Stronger Communities: Strategies for Suicide Prevention in New England

Apr. 11, 2018

8 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Grappone Conference Center
Concord, NH 03301

Register today

For questions about this event, contact Melanie Varady: AFSP Senior Director, Eastern Division at

Stronger Communities: Strategies for Suicide Prevention in New England
A Regional Prevention Education Conference

Presented by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Chapters:
Greater Boston, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont  and Western Massachusetts

Wednesday, April 11, 2018
Grappone Conference Center * Concord, NH

Registration Fee: $100 per person, $40 for students

Continuing Education Credits:
We are still in the final stages of approval. AFSP offers CEs, at no additional cost, through the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) and the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC). CEs are available for licensed clinicians only.

View Conference Flyer

Updated Conference Schedule as of February 11,2018

8:00 – 9:00 am Registration and Breakfast
9:00 – 9:10 am Opening Remarks/Welcome
9:10 – 10:20 am Keynote
Dr. Doreen Marshall, AFSP’s Project 2025
10:20 – 10:30 am Coffee Break and Visit Exhibitor Tables
10:30 – 11:30 am Plenary Speaker
Dr. Caitlin Ryan, Family Acceptance Project
LGBT Presentation
11:30 – 12:30 pm Breakout Sessions

Option 1: Zero Suicide
Presented by: Mike Hogan and Exeter Hospital, NH

Option 2: Talk Saves Lives Firearms Education Program
Presented by: Jennifer Matoney, AFSP Western MA Chapter Trainer and Dr. Doreen Marshall

Option 3: LGBT Family Acceptance Discussion
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
Dr. Stephen O’Connor
Presentation on Lived Experience 
2:45 – 3:00 pm Afternoon Break,  Visit Exhibitor Tables
3:00 – 4:00 pm   Breakout Sessions

Option 1: Post traumatic Stress Disorder and Suicide among Massachusetts Veterans
Presented by: Jaimie L. Gradus, D.Sc., M.P.H.
Boston VA Research Institute

Option 2: Loss and Healing Clinician Program  (2 hour block with CE units)
Presented by: Dr. Doreen Marshall

Option 3: State and National Advocacy 
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: Youth Suicide, It’s Real College Film
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 in Senior Adults
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.

Lived Experience Presentation

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.

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