Program Schedule

Presenters and time slots are subject to change

  • Thursday, November 9, 2017


    Goals and Objectives
    The goal of the Kevin’s Song Conference on Suicide is to provide a local forum for those who share an interest in the causes and means of prevention of suicide, including physicians, psychologists, nurses, social workers, clinicians, educators, public policy makers, clergy, crisis center workers, students and veterans, as well as those who have lost a loved one to suicide or had their own suicidal experience to meet. It will be an opportunity to share information about suicide and the repercussions of suicide as well as how to identify and assess those at risk and learn about the means of prevention.

    The following objectives will be featured in program on Thursday:

    • Learn the latest research on suicide, means of prevention and treatment modalities from the leading national and local experts.
    • Suicide is the leading cause of death for youth. Our presenters will discuss the risk to young people and the importance of being prepared to address the suicide crisis in schools.

    Plenary Sessions

    • Thomas Joiner PhD – Latest Research and Information on Suicide & Prevention
    • Sagar Parikh, MD, FRCPC, Maria Bastida, MS, APRN, BC and
    • Cynthia Ewell Foster, PhD, Bi-Polar Institute, U of M Depression Center
    • UM Bi-Polar Panel – Bi-Polar Research, Assessment And Treatment
    • Srijan Sen MD PhD – Suicide Risk Among Medical Students

    Concurrent Breakouts

    • Doree Ann Espiritu MD – HFHS Zero Suicide
    • Kristin Francis MD – Eating Disorders and Suicide Risk
    • Lawrence Wentworth PhD & Justin Kinard LMSW – Internal Family Systems
    • Christine Hilton LMSW – Dialectic Behavioral Therapy
    • Diane Culik MD and Stephen Fischer PhD – Holistic Mental Health
    • Amelia Lehto – Role of Crisis Centers and Hotlines
    • Jenny Landon – Post Partum Depression and Risk of Suicide


    Plenary Session

    • Cheryl King PhD – TED TALK: The Challenge to Recognize Suicide Risk Among Teenage Males

    Concurrent Breakout

    • Barb Smith – Safe Talk Part 1
    • Polly Gipson PhD – Anti Bullying
    • Nicole Law PsyD – The Hidden Risks of LGBT Youth
    • School Screening/ASSESSMENT Panel – Pat Smith, Stephanie Lange
    • Sara Emmerson LLP – Effect of Trauma on Youth
    • GIGI Colombini LMSW

    Concurrent Breakout

    • Barb Smith – Safe Talk Part 2
    • Jim Hassett MA, LLPC, CT/RTC and Peter Driscoll – Choice Theory and Reality Therapy
    • Joe Kort PhD – Understanding Males Who Have Been Sexually Abused and Why They Attempt Suicide
    • Panel – Schools Respond to Suicide – Dennis Legghio, Karen Marshall, Gigi Colombini LMSW
    • Jean Nemenzik LMSW – Mental Health First Aid
    • Alison Payne – Helping Middle School Students Understand Mental Illness

    Concurrent Breakout

    • Barb Smith – Safe Talk Part 3
    • Nancy Buyle and Cynthia Cook – Postvention Is Good Prevention
    • Kristin Ervin – Mindfulness
    • Amelia Lehto – SOCIAL MEDIA and Media Guidelines
    • Jenny Landon – Mental Health Stigma
    • Alison Payne – Communicating with Parents About Warning Signs


    Plenary Session

    • Dinner reception followed by the screening of documentary film, The S-Word. Panel discussion following the film with Director, Lisa Klein.
  • Friday, November 10, 2017


    Goals and Objectives
    The goal of the Kevin’s Song Conference on Suicide is to spotlight two communities of people that are at significant risk of self harm.  The rate of suicide among military veterans and active military personnel is staggering.  Likewise, suicide in the workplace presents a challenge to business leaders.  Employees don’t leave their mental health problems at home.   It is imperative to share information about suicide and the repercussions of suicide as well as how to identify and assess those at risk and learn about the means of prevention.

    The following objectives will be featured in program on Friday:

    • Hear from national advocates for better mental health care for veterans and active military. The problems faced by veterans must be discussed and the means of treatment and prevention is critical to reducing suicide among those who have served this nation.
    • Suicide often touches the workplace. It does not discriminate between construction workers or professionals.  How can business owners and leaders identify employees at risk?  Learn what some companies are doing to help their employees cope with mental illness and reduce the risk of self harm and its devastating effects.
    • First responders, including emergency medical services (EMS) personnel and firefighters, can assist individuals in a suicidal crisis, as well as those who may be affected by a suicide death or attempt. First response agencies also have a role to play in assisting their own staff, who may experience increased risk of suicide as a result of exposure to traumatic emergencies.

    Plenary Sessions

    • Major General (ret) Mark Graham and Carol Graham – Suicide and Veterans
    • Wes O’Donnell – TED TALK: Veteran Suicide: The False Narrative of the Number “22”
    • Panel on Veteran Issues including Means Restriction featuring representative of the Defense Suicide Prevention Office Session and NRA


    • Barb Smith – First Responders Workshop

    Concurrent Breakout

    • Frederick Hogan II MA, LPC – EMDR – Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing
    • Andrea Smith MSW – QPR – Question, Persuade, Refer
    • Jolanthe Bassett – Guardian Angels Service Dogs
    • Wes O’Donnell – Veteran Suicide: The False Narrative of the Number “22”
    • Defense Suicide Prevention Office Session


    Plenary Sessions

    • Sally Spencer Thomas “Workplace Suicide
    • Assessment and Prevention Workplace Panel – Jodi Frey, Healthy Men Michigan and Karen Marshall

    Concurrent Breakout

    • Sally Spencer Thomas – You Can’t Fix Your Mental Health with Duct Tape
    • Professional Panel
    • Nicole Law PsyD– Creating a Safe Working Environment for LBGTQ
    • Kerri Ploug – Herman Miller Wellness Program and Be Nice
    • Amelia Lehto – Social Media and Workplace


    JUDY COLLINS Benefit Concert
    (Concert not included in Conference Registration – Requires separate ticket)

  • Saturday, November 11, 2017



    Goals and Objectives
    The focus of the Saturday program is for survivors of suicide loss, support group facilitators, mental health professionals, and others interested in sharing and understanding the loss and grief following a suicide. The goal is to provide loss survivors with information and resources to help with their individual journeys through loss, grief and healing and to assist mental health professionals and other caregivers in understanding the needs of loss survivors.

    How do we survive the death of a loved one by suicide and understand the grieving process? Hear survivors of suicide loss sharing their experience and feelings. What can we do to cope with and survive a suicide attempt? How do we resolve the question “Why?” 

    Plenary Sessions

    • Judy Collins – Sanity and Grace: A Journey of Suicide, Survival, and Strength
    • Survivor Panel – Michelle Cornett PhD (moderator)
    • Judith Burdick MA, LLP – Presentation of her film, Transforming Loss and Discussion
    • LUNCH – Deena Baxter – Understanding and Surviving the Loss

    Concurrent Breakout

    • Loss Survivor Small Group Session
    • Lived Experience of Suicide Support Group

    Moderated discussions for loss and attempt survivors. Attempt survivors and those with suicide ideation will also have opportunity to meet in private breakout room with a licensed mental health professional. Talking with others who have similar experiences can be an important part of healing after a suicide attempt or for those living with suicidal thoughts.

    • Judith Burdick MA, LLP – Grief and Recovery After Loss
    • Funeral Director – Bereavement and Dealing with Suicide
    • Sabrina Must – Healing Through Writing
    • Clergy Panel – Religion, Faith and Suicide

    Closing Ceremony – Judith Sheldon, First Circle