Annual Conference on Suicide

The Kevin’s Song 8th Annual Conference on Suicide is over but we are Continuing the Conversation . . .

The three-day conference brought together educators, mental health professionals, professional trainees and students, business and community leaders as well as members of the public, survivors of suicide loss, and attempt survivors. The speakers and presentations addressed all aspects of this public health crisis in an effort to better understand and prevent suicide.  The mission of the Kevin’s Song Conference on Suicide is to break down the barriers to build pathways to better models of prevention and treatment in order to save lives.

Thank you for attending the Conference.  We appreciate and look forward to your responses to the evaluations that you will be receiving.









The MEMORIAL FOREST was created for the Kevin’s Song Fourth Annual Conference on Suicide to help us remember and honor some of the people who have died by suicide and to offer solace to those who were left behind. This Memorial Forest, which will be a virtual respite during the 2022 Conference of Suicide and School Summit, is made possible through the many generous donations to Kevin’s Song in memory of Adam Elbadawi and the support of the Detroit Wayne Integrated Health Network.


Since 2020, Kevin’s Song has collected over 600 names in memory of a loved one lost to suicide or to honor a survivor, and have inscribed the names on a Kevin’s Song bird which decorated the trees during the recent conference. 

Training and Awareness on Suicide from Kevin’s Song

As a community of health care professionals and educators, we all have T.A.S.K.S. to do in order to help save lives and prevent suicide whenever possible.

While the field of suicidology is not an exact science, and it is difficult to predict who will end their lives, we are amassing more and more scientific, evidence-based information that can help put a stop to such tragic losses in our communities.

This Recognition is something extra we are providing to qualifying attendees at our annual Kevin’s Song Conference on Suicide.  The Conference on Suicide offerS a comprehensive program of educational sessions that focus on suicide.

Kevin’s Song will send the certificate to you after the conference.

To Become Qualified for T.A.S.K.S. Recognition:

  • You must be a licensed health care professional or educator.
  • You will be required to attend every PLENARY SESSION.
  • At least two (2) Breakout sessions each day of the 2-Day Conference.
  • You must complete and submit session evaluations for each session and the post event feedback form you will receive by email after the conference.
  • You must also complete and submit the TASKS form which will be emailed to you following the Conference.


Kevin’s Song concluded its 8th annual statewide Conference on Suicide: Continuing the Conversation in Plymouth, Michigan, January 25-27, 2024, with attendees engaging in thought-provoking keynote and breakout sessions, connecting with local and national experts, advocates, educators and clinicians and celebrating achievements. More than 300 attendees, speakers and volunteers registered for the conference, with representation from every corner of Michigan and from 7 different states.

Suicide prevention and mental health advocates including Thomas Joiner, PhD, Michael Anestis, PhD, Tony Thrasher, DO, Kathryn Goetzke and Hayley Watson inspired attendees through presentations of new and fresh approaches to suicide prevention.  Through 11 keynote presentations and 21 breakout sessions, speakers addressed the latest research and information about risk assessment, treatment options and the need for more inclusive access to mental health services.

“Our gathering at the Kevin’s Song conference, symbolizes a powerful opportunity to come together, exchange ideas, and foster meaningful connections,” says Jennifer Fair Margraf, Executive Director of Kevin’s Song. “The annual conference offers engaging presentations, transformative breakout sessions, a chance for attendees to exchange resources and share effective prevention strategies. Together, we are building new pathways to prevention, overcoming formidable barriers, and creating opportunities to redefine suicide prevention for the future. The impact of this conference reaches far beyond those few days, resonating in our local communities and continuing the conversation to reduce suicide and eradicate stigma.”

Other conference highlights included preconference training in QPR, safeTALK and AMSR; a panel discussion about the state of suicide prevention in the State of Michigan; recognition of Gigi Colombini, LMSW, recipient of the 2024 Kevin’s Song Saving A Life award; stories of hope from attempt and loss survivors; and a Concert of Hope and Healing performed by students from the University of Michigan Musical Theatre Department

“It has been my honor to attend each and every one of these annual events, and moreover, my attendance has enabled me to witness firsthand the growth and the energy generated by this meeting, “ says Thomas E. Joiner, Ph.D., The Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor of Psychology, Florida State University.  “The good that they are accomplishing on behalf of those bereaved by suicide and others is considerable and occurs year-round; their footprint is in Michigan, where they have risen to prominence as an influential suicide prevention organization, and it is growing beyond Michigan regionally and nationally.”

“I have been involved with the Kevin’s Song conference for quite a few years and have watched it grow from a small, tightly knit local effort to a large, tightly knit national effort,” commented Bart Andrews, Ph.D., Chief Clinical Officer, Behavioral Health Response, Inc., “Each year this conference gets bigger and each year more amazing things happen because of this conference.”

“The reach of the Kevin’s Song conference extends far beyond Plymouth, Michigan, far beyond the classrooms and universities, and engages us to continue the fight against suicide within our local communities,” says Margraf.  “Together, we are the builders of hope for a world without suicide.”


Reflections on Kevin’s Song’s 8th Annual Conference on Suicide by Gail Urso:

“I was taken with the “good vibes” emanating from the conference. It truly is “a conference with heart.” The beauty, warmth and serenity of the venue, the excellence of the keynote speakers and breakout session presenters, the kindness and helpfulness of the many volunteers, and, perhaps most of all, the 300+ people who attended, all contributed to another memorable conference. One presenter said “This is such a caring atmosphere. I feel as if I am stepping into someone’s home!”

The attendees were from throughout the state of Michigan as well as from Oregon, Florida, Maryland, Ohio, and Texas. Some attendees have been to every one of our eight conferences. Others were there for their first. All said they would return next year.

Our goal is to always bring the latest, most up-to-date research on suicide and suicide prevention and we once again met that goal. We are gratified that so many educators and mental health professionals took the opportunity to learn more about suicide awareness and prevention.

I am confident that the loss survivors and attempt survivors and their families who attended the Saturday program left with helpful information and the knowledge that they are not alone.”

Co-Founders Gail and John Urso with 2024 Saving A Life Award Honoree, Gigi Colombini

CLICK BELOW to view the 2024 Conference Program Booklet