from a deep interest in suicide, complicated grief and suicide prevention garnered during her doctoral studies, Lynn established ComPASS in 2011 with the sponsorship of Jefferson Memorial Hospital. Through a collaborative effort that began the following year with Blevins and Carson-Newman's William Blevins Institute, the program has experienced continued growth.

Along with co-facilitators Casalenuvo, a Carson-Newman associate professor of Nursing, and Joyce, with the William Blevins Institute, Lynn has seen the ComPASS group grow from serving Jefferson County to also hosting meetings at First Baptist Church Morristown. Future planning includes expanding to begin grief support in Sevier County as well.

Lynn's work with TSPN also includes conducting suicide prevention training for area businesses, schools and non-profits. She is also active in TSPN's East Regional Advisory Board promoting the organization's initiatives across the state.

In September, Lynn will be recognized during the annual observance of Suicide Prevention Awareness Month in Nashville and be recognized by the Office of the Governor. She is also a finalist for the Madge and Dr. Ken Tullis Regional Suicide Prevention Award, which will be announced during the ceremony.