Kate Spade. Anthony Bourdain. These celebrities seemed to have it all – fame, wealth and a lifestyle glamorized in pop culture.

Unfortunately, not everything is at it seems – which makes their apparent suicides even more shocking.

Recent statistics show that every 12.95 minutes in the United States someone dies from suicide. It’s estimated that every year, nearly 1 million Americans attempt suicide, and more than 40,000 die annually by taking their own life. It’s the 10th leading cause of death in the United States.

Those are truly sobering statistics – and why it’s important that everyone be aware of the warning signs that someone they know and love may be having some trouble, and they need help. For media working related stories on suicide awareness and prevention, Nova Southeastern University (NSU) is home to experts on this subject.


Douglas Flemons, Ph.D.
Professor, Family Therapy
NSU’s College of Psychology

Co-Director of the NSU Office of Suicide and Violence Prevention
Department of Family Therapy


Douglas Flemons, Ph.D., graduated from Simon Fraser University in 1981 with a bachelor’s in general studies. He returned to school in 1984 to study family therapy at the University of British Columbia, where he earned his master’s degree in counseling psychology. He then left to earn a doctorate at the Texas Tech University. Today, Flemons is professor of family therapy, clinical professor of family medicine, and co-director of the NSU Office of Suicide and Violence Prevention. Author of books on writing (Writing Between the Lines), hypnosis and therapy (Of One Mind), psychotherapy and Eastern philosophy (Completing Distinctions), and suicide assessment (Relational Suicide Assessment, co-authored with Dr. Len Gralnik), he is also co-editor, with his wife and colleague, Dr. Shelley Green, of a book on brief sex therapy (Quickies). Flemons maintains a private practice in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and presents widely on hypnosis, psychotherapy, sexuality, suicide, writing, and other topics.



Scott Poland, Ed.D.,
Professor, NSU’s College of Psychology
Co-Director of the NSU Office of Suicide and Violence Prevention


Scott Poland, Ed.D., is a nationally recognized expert on school crisis, youth violence, suicide intervention, self-injury, school safety, threat assessment, parenting and the delivery of psychological services in schools. He is a founding member of the National Emergency Assistance Team for the National Association of School Psychologists and serves as the Prevention Director for the American Association of Suicidology. He has led multiple national crisis teams following numerous school shootings and suicides and has assisted schools and communities after terrorism acts in New York, Washington, D.C. and Oklahoma. Poland served as the team leader of the crisis response team sent to Jefferson County Public Schools during the aftermath of the Columbine High School shootings.

Poland is a Past President of the National Association of School Psychologists and was the Director of Psychological Services (1982-2005) for a large Texas school district that received numerous state and national awards for its exemplary psychological services. He has received many individual honors including being named a finalist for the national school psychologist of the year, named the most outstanding school psychologist in Texas twice and named most outstanding psychologist in Texas. He also received the Houston Wage Peace Award.

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