Wednesday, October 7, 2015


8:00 - 9:00
Registration & Continental Breakfast

9:00 - 9:15
Opening Remarks and Introduction
Albert A. Zachik, MD, 
Acting Executive Director Behavioral Health Administration
Brandon J. Johnson, MHS, State Coordinator, Suicide and Violence Prevention

9:30 - 10:30

Keynote Speaker: Jordan Burnham, Active Minds, Inc.

Jordan travels around the country sharing his incredible story of survival and emphasizing that seeking help is not a sign of weakness and often leads to a successful recovery. Jordan is a nationally recognized mental health advocate who was one of the “2010 Best of Philly” and received the 2012 Emerging Humanitarian Award from the Asomugha Foundation. He has been featured in The Washington Post, Sports Il-lustrated, and USA Today, and he has appeared on ESPN’s E: 60 and Outside the Lines, CNN, and Good Morning America.​

10:30 - 10:45

10:45 - 12:15
Workshop Session I

12:15 - 1:15

1:15 - 2:45
Workshop Session II

2:45 - 3:00

3:00 - 4:30
Workshop Session III

(Evaluation and CEU/COAs) 

Maryland’s Twenty-Sixth Annual Suicide Prevention Conference

Life Matters: Reach Out, We Are Here

Wednesday, October 7, 2015 at Martin's West (see directions)

Session I | Session II | Session III

10:45-12:15 - Session I

  1. Why Means Matter. Edgar Wiggins, MHS, Executive Director, Baltimore Crisis Response, Inc. Counseling on Access to Lethal Means is an important concept/strategy when working with an individual at risk for suicide. This workshop will help providers implement counseling strategies to help clients at risk for suicide and their families reduce access to lethal means particularly (but not exclusively) firearms. A number of components will be discussed: background on suicide data and lethal means; an introduction to firearms and video presentation that models the counseling strategy.
  2. When Love Hurts: Intimate Partner Violence and Adverse Health Outcomes. Phyllis W. Sharps, PhD, RN, FAAN, Associate Dean, Community and Global Programs. This workshop describes forms of violence against women and girls in intimate partner relationships and the impact on physical and mental health. The workshop will also include a discussion of evidenced-based strategies to intervene and potentially reduce violence victimization.
  3. The Ripple Effect of Suicide: Stories from Survivors. Shenetta Makalia, Moderator. Suicide has no boundaries, it happens in all walks of life. Survivors will share their personal stories about losing someone dear in their lives tragically, and how they are moving forward making a positive difference. Several attempters will discuss their touching stories, and spreading the word, "life is precious"
  4. Understanding the Options for Immediate Psychiatric Response (Emergency Petitions). Nicole DeChirico, LCSW-C, Director, Clinical Services for Hope Works and Lt. Jennifer Reidy, Commander, Howard County Police Department Community Outreach Division and Mental Health Unit. This workshop will review how to request immediate psychiatric services and what options might be available to a person in crisis. You learn the benefits and limitations of the options presented (police services and crisis services). You also learn how to present the necessary information in order to obtain an immediate psychiatric evaluation.
  5. Suicide Among Older AdultsKim Burton, Director, Older Adult Programs, Mental Health Association of Maryland. There are unique issues related to suicide among the older adult population. This age group continues to have very high rates of death due to suicide and they remain largely under-identified and under-treated for nearly all behavioral health issues. This workshop will explore late life issues, best practices and solutions regarding suicide.

Session I | Session II | Session III


1:15-2:45 -Sessi​on II

  1. Suicide Assessment and Intervention: The SAFE-T Protocol. Tamara Van Newkirk, LCSW-C and Rachel Larkin, LCSW. This workshop is adapted from the SAFE-T, Suicide Assessment Five-Step Evaluation and Triage. Participants will learn the major risks and protective factors, the components of risk assessment and interventions appropriate to the level of risk.
  2. Suicide and Culture: Taking the Cultural Context into Consideration for Suicide Prevention and Interventions. Mirian E. Ofonedu, PhD, LCSW- C, Psychologist, Clinical Social Worker, and Researcher, Center for Child and Family Traumatic Stress, Kennedy Krieger Institute/ University of Maryland Baltimore School of Social Work. Panel: Randolph Rowel, PhD, Associate Professor, Director, Why Culture Matters Disaster Studies and Lorece Edwards, DPh, Associate Professor, Morgan State University; Karen Neal, LCSW-C, Clinical Social Worker and Abena Elilliah-Brown, PhD, Clinical Psychologist, Kennedy Krieger Institute. Suicide is recognized as a significant public health priority. This presentation provides a forum for a multidisciplinary group of professionals to discuss culture and other social determinants of health, contributing to suicidal behavior. The presentation also provides practical steps to design interventions that address both risk and resilient factors across multiple domains.
  3. Mental Health First Aid: Aging Module. Kim Burton, BA, Director, Older Adult Programs, Mental Health Association of Maryland. In May, 2015, a new Aging Module for Mental Health First Aid Instructors was launched in response to the growing demand for late life mental health education. This session will provide current MHFA Instructors (in good standing) full education regarding the Aging Module by the person who actually authored the module. At the end of this session, MHFA instructors will have had the requisite training to be instructors of the Aging Module.
  4. An Innovative School Program In Carroll County. Judy Klinger, MED, Supervisor, School Counseling, Carroll County Public Schools; May Novalis, School Counselor, Mt Airy Middle School; Lisa Spera, School Counselor, Ebb Valley Elementary School. As the recipient of the Maryland State School Health Council mini grant, Carrol County Public Schools has been instrumental in implementing specific strategies and providing information designed for parents and families. This workshop will inform attendees of an initiative created to enhance awareness of suicide prevention efforts among county students and parents. The workshop will discuss strategies and lessons learned from the program to guide future initiatives for youth suicide prevention in schools.
  5. Mental Health Services in a Community Hospital Setting. Michael Midgley, LCSW-C, Lead Psychiatric Social Worker Emergency Department and Tom Schmidt, RN, Nurse Manager, Inpatient Psychiatry Unit, Howard County General Hospital. This workshop will explore psychiatric and mental health services provided in hospital settings including the emergency department (emergency procedures, psych evaluations, patient safety, services available, and decision process for various levels of treatment) and inpatient psychiatry unit (admission process, medication management, psychotherapy, occupational therapy, and case management services). Lastly, we will discuss the discharge and referral processes from the inpatient unit and emergency department.

Session I | Session II | Session III


3:00-4:30 - Session III

  1. Substance Related Disorders in Maryland. W. Henry Gregory, Jr., PhD, Rafiki Consortium, LLC. Panel: Lisa Morrell, Program Administrator, Western Region/Acting Project Director, Maryland Behavioral Health for Adolescents and Young Adults Grant; Laura Webb, Director, St. Mary’s County, Adolescence Clubhouse. This workshop will examine the current state use and abuse of substances in Maryland as well as underlying social/emotional causes and implications for treatment. Representatives from the Behavioral Health Administration will discuss initiatives in Maryland used to help adolescents struggling with substance use.
  2. Supporting Children After a Suicide-Loss. Sarah Montgomery, LCSW-C, Coordinator, Children and Family Programs and Susan Coale, LCSW-C, Clinical Supervisor, Chesapeake Life Center. This workshop will address the special concerns of children who lost a loved one to suicide. Topics include: appropriate language to use when talking about suicide loss, common reactions (such as anger, self-blame, and confusion and sadness), and how to handle sensitive questions from those outside the family. This presentation utilizes lecture, clinical examples and video.
  3. LGBTQ Suicide Prevention. Ryan M. Newcomb, Regional Director, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. This presentation will discuss issues facing the LGBTQ population and supports available to LGBTQ youth. Prevention strategies and efforts will also be discussed.
  4. Human Trafficking 101. Morgan Weibel, JD, Baltimore Director, Tahirih Justice Center and Co-Chair, Maryland Human Trafficking Task Force. This workshop is an introduction to Human Trafficking issues.
  5. ACE: ASK, CARE, ESCORT. Lamont Coger, CAC-AD, Suicide Prevention Program Manager. ACE is a suicide prevention course designed for military personnel, family members, and civilians. This workshop will focus on the objectives of ACE; identify warning signs, risk factors, and how to care for someone who is having suicidal ideations.

Session I | Session II | Session III