A SAMHSA Leader Shares How to Reach Black Youth and Adults for Suicide Prevention
Brandon J. Johnson
Public Health Advisor, SAMHSA | Creator, The Black Mental Wellness Lounge
Brandon J. Johnson, M.H.S., MCHES is a tireless advocate for positive mental health and suicide prevention services for youth and adults across the country and within the local community of Baltimore, MD. He is a subject matter expert in suicide prevention, with a particular focus on suicide prevention planning and suicide prevention strategies for Black youth. Currently, he serves as a Public Health Advisor at the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) in the Suicide Prevention Branch at the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS). In this role, Brandon serves as a Government Project Officer (GPO) for various suicide prevention grant programs that target youth, adults, and health care systems. He is the Program Lead of the Garrett Lee Smith State/Tribal Youth Suicide Prevention grant program, which funds states, tribes, and territories to create suicide prevention programs for youth and young adults ages 10-24. In 2020, he served as SAMHSA’s representative on the HHS Report to Congress on African American Youth Suicide.
Brandon earned a Bachelor of Science Degree from Morgan State University in 2008 and a Master of Health Science Degree from Johns Hopkins University in 2012. In 2020, Brandon earned the Master Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES) credential from the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing. Brandon is the creator of “The Black Mental Wellness Lounge,” a YouTube channel dedicated to discussing Black mental health and healing. The Black Mental Wellness Lounge is YouTube page committed to the promotion of Black mental health tips, education, and resources for the community. The YouTube page has been featured in USA Today, Complex Magazine, and Johns Hopkins Magazine. In 2021, Brandon received the Outstanding Recent Graduate Award from Johns Hopkins Alumni Association and the President’s Award from the American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA). Previously, Brandon served as the Director of Suicide and Violence Prevention for the State of Maryland where he worked in communities throughout the state to help develop strategies to end violence in various forms, such as community violence and human trafficking.
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