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Waxahachie, TX

May 4, 2018 | Alexandra Earl

Lacey Todd
Lacey Todd

Lacey Todd, Social Work Instructor at Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) , recently had the opportunity to present to addictions counselors about how to properly counsel clients who are experiencing suicidal thoughts. Todd is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and Board Approved Supervisor through the state of Texas.

Todd presented to employees of BayMark , the largest opioid treatment provider in North America. Todd presented specifically on how to address clients who report suicidal thoughts or make passive statements about suicide. The presentation was provided live through a webinar to LCDC (licensed chemical dependency counselors) and dispersed afterward to around 700 of their on-staff counselors.

“There was a great response to the presentation from the clinicians,” says Todd. “Most importantly to me, there were many people reaching out asking for extra training in the area of suicide and mental health in order to appropriately meet the needs of their clients.”

According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention , suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States of America. Each year, approximately 45,000 Americans die by suicide. Despite these overwhelming statistics, many individuals, including mental health professionals, are hesitant to address this sensitive topic with individuals who may be experiencing suicidal thoughts.

“I think one of the main reasons clinicians are so afraid to work with suicidal clients is the risk that is involved,” says Todd. “There are many false beliefs attached to working with suicidal clients. Some of them are… “if I mention suicide they will do it, they really won’t do it if they are talking to me, If I ask about the plan, it will make them follow through. And the big one…. “What if I say the wrong thing?” These are all false beliefs. Asking questions about suicide does not make it worse. In fact, not asking questions does not allow you to respond in an educated way and creates a larger risk.”

This presentation was the first time she has ever addressed the topic with such a large scale of people. With 10 years of personal interaction with suicidal clients, Todd was fully equipped to address the leading issue.

In her decade of experience, she has stepped into positions with a wide range of responsibilities within the field. She was once an Administrator of Assessment Services for a private inpatient psychiatric hospital that worked with clients who had suicidal thoughts through specialty programs including a Faith-Based focused treatment, Women’s only programs, and other specialty programs that assisted active duty soldiers struggling with PTSD and addictions. She also managed a grant-funded non-profit residential treatment center for low income and uninsured clients suffering from depression, suicidal thoughts, and addiction. In addition to teaching, Todd works part-time for a Mobile Crisis Outreach Team that assesses individuals for risk of harm within jails, hospitals, homes, and other community settings.  Todd is also a graduate of SAGU (2005).

To learn about SAGU’s Social Work program, click here .

Southwestern Assemblies of God University is a private, Christian university located 30 minutes south of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex in Waxahachie, Texas. The university was established in 1927, and now offers more than 70 associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees on campus or online. More information is available at

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