REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN for Michigan’s largest and widely respected conference directly focusing on suicide — the Kevin’s Song 8th Annual Conference on Suicide: Continuing the Conversation . . . January 25 – 27, 2024 at the St. John’s Resort located at 44045 Five Mile Rd. in Plymouth.
The 2024 Conference will once again be produced in partnership with Detroit Public Television. Presentations will feature a roster of prominent local and national speakers discussing the latest in suicide research, treatment and prevention. A variety of keynote and breakout sessions will be offered each day providing many options to learn about evidenced-based prevention programs, tools and treatments aimed at assisting at-risk individuals and communities.
Welcome Kevin’s Song Executive Director, Jennifer Fair Margraf
It is with great pleasure that, on behalf of the Board of Directors, we announce the hiring of Jennifer Fair Margraf as our Executive Director.
After a lengthy and thorough search by our dedicated Search Committee, Jennifer was selected from a field of over 35 candidates. Her years of experience in nonprofit leadership positions and her passion for the mission of Kevin’s Song made her an outstanding choice.
We welcome Jennifer and look forward to introducing her to our community of partners, supporters and friends.
Jennifer is a highly driven executive who prioritizes performance and possesses a wealth of experience in nonprofit leadership. Throughout her career, she has held various senior leadership positions within different nonprofit organizations. Known for her exceptional communication skills, Jennifer has a remarkable ability to motivate individuals and cultivate genuine relationships. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Family Life Education and a Master of Arts degree in Organizational Management from Spring Arbor University in Spring Arbor, MI.
Furthermore, she completed the Executive Education Program at Oakland University in Rochester, MI, where she obtained a Master of Business Administration. Jennifer is also a Certified Fundraising Executive through CFRE International. In addition to her professional achievements, Jennifer is a talented cellist who has showcased her skills with numerous orchestras. She resides in Rochester Hills with her husband and two teenage sons.
Thank you to all our sponsors, donors, supporters, and volunteers who made Starry, Starry Night a beautiful evening of sharing and hope. Through your generosity, we look forward to providing quality programs in support of our mission to Empower Communities to Prevent Suicide and Offer Hope and Healing To Survivors.
A special thank you to our 2023 Ambassadors, Jeff and Kristen Roberts. Thank you for sharing your story and being a light to us all.
Gail Urso, Cofounder of Kevin’s Song, named The American Association of Suicidology 2023 Loss Survivor Award Recipient
The American Association of Suicidology (AAS), the world’s largest membership-based suicide prevention organization, has announced that Gail Urso, Cofounder of Kevin’s Song, is the recipient of the 2023 Loss Survivor Award. The award was presented in April at the 56th Annual AAS Conference in Portland, Oregon.
“We received more than sixty submissions from across the world for 2023 Annual Awards and we could not be prouder of this year’s winners,” said AAS President & CEO Leeann Sherman, MPS, CAE. “Due to her extraordinary commitment to supporting other families, Gail stands out among the many courageous and generous loss survivors active in our community. We are happy to present her with this prestigious award.”
The Loss Survivor Award has been given since 1995 to acknowledge ways in which survivors of suicide transform the trauma of their loss into suicide prevention efforts and/or survivor support.
Rates of suicide continue to rise across the demographic spectrum and certainly among school-age youth. For years, suicide and mental health issues were subjects to be avoided, hidden behind a veil of stigma or fear. Now, hopefully we know differently. But in our conversations, are we really hearing what students have to say about anxiety, depression, mental health or the pain their friends and peers are feeling. What do they want from teachers, parents and the others in their lives?
As part of the national Well Beings Tour, Detroit Public TV is teaming with Kevin’s Song and other local organizations to create a virtual conversation addressing their vital, often life-saving issues. We will listen to a diverse group of students who will talk about their lives, their feelings and their concerns. And we will respond.
From a Trusted Doc to Our Nation’s Military Warfighters and First Responders Comes a Book That Touches, Changes, and Even Saves Lives
Shauna ‘Doc’ Springer is a licensed psychologist, bestselling author, and keynote speaker, and is one of the world’s leading experts on psychological trauma, military transition, suicide prevention, and close relationships. She is a Harvard graduate and a senior advisor to several prominent organizations. In WARRIOR: How to Support Those Who Protect Us — now in its second, expanded edition — Doc Springer shines new light on things that many of us thought we understood:
— Human Connection
WARRIOR offers us an intimate, truthful account of how our bravest citizens may struggle, and provides actionable insights and real solutions for mental crises. The author draws from her deep understanding of the hearts and minds of warriors to help us understand true courage and the bonds of love that keep us in the fight.
WARRIOR has broad implications for all Americans and can help us develop insights about how to heal from trauma and overcome universal human challenges. WARRIOR brings new lines of thinking and new strategies for confronting our most important and most personal challenges, including suicidal thoughts, relationship problems, and grief and loss. This is a book that develops insight about human suffering, and how the power of connection is critical for helping us achieve post-traumatic growth despite trauma and disruptive life changes.
This expanded second edition of WARRIOR is loaded with additional content to bridge the insights in the 1st edition of WARRIOR to all who suffer from trauma — whether civilian or military, and to help healers forge relationships of deep trust with those they serve. Doc Springer, through the insights she offers in this remarkable book, equips us to get up and fight. WARRIOR is a book that calls to the warrior spirit in all of us, as we emerge from decades of war and a year of global trauma.
Dr. Brian Ahmedani and Nancy Buyle, Co-Chairs of the Michigan Suicide Prevention Commission and members of the With One Voice Advisory Board updated Kevin’s Song Conference attendees on the Commission’s progress to date, including focus group findings, the timetable for presenting recommendations to the full Commission in March, and work to date by the four sub-committees: Policy… Data… Special Populations… and the Work Force.
If you’d like to follow the work of the Commission, it meets on the third Friday of every month at 10:30 AM. Or, you can contact James Bell at email@example.com.
Watch the March 24, 2021 virtual meeting:
Our Newsletter is published and emailed monthly to our growing list of sponsors, supporters and friends. If you’d like to be added to our email list, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. If we hope to achieve our vision of “a world without suicide” we need you with us.
“We Need to Talk” is a 30-minute film produced by Kevin’s Song and funded by the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan and the Klingler Family Foundation. The film documents effective suicide prevention initiatives being used in schools and communities. Profiled in this video are the Prepare-U curriculum at West Bloomfield High School, The U-Matter teen program developed by Rabbi Yarden Blumstein for Friendship Circle, the University of Michigan’s Peer-To-Peer school outreach program and The SHED, an after-school facility for youth recently opened by Dennis Liegghio, founder of Know Resolve.View Video
Conceived by Kevin’s Song and sponsored by the Children’s Foundation, this 3-part series was produced in partnership with Detroit Public Television. Hosted by prominent Michigan journalist, Cynthia Canty each 60-minute program includes interviews with mental health professionals, educators and community leaders and covers topics ranging from the impact of social media on youth to building resilience to successful intervention strategies.View Programs
“Singing Kevin’s Song” Interviews with a high school counsellor, a former collegiate athlete, a researcher, and the parents of a high school student lost to suicide reveal their personal and painful insights into dealing with the suicide epidemic. Produced by James McGovern. (28 minutes)
“Death is Not the Answer”. Award winning producer-director Keith Famie tackles the tough issues of understanding depression and mental illness. (58 minutes).
“The S Word”. The stigma that so often prevents honest discussion, and often times death, is the subject of this compelling documentary by Lisa Klein. (98 minutes)
“Life After Suicide”- Dr. Jennifer Ashton. Dr. Jennifer Ashton, ABC News’ Chief Medical Correspondent, draws from her own tragic experience to explore the aftermath of suicide and sudden loss, and, like her new book “Life After Suicide,” the podcast offers a six-part roadmap for survivors.