Wednesday, October 2, 2013


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: Sandy Queen, Protective Factors: Across the Life Span  

Sandy Queen has served as a trainer, speaker and educational consult. Ms. Queen brings a global perspective to education and an insight into the cultural, social and emotional impacts of the issues that face young people and their families.

10:45 - 11:00

11:00 - 12:15
Workshop Session I

12:15 - 1:30

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-Fifth Annual Suicide Prevention Conference

"25 Years of Prevention: The Best of the Best"

Wednesday, October 2, 2013 at Martin's West (see directions)

Session I | Session II | Session III

11:00-12:15 - Session I

  1. Overview of the Death Investigation Systems in Maryland. (Embassy Room) 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. Talking to Youth about Suicide-Loss. (Regency Room) Sarah Montgomery, LCSW-C, Coordinator, Child and Family Programs and Susan Coale, LCSW-C, Clinical Specialist, Chesapeake Life Center. Children and teens are impacted by suicide whether directly by the loss of a family member to suicide, or indirectly by hearing about a suicide in their community or through the media. Because suicide is often unexpected and traumatic in nature, children often need additional support to navigate their complicated emotions and fears. At school and at home, parents and children turn towards their trusted adults to help explain suicide and guide them during their grieving process. However, most adults do not feel equipped to discuss suicide with youngsters—how do we talk about it? What words do we use? What is “normal” suicide grief with children? This work-shop will explore children’s grief specific to suicide and introduce tools to support children, families and schools.
  3. Survivors SPEAK Out. (Camelia Room) Lisa Hurka Covington, Founder of SPEAK, and Paul Ouellette will host the panel. SPEAK (Suicide Prevention Education Awareness for Kids) promotes the prevention of youth suicide and works to dispel the social stigma surrounding suicide, bullying, and depression through a campaign of education and awareness at the community level. Survivors will talk about losing someone dear in their lives tragically, and how they are moving forward, making a positive difference. Several Attempters will discuss their story, and spreading the word, "Life is precious".
  4. The Gambling Disorder: New Addiction and Suicide Risks. (Maryland Room) Joanna Franklin, MS, NCGCII, Program Director and Michael H. Rosen, MSW, LGSW, Network Development Coordinator, Maryland Center of Excellence on Problem Gambling. Some of the highest rates of suicide attempts come from pathological gamblers. A common co-occurring disorder among the mentally ill and addicts is the gambling disorder, not often found or treated. This session will focus on how to find and assess the gambling disorder and understand use of new local resources.
  5. “Hear Our Voice” Depression among Inner City African American Youth: Assessment and Treatment Strategies that Work. (Wayne Room) Mirian E. Ofonedu, PhD, LCSW-C, Psychologist/Licensed Clinical Social Worker, The Family Center at Kennedy Krieger Institute. Depression can at times be under-identified and misdiagnosed, especially in youth from minority ethnic and racial groups who live in urban environments. This workshop will inform professionals on how African American youths describe their personal lived experience of being depressed and equip them with comprehensive strategies resulting in more effective outcomes in the assessment and treatment of depression in this population. 

Session I | Session II | Session III


1:30-2:45 -Session II

  1. Partnering Faith with Communities. (Camelia Room) Linda Fauntleroy, Director of Hotline Services, Baltimore Crisis Response, Inc. and Michael Torres, MD. This workshop will address (1) some of the unmet needs within the faith community; (2) Barriers, Stigma, fear and mistrust; (3) Developing awareness, helping the helper; and (4) Realizing that it takes a community to prevent suicide.
  2. Light at the End of the Tunnel: Treating Trauma and Reducing Suicidality with Evidence Based Methods. (Wayne Room) Abena Brown-Elhillali, PhD, Psychologist and Mirian E. Ofonedu, PhD, LCSW-C, Psychologist/Licensed Clinical Social Worker, The Family Center at Kennedy Krieger Institute. This workshop is for those who wish to further their understanding of how trauma relates to suicidality, and explore the evidence based assessment and treatment techniques utilized in working with traumatized individual.
  3. We’re All In This Together: Bullying, Suicide and Prevention. (Embassy Room) Alfiee M. Breland-Noble, PhD, MHSc, Director, The AAKOMA Project, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Georgetown University Medical Center. The focus of this workshop is to present cutting edge research data and clinical case studies related to defining the relationship between bullying, suicide and prevention.
  4. Transition To Civilian Life: Veterans at Risk. (Regency Room) Nikole S. Jones, LSCW-C, VA Suicide Prevention Coordinator & American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Maryland Chapter-Chairman of the Board of Directors, VA Maryland Health Care System. This workshop will focus on the American Veteran population where suicide risk is 20% higher than the general population. This workshop will expose military stressors, such as deployment, psychiatric, medical, vocational and financial factors that can make the transition to civilian life difficult and may increase the risk of depression and suicide. Resources and programs available to assist veterans and their families will also be presented.
  5. Artful Grief. (Maryland Room) Sharon Strouse, MA, ATR, Artful Grief, The Kristin Rita Strouse Foundation. Art therapy is based on the concept that the creative process involved in the making of art is healing and life enhancing. This workshop explores the collage images of an art therapist, during a decade long journey of meaning reconstruction, in the aftermath of a daughter’s suicide. It includes collage making as a personal experience of the way art helps survivors recognize, express and process emotions.

Session I | Session II | Session III


3:00-4:15 - Session III

  1. Counseling on Access to Lethal Means (CALM). (Camelia Room) Edgar K. Wiggins, MHS, Executive Director, Baltimore Crisis Response and Steve Johnson, Associate Director of Adult Services, Baltimore Mental Health Systems. This course is designed for people with training and experience in mental health counseling. It explains why means restriction is an important part of a comprehensive approach to suicide prevention and teaches how to ask suicidal patients/clients about their access to lethal means and work with them and their families to reduce their access.
  2. Social Media and Suicide. (Maryland Room) Tim Jansen, LCSW, Director, Community Crisis Services. Because of the growing use of digital media technologies 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 like blogs, social networks, and web-based media. 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. The Resiliency/Character Connection. (Embassy Room) Sandy Queen, The effects of bullying, intolerance, teasing, abuse.....we see them every day in our work with young people. How can we combine what we know about human growth and development and the development of character and resilience in children and youth. How can we interconnect the many pieces we may have used over the years into new useful tools to aid us in strengthening the core of confidence and courage in our kids? This session will offer some tools and insights into the development of core assets in our youth and offer insights into some simple yet effective ways of getting and implementing character strengthening endeavors.
  4. Gang Awareness. (Wayne Room) Frank L. Clark Jr., Director of Gang Training, Maryland Department of Juvenile Services. This session is designed to provide participants with an overview of the gang problems that are impacting our youth. It will provide information to help Parents, Community Leaders and Child Care professionals, understand the mounting challenge that our youth face each day.
  5. Suicide and Older Adults. (Regency Room) Marsha Ansel, LCSW-C Psychogeriatric Coordinator, Howard County Mental Health Authority, Sybil Greenhut, APRN Montgomery County Dept. of Health and Human Services; John Beyer, LCSW-C Senior Manager, Riderwood CCRC; Tamara VanNewkirk, MSW, LCSW-C, Mental Health Coordinator, Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center, Inc.; Marge Mulcare, MA., MSW, LCSW-C, Mental Hygiene Administration. This workshop is a “role play” depicting the signs and symptoms warning of suicidal ideation and impending suicide attempts in an older adult with mental illness. Following this presentation, participants will be able to recognize the warning signs beginning approximately one year prior to a suicide attempt, and again at six months prior to a suicide attempt. Appropriate interventions to address these warning signs and symptoms will also be demonstrated. Audience participation and discussion is encouraged regarding the differentiation of psychiatric and somatic symptoms, opportunities for intervention and care-giver stress.

Session I | Session II | Session III