Show Me You Care About Suicide Prevention Conference

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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Sponsored by:
Missouri Department of Mental Health
Missouri Institute of Mental Health (MIMH), University of Missouri-St. Louis

Who should attend?
All members of the general public are invited. The conference may be of special interest to mental and physical health providers, educators, military and veterans, first responders, law enforcement, criminal and juvenile justice representatives, clergy, media, survivors of suicide, and others with an interest in suicide.

Program Objectives
– Recognize risks and warning signs of suicide, especially among teens, LGBTQ, military and veterans, and people receiving services in health care settings
-Learn current evidence-based and best practice strategies for effective suicide prevention, including safety planning
-Gain knowledge and skills, especially within families, to develop and implement suicide prevention and intervention plans
-Learn how to support individuals who are affected by a suicide, ranging from first responders to family members

Venue Information
Capitol Plaza Hotel
415 West McCarty
Jefferson City, Missouri 65101
Toll-free: 800.338.8088

Local: 573.635.1234
Fax: 573.635.4565
Participants may book a room at the rate of $79 per night, plus applicable taxes.
Please refer to the Suicide Prevention Conference.

Funding for this conference was made possible in part by SM060377 from SAMHSA. The views expressed in written conference materials or publications and by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Department of Health and Human Services; nor does mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.


FREE Pre-Conference Reception & Presentations
Monday, July 14, 2014

6:00 – 6:45 p.m.
Reception, including hors d’oeuvres
sponsored by Mental Health First Aid of Missouri

6:45 – 7:30 p.m.
Taste of Mental Health First Aid
Presenter: Jermine Alberty

Jermine D. Alberty, BSB/M, the director of Mental Health First Aid Training at the Missouri Institute of Mental Health, University of Missouri-St. Louis will lead this workshop that gives participants a brief overview of Mental Health First Aid (MHFA). MHFA is a program to help the public identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders. The presentation includes information about the content of a MHFA class, including exercises, video clips and an opportunity to learn what a Mental Health First Aider can do to assist an individual experiencing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis. Mr. Alberty holds a degree as Master of Divinity as well as his bachelor degree. He has over 20 years of experience in human service-oriented positions within non-profits, churches in Kansas City and St. Louis Missouri. He has worked in the mental health field for ten years and is a statewide trainer of Cultural Competency in Mental Health Services and a National Trainer of MHFA.

7:30 – 8:30
Session 1: Congregational and Pastoral Care to the Bereaved
Presenter: Army Chaplain (Capt.) Doug Windley

This session is focused on how congregations and clergy can both understand and provide care to survivors of suicide loss. Additionally, discussion will address the many challenges faced by the bereaved to the death by suicide as well as challenges to relationships and spirituality. The presenter, Doug Windley, holds a B.S. in Business Administration as well as a M.A. in Theological Studies and M.Div. in Biblical Studies, and Clinical Pastoral Education from the Durham VA Hospital. In addition to working with Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), Doug is a Chaplain in the Army National Guard and has served in El Salvador, Kuwait, Qatar, and Afghanistan.

Session 2: Suicide Loss Sharing Group
Facilitator: Linda Fehrmann

Linda is a Licensed Professional Counselor and is employed part-time with Provident Counseling doing ASIST and QPR trainings as well as running Grief Recovery Outreach Program groups. Linda is a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist and also has a private practice focusing on grief counseling. Linda assists in facilitating a Survivors of Suicide Support group through Life Crisis Services. She is also the founder and facilitator of the P.A.L.S. (Parents Affected by the Loss of a child to Suicide) support group. Linda is a survivor of the suicide of her 23 year old son.

7:30 – 9:00 pm
“Walking Man” Documentary

After a local high school loses three students to suicide in seven weeks, Mark Norwine, a bullying and suicide prevention advocate, decides it’s time to make a change. Embarking on a two week, 200-mile walk across the state, Mark reaches out to students, advocates, and government officials to educate about mental health and help others better understand the roots of the suicide epidemic. Mark is joined by his 23-year-old son, Eric, both of whom suffer from bipolar disorder. Walking side by side, the father and son duo face the harsh truths regarding the heartland’s dark secret, while uncovering secrets about their own struggles with mental illness.


Keynote Speakers

David W. Covington, L.P.C., M.B.A. 


David Covington is a nationally-recognized innovator in behavioral health and managed care: recovery and outcomes, suicide intervention, wellness and clinical care. He is a founding member of the National Action Alliance on Suicide Prevention and has served on SAMHSA’s National Suicide Prevention Lifeline steering committee since 2005 and has been the acting chair. Mr. Covington serves on several other national boards, including the National Council for Behavioral Health, the American Association of Suicidology, the Relias Learning Behavioral Health and the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention. He is also a licensed professional counselor and has an MBA from Kennesaw State and a Master of Science from the University of Memphis.


Peter M. Gutierrez, PhD


Peter M. Gutierrez, Ph.D. received his doctoral degree from the University of Michigan. He is Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and a

Clinical/ Research Psychologist at the Denver VA Medical Center, Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center.  He has focused on suicide screening, assessment, and intervention for almost 20 years. Dr. Gutierrez is a Past-President of the American Association of Suicidology (AAS) and was the 2005 recipient of the AAS Schneidman Award for outstanding contributions in research in suicidology. Dr. Gutierrez is also co-Director, with Dr. Thomas Joiner, of the Military Suicide Research Consortium. He is an Associate Editor of the journal Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior and a consulting editor for Archives of Suicide Research.

Presentation Summaries

Keynote sessions:

8-8:50 am

Everything We Knew about Suicide was Wrong

David Covington, LPC, MBA

Is suicide really a choice? Is it possible to prevent ALL deaths, even up to the last minute? Are individuals who end their lives psychologically weaker than the rest of us? Our understanding of 8:00suicide has changed dramatically over the past decade, and the firsthand experiences of those who have been there and research data suggest…everything we knew about suicide was wrong.

 1-2 pm

Is Alcohol Use Really a Direct Risk Factor for Suicide?

Peter M. Gutierrez, PhD

Although difficult to support empirically, it appears that a number in clinical practice assume that alcohol and suicide often go hand-in-hand. One perspective is that consumption of alcohol facilitates engagement in potentially lethal self-harm by lowering one’s inhibitions and making it easier to overcome the inherent fear of death with which humans are endowed. Some also argue that alcohol’s effects on fine motor control may lead to accidental self-directed violence when people injure themselves during the process of contemplating suicide (e.g., mistakenly placing too much pressure on a gun’s trigger). Data from a total of 92 studies, representing 167,894 suicide decedents indicate that less than 30% had consumed alcohol leading up to their death. The role of alcohol use at the time of death may be less than some assume, and may skew clinical practice, and theories of suicide. The implications of these findings for suicide prevention efforts, interventions, and developing theory will be discussed.

 3:30-4:30 pm

Zero Suicide in Healthcare Settings – Not Another Life To Lose

David Covington, LPC, MBA

An international learning collaborative of innovative partners in the US, Netherlands and New Zealand is audaciously tackling an initiative that has become known as “zero suicide in healthcare.” The roots of this systems approach go back to the late 90s efforts by the US Air Force, the “Perfect Depression Care” initiative of the Henry Ford Health System started in 2001 and its remarkable outcomes, and the collaborative of plan and provider agencies in Phoenix, Arizona, that launched the “Programmatic Suicide Deterrent System” in 2009. David explains the clinical and cultural forces that have shifted our focus from “if we can save just one life, it will be worth it” to a much bolder vision and how agencies can participate in developing this emerging model.

Breakout Sessions:

9:00-10:15 am

Suicide within the Family System: Kristina R. Kersting, PhD, LPC
Families who have survived the loss of a member by suicide experience unique obstacles in overcoming the grief of that traumatic loss. This presentation will share the research about families surviving a suicidal loss including insights into how they survive a suicidal loss, information about what was helpful to the families, and how others can help to enhance these identified protective factors.

Documenting Your Decisions: Suicide Risk Assessment in Practice: Ronda Oswalt Reitz, PhD  

Decision making and documentation in clinical practice is never more difficult than in work with suicidal and/or self-harming clients. This workshop will take a bit of the struggle out of that work with the introduction of the University of Washington Risk Assessment and Management Protocol. This instrument allows the clinician to assess the client for risk in a standardized manner, while documenting decision-making along the way. Both the instrument and supporting information will be presented, and participants will have the opportunity to practice an administration. Responding to risk with intervention protocols will also be discussed. Following this training, the participant will: 1) Understand how to use the UWRAMP in clinical practice. 2) Know where to access this free instrument for his/her own use. 3) Have a beginning understanding of standard protocols that can be used in response to varying levels and types of risk presented frequently by mental health consumers.

Law Enforcement Suicide Awareness and Prevention, Part I*: David Taylor

This workshop, presented in two parts, is designed to provide 3 hours of Missouri Police Officer Standards Training (POST). Part II is offered from 10:30-11:45 am. Law Enforcement Officers are subjected to extremely stressful situations and more officers die by suicide each year than are killed by felons. The resultant psychological trauma can result in PTSD and that can lead to suicidal thoughts and attempts. The presentation introduces the audience to risk factors and warning signs of suicidal ideation and presents a simple method to be a help to someone in a suicidal crisis situation. The importance of Peer-to-Peer support is explored.


10:30-11:45 am

Safety Planning: A holistic approach to lowering the risk for suicide: Gary U. Behrman, PhD and Mark Norwine, BA, BS
Studies show that no-suicide contracts do not lower the risks for suicide and do not reduce legal liability for professionals. This workshop, focused on clinical interventions, will present a bio-psycho-social-spiritual approach to creating a safety plan with the person and family identified at risk for suicide. This includes holistic “wrap around” services to address depression and related mental health crises. There will also be discussion of research-based holistic techniques to treat depression that are emerging as a complement to drugs and talk therapy for a truly integrated approach.

Crying Wolf…Not just a Child’s Fable: Erin Poniewaz, LPC and Rick Strait, LPC
This presentation compares and contrasts the child’s fable with people who may “Cry wolf” as a means of getting their needs met. The focus is on how crucial it is to recognize that this cry may be a very serious indication that someone is struggling and perhaps, even suicidal. The presentation will provide interventions and resources to assist in supporting the professional as well as the client. This is an important topic for educators, professionals, survivors and anyone struggling with mental illness.

Law Enforcement Suicide Awareness and Prevention (Part II) – David Taylor

See Part I above for details.

2:15-3:15 pm

LGBT Individuals and SuicideLeah Crask, MS, PLPC, RASAC II

During this presentation, Ms. Crask will cover unique risk factors and areas of concern that put lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth and adults at greater risk for suicide and suicide attempts.  Participants will learn accurate definitions of LGBT, characteristics unique to the mental health of LGBT individuals, and how to promote resiliency within this population.

 Anger and Teen Suicide: Using the Grump Meter to Identify and Manage Suicidal Thoughts and Feelings – Lynn Kaufman

Lynn Kaufman, co-author of The Grump Meter; A Family Tool for Anger Control will discuss how she used this tool to identify angry and suicidal thoughts with children of all age who were admitted to KVC Hospital for aggressive behaviors to self and/ or others. The presentation will relate how the Grump Meter was used with teens who had recently attempted to end their lives to encourage discussion of the thoughts and feelings that led to suicidal ideation. Risk factors surrounding teen suicide, including teen attitudes towards life disappointments, sadness and the grief of teens who are considering teen suicide will be explored. The presentation will connect family issues to the teen desire to end their lives.

 Military Culture and Suicide – Army Chaplain Doug Windley

Doug Windley will discuss the military culture and suicide, especially with regard to how the US Army has dramatically increased its efforts to educate and prevent suicide and to reduce the stigma associated with help-seeking as well as suicide and suicidal ideations. Doug Windley graduated from Western Carolina University with a B.S. in Business Administration. He received his M.A. in Theological Studies and M.Div. in Biblical Studies from Carolina Graduate School of Theology, and Clinical Pastoral Education from the Durham VA Hospital.  In addition to working with Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), Doug is a Chaplain in the Army National Guard and has served in El Salvador, Kuwait, Qatar, and Afghanistan.

The University of Missouri, Missouri Institute of Mental Health will be responsible for this program and maintain a record of your continuing education credits earned.

The Missouri Institute of Mental Health will award up to 9.5 clock hours or 11.5 contact hours (1.2 CEUs) for this activity.

The Missouri substance Abuse Professional Credentialing Board has approved this training for up to 9.5 contact hours.

Missouri POST approved for 3 hours continuing education in Interpersonal Perspectives.
Law Enforcement Suicide Awareness and prevention Part 1 and 2 – see schedule

CEU’s based on attendance of Pre-Conference and Full Conference along with paid registration.

Show Me You Care About Suicide 2014 Agenda
Click Here to Download as PDF

Handouts are linked to the session name if they are available

8:00 – 8:50 am General Session
Everything We Knew About Suicide Was Wrong – David Covington

8:50 – 9:00 Break & Exhibitor Showcase

9:00 – 10:15 am Breakout Session #1
A. Suicide Within the Family System – Kristina Kersting, PhD
B. Documenting Your Decisions: Suicide Risk Assessment in Practice – Ronda Oswalt Reitz, PhD
C. Law Enforcement Suicide Awareness and Prevention (Part 1)* – David Taylor

10:15 – 10:30 Break & Exhibitor Showcase

10:30 – 11:45 am Breakout Session #2
D. Safety Planning: A Holistic Approach to Lowering the Risk for Suicide – Gary Behrman & Mark Norwine
E. Crying Wolf…Not Just a Child’s Fable – Erin Poniewaz & Rick Strait
F. Law Enforcement Suicide Awareness and Prevention (Part 2)* – David Taylor

11:45 – 1:00 pm Lunch and Award Ceremony – Presented by Laine Young-Walker, MD

1:00 – 2:00 pm General Session
Is Alcohol Use Really a Direct Risk Factor for Suicide? – Peter Gutierrez, PhD

2:00 – 2:15 Break & Exhibitor Showcase

2:15 – 3:15 pm Breakout Session #3
G. LGBT Individuals and Suicide – Leah Crask
H. Anger and Teen Suicide: Using the Grump Meter to Identify and Manage Suicidal Thoughts and Feelings – Lynn Kaufman
I. Military Culture and Suicide – Army Chaplain (Capt.) Doug Windley

3:15 – 3:30 pm Refreshment Break & Exhibitor Showcase

3:30 – 4:30 pm General Session
General Session: Zero Suicide in Healthcare Settings: Not Another Life To Lose – David Covington


Special Needs
If you have special needs, we ask that you notify us at 314.516.8419 or as soon as possible. We will make reasonable efforts to accommodate your needs.

Refund Policy
If you are unable to attend, we ask that you notify us as soon as possible. Cancellations received in writing five business days prior to the date of the program will be refunded, less a $25.00 processing fee. You may send a substitute, but we ask that you notify us in writing of this change. If you do not attend or send a substitute, you or your employer will be billed the full registration fee.


The pre-conference on Monday evening is provided free of charge but you are asked to register through the registration link provided. The fee for attending the full day conference on Tuesday, July 15 is $49. Following this registration link will take you to our external payment site where you can register for the pre-conference and purchase a seat at the conference via credit card or purchase order.



If you have paid a registration fee and space is available, you may reserve a table. Although non-profits may accept donations, exhibitors are discouraged from selling products and/or services during the conference. Organizations are encouraged to exhibit and share program information that will enhance local suicide prevention efforts. Those interested in sending a representative to the conference will be provided:

Exhibit space for the entire conference, with an 8 foot table provided
Exposure for your program, service or cause (including mention in the conference program)
Opportunity to network with other exhibitors and conference audience

Exhibitor set up:

Capital Plaza Hotel
Jefferson City, MO

Set up:
Tuesday, July 15 any time prior to 7:30 am.

Click Here to apply online

Click Here to download a printable version

Categories: Live |

CE Approval

Missouri Institute of Mental Health
Professional Training
4633 World Parkway Circle • Saint Louis, MO • 63134
(314) 516-8419 •