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Conference on Advances in Safe Storage of Firearms and Preventive Strategies for Veterans at Risk for Suicide

3 Feb 2020 — 3 min read



One Night, One Goal: Commemorating AFSP’s 25th Overnight Walk

Contact: Russell Lemle:, 415 308-4234

Conference on Advances in Safe Storage of Firearms and Preventive Strategies for Veterans at Risk for Suicide

SAN FRANCISCO (February 3, 2020) –Suicide is a national health concern that affects all Americans, Veterans and non-Veterans alike. Because taking safety precautions for accessing lethal means can prevent suicides, the Greater San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and the San Francisco VA Health Care System will co-host a conference on the latest advances in reaching veterans at risk for suicide through preventive strategies and safe storage of firearms. The event will increase clinicians’, health policymakers’ and the public’s knowledge of safety issues and practices related to access to lethal means in preventing suicide.

When: February 28, 2020
Time: 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Where: War Memorial Veterans Building, 401 Van Ness Avenue, Room 210, San Francisco

“After their military service, we owe it to our veterans to care for their mental health needs – and that includes ensuring that clinicians are aware of evidence-based approaches to prevent suicides,” said AFSP CEO Bob Gebbia. “One such approach includes safe storage of lethal means, which has shown to be one of the best ways to save lives. This is an especially important conversation to have with veterans, as many veterans own a firearm.”

The conference presents multiple perspectives on innovative approaches to increase lethal means safety, and fosters discussion among essential stakeholders, including VA, Veterans Service Organizations, Veterans’ families, suicide prevention advocacy groups, firearms industry associations, health care providers and public health researchers.

Presenters include:

  • Joseph Bartozzi, President, National Shooting Sports Foundation
  • Emmy Betz, MD, MPH, Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Research Physician,Eastern Colorado Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center
  • Carolyn Colley, Air Force Veteran and sibling; Producer of short film With or Without Me
  • Joy J. Ilem, National Legislative Director, Disabled American Veterans
  • Aimee C. Johnson, LCSW, Program Analyst, Partnerships, VHA Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention
  • Doreen Marshall, PhD, Vice President of Programs, AFSP
  • Megan McCarthy, PhD, Vice President Project 2025, AFSP
  • Matthew A. Miller, PhD, MPH, Acting Director, Suicide Prevention Program, VHA Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention
  • Matthew J. Miller, MD, MPH, ScD, Professor of Health Sciences and Epidemiology, Northeastern University, Adjunct Professor of Epidemiology, Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health
  • Joseph Simonetti, MD, MPH, Clinical Investigator, VHA Rocky Mountain Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center for Suicide Prevention; Assistant Professor of Medicine, University of Colorado School of Medicine
  • Jay Zimmerman, BA, CPSC, CRE, CPRP, Certified Peer Support Counselor/Certified Recovery Educator, Certified Psychosocial Rehabilitation Practitioner, James H. Quillen VAMC

To register for this free conference, please visit:

6.5 hours of continuing education credits will be available at no cost for licensed healthcare providers (ACCME/ACCME-NP; ANCC/CA BRN; APA; ASWB/ACE/NYSED SW; IPCE; AOTA).

Seating capacity limited.

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The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is dedicated to saving lives and bringing hope to those affected by suicide. AFSP creates a culture that’s smart about mental health through education and community programs, develops suicide prevention through research and advocacy, and provides support for those affected by suicide. Led by CEO Robert Gebbia and headquartered in New York, AFSP has local chapters in all 50 states with programs and events nationwide. Learn more about AFSP in its latest Annual Report, and join the conversation on suicide prevention by following AFSP on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

The San Francisco VA Health Care System is a comprehensive health care network that provides health services to Veterans through the San Francisco VA Medical Center (SFVAMC) and six community-based outpatient clinics in Santa Rosa, Eureka, Ukiah, Clearlake, San Bruno and downtown San Francisco.  It has a long history of conducting cutting edge research, establishing innovative health care programs and education, and providing compassionate care to Veterans. 

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