Leah Harris, M.A., is a mother, advocate, and storyteller with 15 years of experience writing, speaking, and training on trauma, addiction, mental health, suicide, resilience, and pathways to healing and wellness. Leah is drawn to this work based on her own history and healing journey.
Leah is especially passionate about the integration of trauma-informed values and approaches into all aspects of health care, human services, education, and community programs. Leah provides training and technical assistance with SAMHSA's National Center for Trauma Informed Care (NCTIC), where she is a certified Trauma-Informed Peer Support trainer, and is a trauma-informed care specialist/consumer affairs coordinator with the National Association for State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD).
As a suicide attempt survivor, she advocates for the meaningful inclusion of the perspectives of attempt survivors in all aspects of suicide prevention, intervention, postvention, and research. She has been invited to present on suicide prevention for many organizations, including the National Council for Behavioral Health, the NAMI STAR Center, and the Suicide Prevention Resource Center. She has also given keynote presentations on trauma-informed suicide prevention and crisis response at the National Dialogues on Behavioral Health and several statewide suicide prevention conferences, including Arizona and Nevada.She was a member of the Suicide Attempt Survivor Task force of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, and was a contributor to the landmark document The Way Forward: Pathways to Hope, Recovery, and Wellness with Insights from Lived Experience. She is a faculty member with the Zero Suicide Academy, a training program for senior leaders of health and behavioral health care organizations that seeks to dramatically reduce suicides among patients in their care.
Leah worked with the Mental Health Association of San Francisco (MHASP) to adapt and deliver “Sound out for Life," a training designed to help empower suicide attempt survivors to share publicly about their experiences of suicide and healing.
Leah is also an advisor to and is featured in the upcoming documentary about suicide, The S Word.
She also has a deep interest in working with people living with HIV (PLHIV) and provider agencies on understanding the intersectional impacts of trauma and promoting numerous pathways to healing. She has provided training and consultation with DC CARE and Advocates for Human Potential.
Leah is also a storyteller, and has performed her true stories live with La Ti Do, Story District and Better Said than Done. Her first solo play, "Aliens, Nazis, and Angels: A Guide to Surviving Intergenerational Trauma," will debut at the 2016 Capital Fringe Festival in Washington, DC.
She lives in the Washington, DC area.