Wednesday, October 1, 2014


8:00 - 9:00
Registration & Continental Breakfast

9:00 - 9:15
Opening Remarks and Introduction
Albert A. Zachik, MD, Director, Child and Adolescent Services
Mental Hygiene Administration
Gayle Jordan-Randolph, MD, Deputy Secretary for Behavioral Health Disabilities

9:15 - 10:45
Keynote Speaker: Shenetta Malkia, Founder, CEO-Malkia Relations LLC   
This new foundation is built on Ms. Malkia's platform focusing on suicide prevention, anti-bullying and domestic violence prevention.

10:45 - 11:00

11:00 - 12:15
Workshop Session I

12:15 - 1:15

1:30 - 2:45
Workshop Session II

2:45 - 3:00

3:00 - 4:15
Workshop Session III

(Evaluation and CEU/COAs) 

Maryland’s Twenty-Sixth Annual Suicide Prevention Conference

Life Matters: Reach Out, We Are Here

Wednesday, October 1, 2014 at Martin's West (see directions)

Session I | Session II | Session III

11:00-12:15 - Session I

  1. Medical Examiner’s Office. David R Fowler, MB, ChB, MMed Path (forens) FCAP, FAAFS, Chief Medical Examiner, State of Maryland. Attendees will learn how the pathologists and staff at the Office of Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) function, and investigate deaths that are sudden, unexpected and due to trauma.
  2. Attacking the Problem of Seniors and Suicide. Kim Burton, BA., Director of Older Adult Programs, Mental Health Association of Maryland.  The fastest growing segment of Maryland’s population happens to have among the highest rate of completed suicide.  In later life, one in four suicide attempts results in death.  This session will explore the unique issues among seniors and offer strategies to better support older adults and reduce suicide rates.
  3. MVDRS Highlights: Intimate Partner Problems and Suicide.  Alexandra Jansson, BA, Program Coordinator, and Jennifer Stanley, MPH, Program Epidemiologist, Maryland Violent Death Reporting System.  This workshop is an introduction to the Maryland Violent Death Reporting System as it relates to suicide interests. It will highlight findings from 2003-2011 data on suicides associated with intimate partner problems. The session will cover information on common injury locations; weapons used, and delve into other precipitating circumstances, key factors, and trends in the time leading to the suicide. Participants will identify characteristics of suicides that occur in the context of intimate partner problems​
  4. The Ripple Effect of Suicide: Stories from Survivors. Lisa Hurka Covington, Founder and Executive Director of SPEAK, (Suicide Prevention Education Awareness for Kids), will host the panel.  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".
  5. Art for Life: Community Art Studio for Survivors. Julia Andersen, MA, LCPAT, Art Therapist, Grassroots Crisis Center, Jill Coutts, Krystle Washington and Sara Tagget, Survivor(s). This workshop will introduce attendees to the Art for Life studio dedicated to healing after a suicide loss, or a suicide attempt. Survivors from the Art for Life studio will share their story and art work. Attendees will be invited to create artworks in response to suicide using basic art materials.

Session I | Session II | Session III


1:30-2:45 -Sessi​on II

  1. Kognito: A Web-based Training for Educators in Maryland to Support Student Mental Health and Prevent Suicide. Sharon Hoover Stephan, PhD, Associate Professor, University of Maryland School of Medicine.  Dr. Stephan will provide an overview of Kognito, a web-based training for educators in Maryland. The 45-60-minute training provides teachers with hands-on experience and skills to “identify, approach and refer” students exhibiting signs of psychological distress. All middle and high-school educators in Maryland have free access to Kognito for the next four years as part of a broader effort to promote teacher and school staff training in student mental health.
  2. The Good Behavior Game: From Testing Effectiveness to Dissemination. Holly C. Wilcox, PhD., Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Public Health, John Hopkins School of Medicine and Public Health. This workshop will review the main longitudinal findings on the effectiveness of the Good Behavior Game (GBG) intervention on a range of behavioral outcomes, including suicidal ideation and attempt. We will also discuss how GBG works and who will benefit most. We will also discuss SAMHSA’s broad dissemination of the CBG in almost 30 school districts in the United States as well as the Province-wide work in Alberta and Manitoba, Canada.
  3. Understanding Human Trafficking. Cyntrice Bellamy, MS, Med, Chief, Community Care, Suicide Prevention and Quality Assurance, Behavioral Health Administration. Participants will study the issue of Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking (DMST) and commercial sexual exploitation in order to foster awareness, integrate prevention strategies, and learn how to respond to potential victimization. Components of this presentation will cover prevalence of the issue within the state of Maryland, risk factors for victimization, impact and involvement of the commercial sex industry, the recruiting process, and trauma bonding associated with trafficked victims. Participants will learn prevention strategies and how to respond to potential victimization.
  4. Veterans and Suicide: Know the Facts, Save a Life. Nikole S. Jones, LCSW-C, Veteran Affairs (VA) Medical Center/VA Maryland Health Care System. This training is about veterans risk for suicide (risk factors and warning signs) and the resources at the VA and the community to support and protect veterans against suicide.
  5. The New “At-Risk” Youth: Who They Are and How We can Help. Mirian E. Ofonedu, PhD, LCSW-C, Psychologist/Licensed Clinical Social Worker, The Family Center at Kennedy Krieger Institute. This workshop on the new at-risk youth, an under-recognized and understudied population, will challenges professionals, caregivers, and educators who work with youth and their families to take a closer look at the stereotypes commonly associated with the term “at-risk” and equip them with comprehensive strategies resulting in a more effective assessment and intervention.

Session I | Session II | Session III


3:00-4:15 - Session III

  1. After a Suicide Loss: Supporting School Communities. Sarah Montgomery, LCSW-C, Coordinator of Children and Family Programs Chesapeake Life Center, Heather Gallagher, MA, School Psychologist Anne Arundel County Public Schools, Tim Hayden, MA, Coordinator of School Counseling, Baltimore County Public Schools and John T. Ridgely, PhD,  Chairperson of Crisis Intervention Team, Howard County Public Schools. Suicide in a school community is very emotional and confusing—wrought with waves of emotions, questions and a struggle to make sense and order.   School systems can benefit from a plan of action, accurate information and practical guidance in these rare but difficult times.  In this workshop, we will review AFSP/SPRC’s After a Suicide: A Toolkit for Schools and then hear from a panel of school based professionals on their experience, insights, greatest challenges and lessons learned from supporting school communities after a suicide loss.
  2. Social Media Outreach. Tim Jansen, LCSW, Director, Community Crisis Services. With the growing use of digital media, the technology used by youth to access information and to connect with others. It is important for gatekeepers who work with young people to know how to communicate with them through social media channels. During this session participants will learn about managing privacy concerns when communicating online; explore how to integrate digital media strategies in their efforts to engage youth, explore a state funded initiative to reach at-risk Maryland youth and provide emotional support.
  3. Medications and Mental Illness. Michael S. Ito, PsyD, Director, Behavioral Health and Victim Services, State of Maryland Juvenile Services. This workshop will discuss how medications play a major role in the treatment and management of mental illness. New discoveries are being made in the field of medicine as it pertains to treating disorders such as major depressive disorder, schizophrenia, and other illnesses that may be linked with increased suicidal ideation.
  4. Mental Health Services for Refugees and Other Vulnerable Immigrants in Maryland. Amy Greensfelder, BA, Refugee Mental Health Program Coordinator, Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Maryland is home to refugees, asylees, and other vulnerable immigrant populations from across the globe. In this workshop you will learn about the unique mental health needs of individuals and families escaping persecution in their home countries and services and unique programming available for this population.
  5. Risking it All: Problem Gambling and Suicide. Lori Rugle,PhD, NCGC-II, Program Director, Maryland Center of Excellence on Problem Gambling, University of Maryland School of Medicine. High rates of suicidality have been reported among individuals diagnosed with gambling disorder. This workshop will describe ways in which problem gambling contributes to risk for suicide. Effective strategies for addressing the impact of gambling in suicide prevention will be discussed.

Session I | Session II | Session III