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FORTitude for Parents is an online discussion series where we invite mental health professionals and wellness experts to provide parents with resources and guidance on how to better understand, support and improve their relationship with their teens. 


Every month we select a topic relevant to our current environment and each discussion includes Q/A. Questions can be submitted in advance through the registration process or real time during the program. Mental health experts and teens are also welcome to attend these events.


August FORTitude for Parents

August 19, 2021 at 7 PM

ADHD, Self-Harm and Suicide;

A Discussion of How These Behaviors Are Related

Do teens diagnosed with ADHD have higher suicide rates? Is self-injurious behavior, such as cutting, a bellwether for later suicide attempts? Join this discussion to learn about the science that links impulsivity with suicide and what to watch out for in your child.


Anna Garner

Anna Garner is currently a school psychology Ph.D. student at Michigan State University, and her research interests include early identification of and interventions for ADHD and co-occurring difficulties such as difficulty regulating emotions, self-harm, and depression. 

Prior to beginning her doctoral work at Michigan State, Anna worked in several leading ADHD labs as an undergraduate at the University of Wyoming, as a Master’s student at the University of Northern Iowa, and most recently, as the Clinic Coordinator at the University of Maryland SUCCEEDS ADHD Clinic, and has co-authored several scientific publications on ADHD. She conducted a Master’s thesis on ADHD and non-suicidal self-injury in the college transition, and has presented her work on ADHD and NSSI at several national conferences. 


Clinically, Anna has worked with individuals, as well as parents and children, with ADHD and related disorders from ages 3 to 25 as a graduate student intern, as a lead counselor at the Summer Treatment Program at Florida International University, and as a coach in the SUCCEEDS Clinic.


Suzanne Leon

In my practice as an ADHD Coach, I incorporate life coaching skills with a background knowledge and understanding of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. The difference between life coaching and ADHD coaching is the amount of structure, support and accountability that is provided. Clients partner with me to set goals, design strategies for success, and execute action steps. Through the coaching relationship, clients gain greater awareness of their unique gifts and talents and add tools to their “toolbox” of strategies and supports. Staying accountable is important and I check in with my clients between meetings to ensure they are progressing.

How does coaching differ from other services, such as therapy and consulting? People come to a coach when they feel stuck in a situation and wish to move forward. The operating belief behind coaching is that the client has the answers to whatever is holding them back. I require the client to set the agenda and develop goals to work toward. I also listen carefully and help to empower my clients to develop skills and strategies to move forward.

I’ve known since I was a child that I wanted to be a teacher. My parents bought me a blackboard and some chalk and I haven’t looked back. Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to work with some really amazing students who have also been my teachers. Some of my favorite students have been those who struggled with ADD and ADHD. They were bright, funny, and creative kids who challenged their teachers and parents to expand their toolkits, so to speak, to create new ways of reaching and teaching them. Now, I use my experience as a teacher and a coach to offer a pathway for my clients to achieve optimal success in an environment that offers education, support, accountability, and acceptance.

July FORTitude for Parents

Missed July's FORTitude for Parents? Replay it here: