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Stetson alumni to lead Suicide Prevention Seminar on Saturday, March 16

Darcy Haag Granello and her husband, Paul Granello, are both professors of Counselor Education at The Ohio State University, but they are “Hatters to the core,” with five Stetson degrees between them.

The couple married June 4, 1988, while they were graduate students at Stetson. Pope Duncan, who had retired as president of Stetson University in 1987, was also a Baptist minister, and he officiated at the Granellos’ wedding ceremony in Allen Chapel.

Darcy is a Triple Hatter, earning a B.A. in Political Science in 1987, a M.A. in Political Science in 1990, and M.S. in Mental Health Counseling in 1993 from Stetson. She earned her Ph.D. in Counselor Education from Ohio University.  

portrait together
Darcy and Paul Granello

Paul is a Double Hatter, earning his B.A. in Psychology in 1987 and a M.S. in Mental Health Counseling in 1990 from Stetson. He also earned his Ph.D. in Counselor Education from Ohio University.

The couple’s lives changed, Darcy says in a video on her website, go.osu.edu/dgranello, when “in 1999 we lost my husband’s brother to suicide. When that happened, we did what a lot of people do — we became activists around suicide. We travel all over the world presenting our suicide program.”

The couple will return to Stetson on Saturday, March 16, for a seminar entitled, “Suicide Prevention Assessment & Intervention — Practical Strategies for Mental Health Professionals,” presented by the Stetson Department of Counselor Education.

The seminar is from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Stetson Room in the CUB, and is free for Stetson Counseling and Psychology students, faculty and alumni. To register, email counseloreducation@stetson.edu or call ext. 8992.

For other mental health professionals, the cost is $30 for the morning session or $55 for the full day. They can visit here for more information and to register.

Darcy, Ph.D., is now professor and program Chair of Counselor Education at The Ohio State University, and project director of the OSU Suicide Prevention Program – the largest campus suicide prevention program in the U.S. And Paul, Ph.D., is associate professor of Counselor Education at The Ohio State University.

“There’s so much stigma around suicide and mental health,” Darcy said this week. “It’s something we are constantly trying to bring out into the open. We’re constantly trying to encourage people to start this life-saving conversation, to tell people it’s OK to not be okay. It’s OK to reach out and to seek help and to check in on each other. We just had a day here on (the OSU) campus called ‘Are You OK Day.’ It’s just encouraging people to ask each other ‘Are you OK?’

“We lose 45,000 people each year in this country to suicide. We actually lose more than that but that’s what our national statistics say. We lose a million people off of the planet every year to suicide. We have about 1.2 million suicide attempts every year in this country. Over 5,000 children attempt suicide every day in this country. When you hear some of these numbers, it’s truly jaw-dropping. The fact that people are so surprised by these numbers means we are not having this conversation. It’s a national and international health crisis.”

The Granellos’ seminar has two focuses, Darcy said: “We train people who are not mental health practitioners — teachers and police officers and doctors and all sorts of people — just how to have this general conversation. And we train mental health practitioners how to do advanced clinical work in suicide assessment, prevention and intervention.

“We also work a lot with school systems to try to help them to set up school-based suicide prevention models. There’s so much work that has to be done but we have to start somewhere and start having these conversations.”

-Rick de Yampert