Jay Breneman, DSW, LSW

Developing a Comprehensive Approach to Firearm Suicide

Jay Breneman is serving as a Stoneleigh Fellow with the CeaseFirePA Education Fund. In this role, he is developing a comprehensive approach to preventing firearm suicide in Pennsylvania.

Jay has diverse professional experience in program development and strategic planning. He has taught courses on public policy, community engagement, and social work practice topics, including trauma-informed care, human development, diversity, and end-of-life issues. In addition, he has crafted policy frameworks based on community engagement processes as a sitting member of the Erie City School Board, as past Chair of the Erie County Council, and as a consultant working throughout rural and urban Western Pennsylvania. He has also published scholarly work in peer-reviewed books on trauma-informed approaches to serving student veterans, and equality issues.

Previously, Jay worked as a program manager at Mercyhurst University, Edinboro University, and LIFE Northwestern Pennsylvania, where he supported veterans and seniors. Prior to this, he served for nearly seven years in the U.S. Army including as a Senior Intelligence Analyst and Senior Information Systems Analyst. During his tours in combat, Jay witnessed the ways in which trauma and mental health concerns can increase the risk of suicide among veterans. He was named to Erie’s 4 Under 40 list by the Erie Times-News, and Erie’s 40 Under 40 list by the Erie Reader.

Jay is a Licensed Social Worker and holds a bachelor’s degree in social work from Mercyhurst University, a master’s degree in social administration from Case Western Reserve University, and a doctorate in social work from the University of Southern California.

Stoneleigh Fellow

2024 – 2027

Director of Firearm Suicide Prevention

CeaseFirePA Education Fund