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Staff Member

Ellen Harwell, PhD

Ellen Harwell


Project Associate

Ellen Harwell (she/her), PhD, is a project associate with the National Actional Alliance for Suicide Prevention (Action Alliance), housed at the Education Development Center. In this role, she oversees the Action Alliance's Transforming Health Systems work, with a focus on implementing the Best Practices in Care Transitions for Individuals with Suicide Risk: From Inpatient Care to Outpatient Care in both inpatient and outpatient health care settings. In addition, she provides staffing support to the Faith Communities Task Force and the Action Alliance’s Faith.Hope.Life. campaign

Dr. Harwell began her career in the juvenile justice field, eventually working for almost all of the child serving state agencies in Oklahoma, including: the Department of Rehabilitation Services, Office of Juvenile Affairs, Department of Human Services, and Oklahoma Commission on Children and Youth. She also worked at East Central University teaching courses primarily in child and adolescent development, adolescent psychopathology, abnormal psychology, and multicultural counseling/consultation. While working in academia, she also began her in the field of suicide prevention, writing and implementing a facility-specific suicide prevention training curriculum for a medium security juvenile facility. Most recently, she chaired the Detaining Youth Task Force in Oklahoma, recommending several policy and legislative changes. This work resulted in two bills being signed into law in 2021, changing the way juveniles in Oklahoma are detained prior to adjudication.

In addition to her role with the Action Alliance, Dr. Harwell is also working toward obtaining her Certified Mental Performance Consultant (CMPC) credential through the Association for Applied Sport Psychology. She is currently working with middle school gymnasts and the Oklahoma University School of Musical Theatre on performance enhancement. She received her undergraduate degree in psychology and master's degree in psychological services from East Central University and her PhD in human development and family science from Oklahoma State University. 

National Action Alliance
for Suicide Prevention

300 Fifth Avenue, Suite 2010
Waltham, MA 02451