School of Health and Human Sciences

Sonyia Richardson, Ph.D., M.S.W., L.C.S.

CWHW Fall 2022 Lecture

Walking on Fire: Suicide and Racially Minoritized Adolescent Girls

October 20, 2022 from 4:00 – 6:00 pm, location TBD.

Youth engaging in suicide-related behaviors (ideation, planning, and attempts) are at a higher risk for future death by suicide. Alarmingly, the rates of suicide-related behaviors are increasing among adolescent girls, particularly in racially minoritized populations. Yet, the attention to these issues is not amplified as the suicide rates for girls are not commensurate to boys.

In this lecture, we will explore suicide trends among adolescent girls with an emphasis on racially minoritized populations. Further, we will explore contemporary suicide research approaches and practice interventions for adolescent girls through an equity implementation science lens. Ultimately, we hope to heighten awareness about suicide and adolescent girl populations, prioritize their overall wellbeing, and explore contemporary strategies for building their resiliency.

Fall 2022 Scholarly Workshop

Hosted on Friday, October 21st from 9:30 – 11:30 am in the Nursing and Instructional Building, Room 510

Click on this link for more information on this event: Fall 2022 Scholarly Workshop.

Researchers argue that a scarcity of specialized approaches to meet the specific and collective needs of racially minoritized populations, has created a need for ground zero research agendas (Sheftall et al., 2021).

Fall 2022 Women’s Networking Lunch

Click on this link for more information on this event: Fall 2022 Women’s Networking Lunch.

Women faculty and students are invited to network over lunch, hear about Dr. Sonyia Richardson’s successes and challenges, pearls of wisdom, followed by a Q&A and discussion – providing an opportunity for students and young faculty to hear from those who are in positions they aspire to be.


Dr. Sonyia Richardson is an Assistant Professor in the School of Social Work, Director of the Race and Social Equity Research Academy, and the Founder and Director of the Mental Health Research and Practice Lab at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. As a clinical behavioral researcher, her agenda focuses on developing and testing novel interventions aimed at reducing suicide among Black youth. Further, she aims to identify and remove barriers of mental health treatment for racially minoritized populations and eliminating resulting disparities through mixed methods research. As a respected scholar in the field of social work, she has published two coedited books, produced numerous publications, and received over one million dollars in grant funding.

In addition to her work within academia, Dr. Richardson is engaged with local, state, and national initiatives. As a respected scholar in the field of social work, she was appointed to the Andrea Harris

  • Social
  • Economic
  • Environmental
  • and Health Equity Task Force

by North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper in 2020.

Additionally, she received the North Carolina National Association of Social Workers Award for the 2021 Social Worker of the Year for her leadership and advocacy efforts. Locally, Dr. Richardson is the founder and owner of Another Level Counseling and Consultation, in Charlotte, North Carolina.

For over 15 years, the agency has been instrumental in providing counseling services, facilitating corporate and community wellness workshops, and providing consultation services internationally to corporations. These entrepreneurial skills support her ability to create successful collaborative research teams.

Dr. Richardson is currently a Researcher Resiliency Training (RRT) Fellow (National Institutes of Mental Health Funded Training Program) at Washington University in St. Louis and receives mentoring and didactic instruction concerning child and adolescent behavioral health.

Recently, Dr. Richardson was selected by the National Institutes of Health to participate in the 2022 Summer Institute on Randomized Behavioral Clinical Trials.

Dr. Richardson earned a Doctor of Philosophy in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, a Master of Social Work from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of North Carolina Charlotte.