Tuesday, December 10, 2019 from 8:30 AM to 3:30 PM EST
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Melville Marriott Hotel 
1350 Walt Whitman Road
Melville, NY 11747

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Alexis Rodgers, LMSW 
Association for Mental Health and Wellness 
631-471-7242 x1315 

12th Annual Suicide Prevention Coalition of Long Island Symposium

Putting the Pieces Together Strategies for Suicide Prevention

Keynote Speaker

                     Vanessa McGann, Ph.D.                    

 Who Gives? Caregiver Journeys After a Loss to Suicide

As the rate of suicide continues to rise, caregivers frequently experience one or more losses to suicide.  Though quality postvention occurs more than ever before, these efforts are seldom aimed at professional caregivers.  Often, caregivers are the ones delivering rather than receiving postvention support.  They have few outlets to process thoughts and feelings about their loss, and they rarely receive any comprehensive assistance from their employers to aid in their mourning.  In addition, caregivers often blame themselves or feel blamed by others after a loss. This talk will review what is known about professional loss to suicide as well as what can be done to support these caregivers.  It will look at case studies of caregivers who have experienced a loss to suicide with a focus on what helped them in their grief journey.  Going beyond recommendations such as “self care”, it will explore ways in which caregivers can grow stronger and ultimately more resilient and effective after such a devastating loss.

Vanessa McGann, Ph.D.

Dr. McGann is a clinical psychologist with a private practice focusing on traumatic loss in New York City. Passionate about postvention and supports for loss survivors, she is Chair of the Loss Division of the American Association for Suicidology as well as co-chair of their Clinician-Survivor Task Force. Dr. McGann trains, teaches and consults on topics related to suicide assessment, intervention and care as well as postvention to various schools, colleges and agencies including the NY State Office of Mental Health. She also helped to create the guidelines of the Survivors of Suicide Loss Task Force for the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention.  In addition, Dr. McGann is the Assistant Director of Extern Training and at the New School as well as a faculty member of the Child Psychotherapy Program of the William Alanson White Institute.

Symposium Schedule

8:00 - 8:45 Registration & Continental Breakfast
8:45– 9:00 Welcome & Introductions by 
Meryl Cassidy - SPCLI Co-Chairperson and Philip  Schoppmann SPCLI Co-Chairperson
9:00 - 10:30  Keynote Speaker Vanessa McGann, Ph.D.
10:45-12:15 Moring Workshops 
12:15-1:15 Lunch (included)
1:30-3:00 Featured Speaker Mike Veny 

9:00-10:30 Keynote Vanessa McGann 

10:45 - 12:15  Morning Workshops (Choose ONE)

A) Collaborating on Safety Plans with a Focus on (CALM) Counseling on Access to Lethal Means                                                                           Presenter: Meryl Cassidy, Executive Director, Response Crisis Center In this workshop, we will explore the importance of  shifting our focus from the “Why” of suicide to the “How” in order to effectively create safety when working with people at risk of suicide. Our presenter will incorporate the CALM training in her overview of the Safety Plan intervention, as well as research on means reduction.

B) Taking the Mask Off: Creating Genuine Connection in the iGeneration   Presenters: Jared Fenton, President, The Reflect OrganizationThis interactive session will include a presentation and discussion about new research and innovative practices regarding college students’ mental health and crisis intervention. The session will focus on the issue of college students’ mental health, what initiatives are currently in place to address it, whether and how they work, and what more must be done to better provide for mental wellness on college campuses. 

C) Responding to Opioid and Suicide Loss in the Workplace             Presenter: Jamie Bogenshutz, Executive Director, YES Community Counseling CenterThis comprehensive workshop will provide participants with an overview of traumatic death rates and specific considerations for workers, with an emphasis on suicide and overdose. Discussion will include an overall review of suicide and OD risk factors, risk management strategies, and an understanding of traumatic loss and traumatic reactions. Participants will be encouraged to assess existing organizational protocols and enhance/improve those postvention protocols when needed. Self care, coping strategies and de-briefing strategies will also be presented.

D) CLOSED WORKSHOP FULL Alternatives to Suicide: A New Way to Understand and Support People Through Their Darkest Times                                                               Presenters: Sera Davidow, Director Western Mass Recovery Learning Community & Sean Donovan, Transformation Project Coordinator, Western Mass Recovery Learning Community This workshop will examine some of the most prominent myths about suicide that permeate our culture, including the assumption of ‘mental illness’, and the purported efficacy of assessment. The presenters will then offer a framework that focuses on meaning making, choice, and creating space to talk openly about thoughts of killing one’s self, and will discuss the ways in which these pieces can be brought together to comprise the best pathway to staying alive.

E) How to Engage the Suicidal Mind in Assessment and Treatment   Presenter: Max Banilivy, Ph.D.  WellLife Network   This training is intended for all behavioral health professionals and others interested in competency areas in assessment and treatment:The three main objectives of this trainings are:                                                                                         I. Competencies areas essential for a comprehensive Risk Assessment

II. Basic skills necessary in collaborative engagement of the individual with suicidal thoughts

III. Essential factors and stages in treatment

12:15 - 1:15 - LUNCH INCLUDED (Served in the Atrium)

1:30 - 3:00 Featured Speaker- Mike Veny  

Transforming Stigma into Strength 
1 in 5 people will experience a mental health challenge in the next year. The stigma surrounding the subject of mental health is the biggest barrier to people seeking treatment. Mike Veny shares his story about living with depression, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. He will then introduce The Stigma Cycle™: “Stigma starts with shame. Shame leads to silence. Silence leads to self-destructive behavior and suicide.” The process repeats, and it can become an endless, downward spiral. Attendees will learn practical tools on how to transform stigma into strength and empower people in their lives to get the help that they need.
The attendees will learn tools to help:
-Transform shame through self-care.
-Transform silence through conversations.
-Transform sabotage, social injustice, self-destructive behavior and suicide through connecting with others.



3:00-3:30 Certificates of Completion 


5 NYSED Continuning Education Hours (LMSW/LCSW/LMHC/LMFT/LCAT)

CASAC pending 

Association for Mental Health and Wellness is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers. (Provider #0156),  licensed mental health counselors. (Provider #MHC-0014), licensed marriage and family therapists. (Provider #MFT-0010), and licensed creative arts therapists. (Provider #CAT-0004). 

*New York State Office of the Professions (NYSED) regulations requires that participants attend the entire approved educational activity in order to receive continuing education credits, from 9:00am-3:30pm. 

**NYSED Certifcates for Continuing Education Hours will not be issued for late arrival or early departure. 

No Refunds will be offered for cancellations 

**Vendor Opportunities are available: Vendor fee includes table in vendor room and lunch for ONE person. 


Registation Fees:                                                                                                                General Registration $100.00 

Vendor $125.00 (fee includes table and lunch for 1 person) **All vendors must pre-register. 

Student $60.00 (College ID Required)

Walk-in Registration: $110.00 Space for workshops will be limited





***Registrations will not be offered after this date***

Click Here To Register Now!                              REGISTRATION WILL CLOSE ON THURSDAY DECEMBER 5, 2019