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2021 Virtual Conference on Suicide, January 21-23. Equity and Equality in Suicide Prevention” presented by The Dolores and Paul Lavins Foundation, will bring together leading researchers, clinicians and suicide prevention advocates from Michigan and beyond to address suicide prevention through a social justice lens and to challenge existing bias and belief systems. The entire two-and-one-half day, online event, being produced by Detroit Public Television will be available both live and streamed.

The School Summit “Best Practices in Youth Suicide Awareness and Preventionpresented by the CHILDREN’S FOUNDATION, will run concurrently with the first day of the Conference (Thursday, January 21) and focus on the latest ideas and initiatives for dealing with suicide prevention in schools. Educators and administrators will share their first-hand experiences and provide insights into effective programming. Continuing education credits for school psychologists, social workers, counsellors, teachers, and human resource professionals will be available for approved conference sessions.

Saturday January 23rd – “Surviving Suicide” The final day of the Conference is a journey of hope and healing dedicated to survivors of suicide loss and will include workshops and survivor support sessions. A portion of this day will be open, and free, to the public.

Conference Presenters

Brian Ahmedani, Ph.D. Henry Ford Health System, Co-Chair-Michigan Suicide Prevention Commission
Bart Andrews,
Ph.D. Chair-Missouri Prevention Network
Donna  Barnes,
Ph.D., a loss survivor and active advocate for suicide prevention and intervention, as well as Founder and CEO of the National Organization for People of Color against Suicide, Inc.
Nancy Buyle,
MA, LPC, NCC, Macomb Intermediate School District; Co-Chair Michigan Suicide Prevention Commission
Frank Campbell,
Ph.D. Founder and Co-chair of the National Suicidology Training Center
April Foreman,
Ph.D., Executive Board Member, American Association of Suicidology 
Asha Ivey-Stephenson,
Ph.D, M.A., Senior Behavioral Scientist/Epidemiologist, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Brandon J. Johnson,
M.H.S. Creator of the Black Mental Wellness Lounge 
Thomas Joiner,
Ph.D. Distinguished Professor, Dept. of Psychology Florida State University, researcher and author
Sojourner Jones, 
LBSW, MPA, Community Liaison for Law Enforcement, Detroit Wayne Integrated Health Network – Kevin’s Song 2021 “Save a Life” Award honoree
Roy Perlis, MD, MSc, Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School
Shelby R. Rowe,
Suicide Preventionist and Chickasaw Artist
Rheeda Walker,
Ph.D., Author, Speaker, Psychologist, Consultant, Researcher, University of Houston
Patrick Watson,
EdS. Superintendent Bloomfield Hills Public Schools.

With One Voice:

With One Voice:  In order to have a more unified voice for legislative and public policy changes, Kevin’s  Song has launched the With One Voice initiative; a collaboration of local, statewide and national groups,  regional coalitions, mental health providers and community mental health organizations  to explore how, together, we can promote meaningful change.

Advisory Board: Jim Adams (University of Detroit Jesuit High School), Brian Ahmedani (Henry Ford Health Systems), Maricela Alcala (Gryphon Place), Nicole Brown (Quicken Loans), Larry Burns (The Children’s Foundation), Nancy Buyle (Macomb ISD), Lindsay DeCamp (Michigan Dept of Health & Human Services) Jeff Elhart (Elhart Automotive Group), Doree Ann Espiritu (Henry Ford Health System), Cynthia Ewell-Foster (University of Michigan), Greg Flynn (West Bloomfield Twp Fire Chief), Jarrod Hindman (Living Works), Joel Hoephner (MASP), Rich Homberg (Detroit Public Television), Sojourner Jones (Kevin’s Song Save a Life Award recipient), Leo Nouhan (Kevin’s Song), Michael Pyne (Health West), Selena Schmidt (Ascension Health), Robert Sheehan (Community Mental Health Association of Michigan), Andrea Smith (Detroit Wayne Integrated Health Network), Barb Smith (Suicide Resource & Response Network), Steve Slayton (Southwest Counseling Solutions), John Urso (Kevin’s Song), Rob Valentine, Patrick Watson (Bloomfield Hills Public Schools).

Resources for Ideas and Inspiration:

Support Groups for Loss Survivors is meeting virtually through Zoom at our regularly scheduled meeting time: the first and third Wednesday of each month at 7:00 PM. If interested in attending, please email Gail Urso at gail@kevinssong.org and she will send you an invitation code to join. For additional Support Group information click on the Resources link.

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“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 Rabi 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.

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“Saving Lives, Preventing Youth Suicide”. 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.

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“Dying to be Free-a Healing Guide for Families after Suicide”. Surviving the heartbreak of a loved one’s suicide – you don’t have to go through it alone. Authors Beverly Cobain and Jean Larch break through suicide’s silent stigma in Dying to Be Free, offering gentle advice for those left behind, so that healing can begin.

Kevin’s Song Book of the Month* Use code: kevinssongbookofthemonth and 20% of this book purchase will be donated to Kevin’s Song.  It will also ship FREE in the United States (remember to select FREE Shipping at check out).

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Kevin's Song Newsletters


“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)

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“Death is Not the Answer”. Award winning producer-director Keith Famie tackles the tough issues of understanding depression and mental illness. (58 minutes).

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“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)

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“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.

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