Stronger Communities: Strategies for Suicide Prevention in New England

Apr. 11, 2018

8 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Grappone Conference Center
Concord, New Hampshire 03301

Register today

For questions about this event, contact Melanie Varady: AFSP Senior Director, Eastern Division at [email protected].


On behalf of the Planning Committee and AFSP regional staff, thank you for joining us on April 11th at the Stronger Communities: Strategies for Suicide Prevention in New England conference. It was a great day of hope, learning and building relationships with community members across New England who are passionate about saving lives.  This conference was proudly presented by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Chapters: Greater Boston, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont and Western Massachusetts.

In planning this conference, our goal was to improve the capacity of every community in New England to save lives and bring hope to those affected by suicide. We believe that we were able to achieve those goals, and can use what we all learned to save lives.  Your feedback is important so we can continue to develop programs that meet the needs of our community members. If you have not completed the paper survey, we ask that you go online and click on the link below.  We appreciate your time and thoughts.

Conference Presentations

We are thankful to our presenters who are willing to share their presentations with all our attendees so you can review and learn more

View Slides from the Conference

Suicide Prevention: What’s New? What Works? – Mike Hogan, Ph.D.
Talk Saves Lives TM An Introduction to Suicide Prevention for Firearms Owners – Doreen S. Marshall, Ph.D.
Moving Forward Following a Medically Serious Suicide Attempt – Stephen S. O’Connor, Ph.D.
Suicide in Older Adults: What Have We Learned? – Kelly C. Cukrowicz, Ph.D.
Working with Firearms Owners for Suicide Prevention – Doreen S. Marshall, Ph.D. & Jennifer Matoney
Postraumatic Stress Disorder and Suicidal Bewhavior: Current Understanding and Future Directions – Jaimie L. Gradus, D.Sc., MPH
It’s Real: College Students and Mental Health – Ann M. Caretti, Ph.D., Michele Disken Greco, MPA & Michele Lee
How to Get Involved with your Local AFSP Chapter
Working with Those Bereaved by Suicide in the Clinical Setting – Doreen S. Marshall, Ph.D.
Overview of Project 2025 and AFSP Programs – Doreen S. Marshall. Ph.D.

About AFSP Chapters

Our local chapters serve the entire state with local programs and events and is leading the suicide prevention locally. Our board, volunteers and committees work to create a culture that’s smart about mental health through education and community programs, research and advocacy, and support for those affected by suicide. AFSP engages with families, mental health professionals, community and local business leaders, school administrators and others interested in preventing suicide. Our chapters welcomes everyone who is interested in saving lives.

Please consider getting involved and volunteering for your local Chapter. There’s a place for everyone at the table, and we need all of you.

Click HERE to find your local chapter.

New England Fall 2018 Walks

In 2017, 260,000 people participated in over 415 Out of the Darkness Community Walks. The Walks give people the courage to open up about their own struggle or loss, and the platform to change our culture’s approach to mental health. This is proof that when people work together they can make big changes in the world. Walks are AFSP’s largest fundraiser – they produce millions for suicide prevention programs, unite those who have been affected by suicide, and create communities that are smart about mental health.

To find a walk near you, visit Fall Community Walks.
It’s simple and easy: Register, Form a team, Volunteer for the planning committee or become a sponsor.

Updated Conference Schedule as of March 21, 2018

8:00 – 9:00 am
Registration and Breakfast
9:00 – 9:10 am
Opening Remarks/Welcome
9:15 – 10:15 am
Overview of Project 2025 and AFSP Programs: What They Mean for the Community
Dr. Doreen Marshall, AFSP
This session will present an overview of Project 2025, AFSP’s initiative to reduce suicide 20 % by the year 2025.
10:15 – 10:30 am
Coffee Break and Visit Exhibitor Tables
10:30 – 11:30 am
Plenary Session
Critical Role of Family Support in Preventing Suicide and Promoting Well-Being for LGBT Youth
Dr. Caitlin Ryan, Family Acceptance Project
This session will provide an overview of key research findings, resources, and approaches to decrease risk and promote well-being for LGBT young people
11:30 – 12:30 pm
Breakout Sessions
Option 1: Suicide Prevention in the Health Care System: What’s New That Works?
Presented by: Mike Hogan Ph.D. co-lead of the Zero Suicide Advisory Group and representatives from Exeter Hospital, NH
Option 2: Working with Firearms Owners for Suicide Prevention
Presented by: Jennifer Matoney, AFSP Western MA Chapter Trainer and Dr. Doreen Marshall
Option 3: Family-Based Suicide Prevention & Intervention with LGBTQ Children, Youth & Young Adults
Presented by: Dr. Caitlin Ryan
12:30 – 1:45 pm
Lunch and Presentation
AFSP, How to Get Involved With Your Local Chapter
Panel Discussion: Matt Hoyt, AFSP Maine Chapter Chair, Mary Butler, Vermont Chapter Board Member and Walk Chair, Lisa Riley, AFSP New Hampshire Chapter Chair and Chapter Leadership Council Member
1:45 – 2:45 pm
Plenary Session
Moving Forward Following a Medically Serious Suicide Attempt
Dr. Stephen O’Connor
Individuals surviving medically serious suicide attempts transition through multiple settings within an acute care hospital as they begin a path towards healing. By focusing on patient experiences in this time-sensitive context, the presenter has developed strategies to enhance care during hospitalization and upon return to the community.
2:45 – 3:00 pm
Afternoon Break,  Visit Exhibitor Tables
3:00 – 4:00 pm
Breakout Sessions
Option 1: Post traumatic Stress Disorder and Suicidal Behavior: Current Understanding and Future
Presented by: Jaimie L. Gradus, D.Sc., M.P.H.
National Center for PTSD, VA Boston Healthcare System and Boston University
Option 2: Loss and Healing Clinician Program  (2 hour block with CE units)
Presented by: Dr. Doreen Marshall
Option 3: How Advocacy Fits into Suicide Prevention, Education and Research
Presented by: John Madigan, AFSP VP of Public Policy,  Melissa Ames, AFSP Rhode Island Advocate and Margie Johnston, AFSP, Maine Advocate and Walk co-chair
4:00 – 5:00 pm
Breakout Sessions
Option 1: It’s Real: College Students in Mental Health/How to Implement the Program in your Community
Presented by: Michele Greco, AFSP Senior Director for Programs and Michele Lee, Associate Area Director Boston Chapter
Option 2: Loss and Healing Clinician Program (2 hour block with CE units)
Presented by: Dr. Doreen Marshall
Option 3: Suicide Risk in Older Adults: What Have We Learned?
Presented by: Kelly Cukrowicz, Ph.D
5:00- 5:30pm
Closing Remarks

Thank you to our Sponsors

Platinum Sponsor

Conference Supporter

Conference Exhibitors
Massachusetts Coalition for Suicide Prevention
The Nan Project
AFSP New England Chapters

Presenting Sponsors


Interested in Sponsoring or Tabling Opportunities for Stronger Communities Conference?
View our Conference Sponsorship Packet. As of February 11th, all Conference Exhibitor spots are now sold out.

Plenary Presentations and Speakers

Overview of Project 2025 and AFSP Programs: What They Mean for the Community


Doreen S. Marshall, PhD
Vice President of Programs

As a psychologist with experience that spans clinical, educational, and professional settings, Dr. Doreen Marshall has been engaged in local and national suicide prevention work for more than 10 years.

Since joining AFSP in 2014, Dr. Marshall has expanded AFSP’s menu of education programs for both clinicians and general audiences, and revamped the infrastructure to improve program delivery through a nationwide network of chapters. She is also leading a new initiative to develop programs for people who have suffered from suicidal thinking or who have survived a suicide attempt. Marshall fosters partnerships with mental health organizations, such as with the National Council for Behavioral Health to train people across the country in Mental Health First Aid, and oversees the development of new programming, including clinician trainings in Attachment-Based Family Therapy and K-12 educator trainings such as the Signs Matter program.

Prior to joining AFSP, Marshall served as Associate Dean of Counseling at Argosy University, where she contributed to the CACREP-accreditation process for the university’s counseling programs. She chaired the Suicide Prevention Coalition of Georgia, and served as Associate Director of The Link Counseling Center’s suicide prevention and aftercare program in Atlanta. She was a consultant for both national and state suicide prevention and postvention initiatives, which included providing suicide prevention training for the Division of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities and serving on a task force of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention.

Marshall holds a doctorate in Counseling Psychology from Georgia State University, a master’s degree in Professional Counseling, and a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and English from The College of New Jersey.

Critical Role of Family Support in Preventing Suicide and Promoting Well-Being for LGBT Youth

Caitlin Ryan, PhD, ACSW
Director, Family Acceptance Project
San Francisco State University

Dr. Caitlin Ryan is a clinical social worker who has worked on LGBT health and mental health for more than 40 years. She directs the Family Acceptance Project at San Francisco State University, a research, intervention, education and policy initiative to help ethnically and religiously diverse families to support their LGBT children to prevent health risks, including suicide. Dr. Ryan’s research has established the role of family rejection and acceptance in contributing to risk and well-being for LGBT young people and she has developed a culturally grounded family support model to strengthen families and to prevent suicide and other health risks and promote positive outcomes for LGBT youth. Her work has been recognized by major professional groups and she has served on many advisory groups, including the Committee on LGBT Health for the Institute of Medicine and the LGBT Suicide Prevention Task Force for the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention.

Moving Forward Following a Medically Serious Suicide Attempt

Stephen O’Connor, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
University of Louisville School of Medicine

Stephen O’Connor is a Licensed Psychologist and Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Louisville. He currently serves as the Associate Director for the University of Louisville Depression Center, Director of Faculty Research Development, and as Research Facilitator for the Robley Rex Veterans Affairs Medical Center. He received his Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the Catholic University of America and completed his Clinical Internship and Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Washington. Dr. O’Connor’s research focuses on improving the identification, assessment, and treatment of suicidal individuals in both traditional and non-traditional behavioral health settings. His current research on early intervention for suicide attempt survivors in trauma centers is funded by a Young Investigator Grant from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

Dr. O’Connor is a licensed Psychologist with Health Service Provider Designation and is currently seeing patients in the U of L Healthcare Outpatient Clinic. He provides individual and group psychotherapy, as well as cognitive and personality testing, to a wide range of individuals through the University of Louisville Physicians Psychiatry practice. Dr. O’Connor is a current member of the American Psychological Association (APA) Society of Clinical Psychology (Division 12 of APA) and Clinical Emergencies and Crises (Division 12, Section VII of APA) and the American Association of Suicidology.

Stronger Communities: Strategies for Suicide Prevention in New England

70 Constitution Ave, Concord, NH 03301, USA