97: How to Talk About Suicide, Raise Awareness, and End the Stigma with Maria Winters


Generally, we consider the holidays to be a very happy time, but it can be very triggering for many people. There is a huge influx of people seeking help for mental health issues this time of year. 

That’s why we are talking with Maria Winters about suicide in this episode of Leading Lady. It’s not an easy or comfortable conversation, but talking about it and raising awareness is something that we all need to do to end the stigma and bring more help to the people who so desperately need it. 

Maria Winters, LCPC, is a licensed clinical professional counselor in the state of Maryland with more than 18 years of experience providing support to adults and adolescents. With a passion for teaching others and opening conversations about mental health, she strives to make emotional wellness something that everyone understands and appreciates. 

Maria achieved her bachelor’s degree in psychology at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, before completing her master’s in counseling psychology at Argosy University in Washington, DC, in 2006. She continued her training through an engagement coaching program approved through the International Coach Federation (ICF) at Anne Arundel Community College in Arnold, Maryland. She also holds the distinction of being an approved supervisor in clinical professional counseling by the Maryland Board of Professional Counselors and Therapists.

Maria has experience providing mental and emotional care in a variety of settings. She has worked as a therapist for outpatient clinics, foster care systems, juvenile detention homes, and private practice officers. She has dedicated the past 9 years to conducting emergency psychological evaluations to patients of all ages in an emergency department, and she provides group therapy to adults and adolescents at a psychiatric day hospital. 

When she’s not providing counseling or therapy herself, she’s helping others grow in their understanding of the practice by teaching psychology as an adjunct professor at Anne Arundel Community College. You might even recognize Maria from her frequent appearances as an expert guest on the TV station Telemundo 44 or from her columns published by the Capital Gazette. 

Maria was born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela, Maria came to the United States in 2000. She spends most of her free time with her husband, two children, and their Bernedoodle, Ringo. She’s fully bilingual in English and Spanish.

In Today’s Episode We Discuss: 

  • The mental health stigma
  • The surpising statistics related to suicide
  • The importance of coping skills and recognizing your emotions
  • Why emotional pain can be lethal
  • The importance of having conversation with your kids about emotional wellbeing
  • How to start the conversation about mental health
  • Teaching your kids that it’s okay to ask for help

Suicide is a topic we have to be aware of and okay talking about because there is a mental health crisis occurring. It is important that we stop moving forward in fear and we start moving forward in knowledge. 

This is such a vulnerable and important episode, and I hope it will help lessen the stigma, teach you how to recognize the warning signs of suicide and start the conversation to support the emotional wellbeing of those around you. 

If you or someone you know is struggling with their mental health, please don’t delay. You can call the hotline 1-800-273-TALK or visit the American Foundation For Suicide Prevention.

Resources Mentioned: 

Visit Maria’s website

Follow Maria on Instagram

Visit the American Foundation For Suicide Prevention website

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How We Can Connect: 

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