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Suicide Prevention Conference 2021–Community Presentations

We are very proud of this conference… so much information and support was provided. Below are presentations we were given permission to share.


Heather Samkowiak: Understanding Trauma, It’s Impact and Beginning to Build Resilience in the Lives of Those Effected

Over the past several decades the science around trauma has grown to become widely desired with the information base being more accessible to consumers in multiple disciplines. The common message – trauma does not discriminate and the effects can be devastating to those impacted. Understanding and addressing these impacts, takes multi-disciplinary collaboration where everyone works to identify barriers, teams together to provide reasonable solutions and openly works to build resilience. This presentation will focus on identifying what trauma is, how trauma impacts the developing brains and bodies of those who experience it, and practical ways to build resilience through our interactions to improve outcomes across generations.


Understanding Trauma 〉

Anne Kramer, LMSW and Cindy Ewell Foster, Ph.D.: Community and Family Supports for Youth Experiencing Suicide Risk

While formal mental health treatment is a critical part of the suicide prevention safety net, families and communities also have an important role to play in supporting youth during a suicide crisis. This session will focus on evidence-based recommendations for parents, schools, and communities. Many of these strategies can be implemented while waiting for mental health care to begin or during care transitions when families often struggle with how to support their child. Presenters will cover: 1) How parents can support their child’s use of a safety plan 2) The importance of restricting access to lethal means 3) Behavioral activation, sleep hygiene, and other wellness strategies 4) How open parent-school communication can provide additional support 5) Ideas for harnessing extended family and other supportive adults 6) How parents and primary care providers can collaborate.


Supports for Youth 〉

Joyce Fetrow: Recovery Supports and the MANY Pathways of Recovery

Recovery from a substance use disorder is a win for the individual, family, and the entire community, and not everyone takes the same path. We’ll talk about the breadth of recovery, the various ways people sustain their recovery, along with helping individuals find their own path to mental, physical and spiritual wellness. It’s important to take into consideration a person’s mental health, values and belief system when helping find pathways that resonate with an individual. We’ll also talk about the importance of the words we use in addressing people with a substance use disorder, and how the words we use can make a difference whether a person gets help. With 23+ million people in recovery in the US, recovery is possible and there are many ways to it.


Recovery 〉

Trooper Hebner: Social Media and It’s Role with Youth Mental Health

This presentation is going to define social media terminology to provide a baseline for discussion. It will then relay differences between how children use social media and their parents. It will discuss how children use different apps, what they are seeking psychologically (fullfillment) and why this is dangerous to mental health if social media usage isn’t limited. The discussion will talk about age appropriateness, setting up contracts, and how to mirror good examples of proper social media usage.


Social Media 〉

Wendy Schultz: Veteran Suicide Prevention

Suicide is a national public health issue in America and it disproportionately affects those who served in the United States Military. Suicide is a serious national public problem that affects communities everywhere. This presentation will provide education and training on data specific to the veteran population, identify veteran populations at risk, and provide resources and guidance on what you can do to help a veteran you are worried may be in crisis. Suicide is preventable, and everyone has a role to play. Get started with information and resources that can help you send the message that every Veteran is valued and that help is available.


Veterans 〉

Dr Michael Lucido/Wendy Conway: Free your Mind

Participants will learn to free their mind of stressful thoughts, improve their mood, and stabilize their breathing to reduce the sympathetic nervous system response to stress. Learning about the benefits of mindfulness strategies and different techniques will improve coping with daily stress and better support people who are struggling with mental health issues.


Mindfulness 〉