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Monday, December 15, 2008

Survivors Day Conference Webcast

On Saturday, November 22, 2008 survivors of suicide loss joined together from over 175 locations in the U.S. and abroad for support, healing, information and empowerment. The day of conferences connected survivors through a 90-minute program, viewed simultaneously around the world by webcast, satellite and DVD from 1-2:30pm EST. This broadcast is now available on the AFSP website so survivors can watch it free of charge, on their own computers, anytime. Click here to watch now. (You'll be asked to fill out a short registration form first, then the direct webcast link will pop up on your screen.) Starting in January, you may also purchase a DVD version for $19.95 by visiting the AFSP Store.

Monday, November 24, 2008

A Million Calls

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline network has answered its one millionth call since the hotline was launched on Jan. 1, 2005.

“The Lifeline reached this significant milestone because more people in emotional distress or suicidal crisis are becoming aware that help is available just by picking up the telephone and dialing 1-800-273-TALK,” said the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s acting administrator, Eric Broderick, D.D.S, M.P.H.

Using state-of-the-art technology and a network of 133 local crisis centers across the country, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (Lifeline) can immediately link a caller seeking help to a trained counselor closest to the caller’s location, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Calls to the toll-free Lifeline are confidential.

“People who feel hopeless, who don’t see a way out of their problems and their pain, need to know that there is somewhere they can turn for support and assistance. You are not alone,” Dr. Broderick said.

SAMHSA, which established the Lifeline in 2005 with a grant to Link2Health Solutions, Inc., has been working with organizations such as the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors and the Suicide Prevention Resource Center to focus public attention on the nationwide impact of suicide and to highlight ways to prevent it. In 2005, suicides accounted for 32,637 deaths in the United States. The suicide estimate is for the latest year for which data is available. The total is almost twice the number of homicides.

Within the past 15 months, the Lifeline has become linked with the Veterans Suicide Prevention Hotline - a partnership between SAMHSA and the Department of Veterans Affairs. The Hotline provides national, around-the-clock access to crisis counseling for veterans and their families. Veterans seeking help or concerned family members can call 800-273-TALK (8255) and press “1” to be connected to a specialized call center run by the Department of Veterans Affairs and staffed by mental health professionals.

Currently, calls to the Lifeline average 47,500 per month, with more than 1,580 people calling daily.
...from SAMHSA website

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

10th Annual National Survivors of Suicide Day

Saturday, November 22, 2008

A Day of Healing For Survivors of Suicide Loss

This Saturday, join with other survivors of suicide loss at a local site near you or register to watch the 90-minute program from your home computer from 1-2:30pm Eastern Time and take part in a free online chat immediately afterwards.

The program includes a blend of emotional support and information about resources for healing for survivors of suicide loss. Survivors and mental health professionals discuss their experiences and answer the questions that so many survivors face: Why did this happen? How do I cope?

To find a conference site nearest you, or to register to watch the webcast from home, visit When you register to watch from home, you are automatically registered for the online chat afterwards.
...from Joanne Harpel, AFSP

Thursday, November 6, 2008

SPAN and AFSP Merge

Washington D.C./New York, N.Y. - November 6, 2008 – Two of the nation’s leading suicide prevention organizations – the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) and Suicide Prevention Action Network USA (SPAN USA) have announced their intent to merge. More information is available at and

For the full text of this press release, go to SPAN or AFSP websites.
...from SPAN USA website

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

10th Annual National Survivors of Suicide Day

Saturday, November 22, 2008

A Day of Healing For Survivors of Suicide Loss

Join with other survivors of suicide loss at a local site near you or register to watch the 90-minute program from your home computer from 1-2:30 Eastern Time and take part in a free online chat immediately afterwards. To find a conference site nearest you, or to register to watch the webcast from home, visit (Please note that we continue to add to the list of over 165 participating cities.)

The program includes a blend of emotional support and information about resources for healing for survivors of suicide loss. Survivors and mental health professionals discuss their experiences and answer the questions that so many survivors face: Why did this happen? How do I cope?

We hope you'll share in this powerful day of support, information, and healing. Please feel free to pass this message on to anyone you think might be interested.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

CrisisLink & National Senior Suicide Prevention Summit

Last week, CrisisLink participated in a first of its kind national senior suicide prevention conference, "It Takes a Community: Opportunities for Mental Health Promotion & Suicide Prevention Efforts in Senior Living Communities." Conference participants discussed, shared, and planned for effective suicide prevention and mental health promotion practices and programs to benefit older adults in residential communities. CrisisLink's Director of Community Education & Crisis Response helped guide the effort to develop protocols and procedures to respond to suicides with comprehensive postvention programs to assist in the grief process and to identify and support survivors at a greater risk for negative outcomes. CrisisLink is proud to be involved in this initiative.
...from CrisisLink News and Information

Monday, October 13, 2008

Suicide Barrier: Golden Gate Bridge

By John Bateson, Executive Director, Contra Costa Crisis Center

Last week the Golden Gate Bridge District Board of Directors voted to erect a suicide barrier on the Golden Gate Bridge. The vote, 14-1 in favor, was the first time the directors have ever publicly supported a barrier. It came 71 years after the first suicide from the bridge. It also followed a year in which 37 people died jumping off the Golden Gate—the highest total in more than 10 years. The Golden Gate Bridge is the top suicide magnet in the world. No other site is close.

Since it opened in 1937, there have been more than 1,300 confirmed deaths. The actual number undoubtedly is higher as the bodies of some jumpers never are found. By comparison, suicide barriers on other international landmarks—the Eiffel Tower, Empire State Building, St. Peter’s Basilica, Sydney Harbour Bridge, and the Duomo—were erected after no more than half that number.

For years, opponents of a barrier have ignored the tears of families who have lost loved ones and the pleas of mental health professionals to end these tragic and unnecessary deaths. Opponents have cited aesthetic concerns, which are legitimate, and a belief that barriers don’t matter because suicidal people will just kill themselves another way—a notion that’s contrary to all empirical evidence.

The vast majority of people who are suicidal fixate on one means of death. If it’s closed to them, they choose to live.

This is a fact that’s hard to understand if you’ve never contemplated suicide, yet it’s true. All of the research—and there’s a lot if it—says so.

The bridge district’s vote was historic; however, it’s only the beginning. Next April an environmental impact report will be completed, and after that funding needs to be raised. Officials estimate that construction of a barrier is at least three to five years away.

That makes this a good news, bad news story. The good news is that there’ll be a barrier one day. The bad news is that until then, people will continue to die. The existing railing is only four feet high and easy to climb over. In 2005, a 75 year-old woman who was overweight did it no problem.

It’s also a bad news story in that the only option the bridge district board voted for, among five that were considered, is a steel net under the bridge. Public polls suggest that this option has the greatest support.

From afar, a net will impact aesthetics more than any other option. That’s not my worry, though.

Nets are the least effective form of suicide barrier. People can land in a net and still jump from it to their deaths. Nets also present risks to safety workers who are charged with pulling jumpers from them.

Higher, insurmountable railings eliminate these problems. In addition, higher railings would increase the bridge’s wind resistance, according to engineering studies. A net, in contrast, may worsen it.

My agency provides grief counseling to hundreds of families, some of whom are mourning a loved one’s jump. Viewed through their eyes, the Golden Gate Bridge is neither majestic nor beautiful. Instead, like any death scene, it evokes pain and misery.

That can’t change soon enough for me.

Friday, September 26, 2008

ASIST Trainers Conference

If you have not yet registered for the ASIST Trainers Conference please do so as soon as you can. The slots are filling very quickly. You can register on line at

This conference will be a fun learning environment for all attending. If you are an ASIST X trainer and want to learn more about conducting an ASIST, join us!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Beacon of Hope Conference-October 16-17, 25

Depression is treatable, Suicide is NOT.

October 16 & 17 at Regent University, Robertson Hall Library, 1000 Regent University Drive, Virginia Beach, VA 23468

Doors Open at 6:15 PM; Speaker/Panel 6:45 – 9:00 PM

•Suicide: Everything You Need To Know and Things You Can Do To Help Prevent It
Lanny Berman, Ph.D. – Executive Director, American Association of Suicidology

•Open Community Forum and Panel Discussion – Come and join us! Ask tough questions to a panel of leading educators, mental health professionals, community leaders, emergency responders and survivors.

October 17 ($75) Doors open at 7:30 AM
Speakers/Seminars 8:30 AM –3:30 PM

October 25 Beacon of Hope 5K Run/Walk starts at 9:00 AM and
($15 5-K Run/Walk) One-mile Fun Walk/Run starts at 9:45 AM
($10 Fun Walk/Run) at Fort Story, Virginia Beach, VA (Atlantic Avenue entrance)

To learn more & register online go to
...from Kathy Wakefield, I Need a Lighthouse

Friday, September 12, 2008

ASIST Trainers Conference-October

The link is up to register for the ASIST Trainers Conference, October 20-22, 2008. If you are an ASIST X Trainer and are interested in rolling up your sleeves, polishing off your skills and having some fun, click the link to find out more about the conference and to register.

In order to keep this an interactive and intimate learning environment, we are limited to only 25 trainers this year. Please!!!! Register early!!

safeTALK, September 26th

Learn to identify persons with thoughts of suicide and connect them to suicide first aid resources.
Date: Friday, September 26, 2008
Time: 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Place: Woodbridge, VA 22192
Calvin Nunnally, the Suicide Prevention Manager for the Virginia Department of Health's Center for Injury and Violence Prevention, will engage participants in the safeTALK training. This training prepares you to be a suicide alert helper by following the TALK steps (Tell, Ask, Listen, and KeepSafe).

Hear about how talking about suicide can increase suicide safety. Learn some great techniques that may help you save a life.

Registration is required for this training. Space and materials are limited. To register call Heather Martinsen-Hill at 703-792-7739 or email Please give your name, organization, and a phone number where you can be reached.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

CrisisLinks Volunteer Training Class Starts October 18th

CrisisLink's Hotline Volunteer Training Class Begins Saturday, October 18! Are you looking for meaningful experience as a volunteer? CrisisLink's nationally recognized Volunteer Hotline Listener training program will begin its Fall Hotline Training Class on October 18. For more information and a detailed training schedule, please click here.

Medicare Changes

Medicare Changes to Cover More Mental Health Services
Recent changes to Medicare will increase the amount of patient copayments that the program covers for mental health services. Over the next six years, the amount will increase so that it is the same as the rate for other medical outpatient services. For more information, visit: or
...from SPRC: The Weekly Spark

Monday, August 18, 2008

National Suicide Prevention Week

National Suicide Prevention Week is September 7-13 and World Suicide Prevention Day is September 10. During Suicide Prevention Week, we are aware of events in at least eleven states. For a list of events SPAN USA is aware of, click here.
...from SPAN USA website

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Publications available from SPRC for Statewide Conferences

If you are holding a statewide conference in the coming months and would like quantities of any of these publications, please let us know. We currently have enough available that we can provide you with printed copies. We particularly recommend those titles that tie directly to content of your workshop. If you would like copies, please send an email to with the full shipping information, dates and title of your conference, when the materials need to arrive, and quantities and titles desired. You may request up to 100 of any title. The descriptions below include a url so that you can see the pdf of the document, in case you have any questions about it.

After a suicide: Recommendations for religious services and other public memorial observances
A guide to help community and faith leaders who plan memorial observances and provide support for individuals after the loss of a loved one to suicide.

Ask & you will receive: A fundraising guide for suicide prevention advocates Created by SPAN USA for SPRC
A 14-page document that presents new ways to think about generating support for your program. Links to other resources are embedded throughout the document so that you can easily find the most relevant materials. This guide will help you think through your approach, select a strategy, and get started on a fundraising campaign.

Guide to engaging the media in suicide prevention Created by SPAN USA
for SPRC
This 44-page guide teaches you how to serve as an effective media spokesperson and how to generate media coverage to create awareness of suicide prevention. The publication describes how to use television, radio, and print media and provides examples of press releases, media advisories, pitch letters, op-eds and more. It also gives tips for identifying appropriate media outlets, creating up-to-date media lists, and tracking your results.

NVDRS and suicide: How the National Violent Death Reporting System is being used to prevent suicide Created by the Harvard Injury Control Research Center for SPRC
This fact sheet highlight ways in which National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS) data have been used for suicide prevention.

Promoting mental health and preventing suicide in college and university settings (College White Paper)
This white paper summarizes what is known about suicidal behavior among college students and recommends strategies to promote mental health and prevent suicide on campuses. The writing reflects the views of experts in the field of suicide prevention and proposes a blueprint for planning a comprehensive program.
...From Anara Guard, SPRC

Monday, August 11, 2008

Make it Matter Grants

Make it Matter Grants
This funding program recognizes the power of the individual to make a positive difference in the lives of others. Every month the foundation will select an individual's story of good work, which will be featured in Reader's Digest magazine. Considering the subject of the selected story, the foundation will select an appropriate nonprofit organization and grant $100,000 to that nonprofit in honor of the person featured in the story.

...from SPRC: The Weekly Spark

3 Federal Agencies Call for Mental Health Services

Three federal agencies call for more mental health services in primary care, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) have issued the report "Reimbursement of Mental Health Services in Primary Care". Mental health service consumers, practitioners, providers, researchers and government officials identified seven barriers and made suggestions for action to address barriers to the reimbursement of mental health services in the primary care setting. The full report is available online at Additional information about billing for mental health services is available at
...from SPRC: The Weekly Spark

Campus Suicide Prevention Grants

SAMHSA accepting applications for Campus Suicide Prevention Grants
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Mental Health Services is accepting applications for fiscal year 2009 for Campus Suicide Prevention Grants. This program is designed to facilitate a comprehensive approach to prevent suicides and suicide attempts in colleges and universities and to enhance services for students with mental and behavioral health problems, such as depression and substance abuse, which can put them at risk for suicidal behavior. Applications are due November 25. For more information, visit
...from APRC: The Weekly Spark

Monday, August 4, 2008

Webconference: Understanding and Preventing Suicide

Please join the Missouri Institute of Mental Health on Thursday, August
7 at 1:30 PM CDT (2:30 Eastern; 11:30 AM Pacific) for a free presentation with Elizabeth Makulec titled "Understanding and Preventing Suicide". This program may be viewed at .

This presentation will include a special 28 minute video presentation, "Understanding and Preventing Suicide", produced by The Glendon Association's Violence and Suicide Prevention Alliance. This powerful new film highlights the lives of three individuals, Kevin, Susan and Trish, who made serious suicide attempts and lived.

The video presentation will be followed by additional suicide prevention information and resources presented by Elizabeth Makulec, a certified facilitator of QPR and a LivingWorks certified trainer for both the ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Training) and safeTALK (Suicide Alertness for Everyone) community education programs. Ms. Makulec serves on the Missouri Governor's Suicide Prevention Advisory Committee and is Project Coordinator for the Gateway Youth Suicide Prevention Resources Partnership, a multi-agency suicide prevention and education collaboration.
CEUs will be available for those interested. As of July 1, CEUs are only $10 per person.

If this will be your first time joining one of these presentations, you are encouraged to view a test video at your convenience. This may be seen at .

Questions should be directed, not to SPRC, but to the web conference
Virginia Weil, MSW
Project Manager
Missouri Institute of Mental Health
5400 Arsenal Street
St. Louis, MO 63139
Phone: 314-877-6479
Fax: 314-877-6477

...from the SPRC

Thursday, July 31, 2008

VA gets 55,000 plus Suicide Calls

VA gets 55,000 plus suicide calls [CBS News]
During its first year in operation, the Veterans Suicide Prevention Hotline, 1-800-273-TALK (8255), has received calls from more than 55,000 people, including approximately 22,000 people who identified themselves as veterans. This article discusses the statistics gathered about hotline usage and highlights other steps the Department of Veterans Affairs is taking to reduce the suicide rate among veterans.
...from SPRC: The Weekly Spark

Thursday, July 24, 2008

VA Tests Public Service Announcements

The Department of Veterans Affairs is launching a three-month pilot program of a suicide prevention public service campaign in the Washington, DC area. The campaign, which will include bus and train advertisements and a television public service announcement, aims to increase awareness of suicide prevention and of the VA’s 24-hour suicide prevention hotline, 1-800-273-TALK.

...from SPRC: The Weekly Spark

Friday, July 18, 2008

Campus Mental Health Conference Postponned

I regret to inform you that the conference on Campus Mental Health in the Commonwealth, planned for September 18-19 in Charlottesville, VA, has been cancelled. We hope to re-group and plan a modified version of this conference for the spring of 2009. We’ll be in touch with updates. We’re terribly disappointed and hope to have you with us on another occasion.

...from Jane Wiggins

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Save the Date

Save the date!!
2nd Annual BEACON OF HOPE 2008 3-Day CommUNITY event
Forum - Conference - October 16-17, 2008
Race/Walk - October 25, 2008
Regent University
Contact:Kathleen Wakefield
Conference title:Lifesaving Tools
Registration and Details are available at:

Jerry Reed: Leaves SPAN and goes to SPRC

News about one of our notable suicide prevention leaders and fellow Virginian..

"Jerry Reed of SPAN USA to Lead Suicide Prevention Resource Center
The Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC) announces that Jerry Reed, Ph.D., MSW, former executive director of SPAN USA, will lead its policy and professional development activities in suicide prevention and will serve as Director of the Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC). A dedicated geriatric and suicide prevention advocate, Dr. Reed joined SPAN USA in 2003 and has been a recognized leader in the national suicide prevention movement. Lloyd Potter, Ph.D., MPH, who has directed SPRC for the past five years, leaves to join the faculty of the University of Texas, San Antonio. Dr. Potter will be Director of the Institute for Demographic and Socioeconomic Research, which examines the determinants and consequences of demographic change."
..from the Weekly Spark, A Weekly Newsletter of the Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC)

DCJS Virginia School & Campus Safety Training Forum

The Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services' Virginia Center for School Safety is pleased to announce the 2008 Virginia School and Campus Safety Training Forum.

The 2008 Virginia School and Campus Safety Training Forum will follow the format of our annual School Safety Conference of previous years, but seeks to also include those involved with safety and security on Virginia's college and university campuses. We are anticipating more than 700 school and campus safety practitioners in attendance at this annual event.

The conference will be held August 5-6, 2008 at the Hampton Roads Convention Center located at 1610 Coliseum Drive in Hampton, Virginia. A lovely 295-suite John Q. Hammons Embassy Suites Hotel connects to the convention center by covered walkway. In addition to the Embassy Suites, there are several other hotels located within walking distance or a short drive from the convention center.

Keynote addresses will include:

* The Ultimate Backup: Saving Law Enforcement Families (Dr. James Reese)
* Lessons Learned from Virginia Tech: A Collaborative Approach to Prevention and Response
* The State of School Safety in Virginia (Dr. Peter Sheras)
* Breaking the Cycle: Violence Prevention in Schools and Communities
* The Adolescent Brain (Karen Williams)
* Overcoming the Risk Factors for Gang Involvement (Terry Thornberry)
* Voices: A Multi-Media Production on Underage Drinking and Teen Driving Safety
* Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA): Information Sharing and School and Campus Safety
....and much more. Information and Registration is available at:

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

ASIST Training

The Central Shenandoah Valley Youth Suicide Prevention Program will be sponsoring two “ASIST” (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training) programs in the fall of 2008.

This training is widely used by people in a variety of front line positions. Our program focuses on youth suicide prevention, however helpers in all roles are welcome to attend.

The ASIST program will be offered on two occasions this fall; each training will accommodate 30 participants. The training fee is $75.00. All training materials will be provided and a light breakfast will be served each day.

Please register only if you are able to attend the entire two days. If you would like to participate in an ASIST, but are unable to fully attend on these dates, contact me and I will put you on our waiting list for the next scheduled training, which will be in early 2009.

Fall 2008 ASIST training dates are:
1. October 27-28, 2008 at the Educational Building at Augusta Medical Center.
2. Nov. 20-21, 2008 in Detwiler Auditorium at the Va.Mennonite Retirement Center

On-line registration is available at:, however your registration will not be complete until your check is received.

Remember, trainings are limited to 30 participants each so please register soon.

...from Jane Wiggins, Program Director

NSPL Lifeline Gallery

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Gallery: Stories of Hope and Recovery
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is set to launch the Lifeline Gallery: Stories of Hope and Recovery. The Gallery allows suicide survivors, attempt survivors, and advocates to share their stories online. Before the site is launched to the public, the Lifeline needs help from the suicide prevention community to populate the gallery and set the tone for a safe and useful site. Please visit the Lifeline Gallery and share your story as a suicide prevention advocate, worker, crisis center director, volunteer, attempt survivor, survivor, or supporter.

From The Weekly Spark

Happenings: Collateral Damage

ACTS/Helpline and the Manassas City Police Department provided suicide prevention training for members of law enforcement entitled, “Collateral Damage: Suicide Prevention for Law Enforcement.” The training was held on April 24, 2008 at the George Mason satelite campus located in Manassas, Virginia. Over eighty law enforcement personnel, from several jurisdications, attended the one day event which included warnings sings of suicide, stress management, burn out, self care and accessing help when necessary.

Robert Douglas, the Executive Director of the National P.O.L.I.C.E. Suicide Foundation participated as the guest speaker. Officer Lt. Meg Carroll of the Manassas City Police provided materials and helped organize the event.

Sent in by Vicki Graham.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

ASIST Training-Newport News

Hampton/Newport News Community Services Boards will be hosting an ASIST training August 13 and 14. There are a LIMITED number of open spots. Although ASIST training can cost up to 250.00 per person, there is no cost to participate in this training.

Linda Major and Mary Begor will be facilitating. Time is 9am-5pm. Lunch on your own. Address: 300 Medical Drive, Hampton Virginia 23666 Contact: Mary Begor 757-788-0012 or email Mary at

ASIST stands for Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training. This is an intensive two-day training devoted to development of suicide intervention, or suicide first aid, skills for all caregivers.

SPAN Briefing on Senior Suicide

Suicide Prevention Action Network USA (SPAN USA)in cooperation with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), Representative Darlene Hooley (D-OR), and Representative Tim Murphy (R-PA) are briefing on:

Senior Suicide:
Understanding the Risk, Preventing the Tragedy

June 3, 2008
188 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

•About Senior Suicide- Rates, Risk and Protective Factors, and Promising Studies
Yeates Conwell, MD, SPAN USA National Scientific Advisory Council and University of Rochester

•Creating and Implementing a Senior Suicide Prevention Plan
Mel Kohn, MD, Oregon Office of Disease Prevention and Epidemiology

•Turning Grief into Action, A Survivor of Suicide Story
Victoria Graham, Prince William County ACTS/Helpline

•Public Policy Opportunities to Reduce Senior Suicide
James K. Finley, National Association of Social Workers

Monday, May 19, 2008

From SPRC: Suicide Prevention in Rural Areas Webcast

Those of you involved in suicide prevention in rural areas may find this upcoming webcast informative and relevant.

Please plan to join the Federal Interagency Rural Behavioral Health Workgroup in collaboration with the Technical Assistance Partnership and the National Center for Mental Health Promotion and Youth Violence Prevention in our upcoming Webinar entitled, Bridging the Gap in Rural Communities: Accessing Behavioral Health Services Through Telehealth.

Date: Friday, May 30, 2008

Time: 1:00–2:30 p.m. ET (12:00–1:30p.m. CT, 11:00–12:30p.m. MT, 10:00–11:30a.m. PT, 7:00–8:30 a.m. Hawaii)

Children, youth, and families living in rural and frontier communities face significant disparities in access to quality behavioral health services. Presenters will share an innovative model for using telecommunications to reach children, youth, and families in rural Appalachia, Ohio, Kansas, and in other rural locations. Participants will learn about how technology is used for telepsychiatry, tele-psychotherapy, clinical supervision, case consultations, workforce development and management functions to enhance behavioral health services for children, youth, and their families. Challenges, opportunities, and considerations for the implementation of telehealth services will also be discussed. Telehealth processes hold great promise for rural and frontier communities working to improve access, acceptability, and availability of behavioral health services and supports. We want this event to be as interactive as possible, so please bring all your examples, considerations, and questions!

Steve Trout, Executive Director, Southern Consortium for Children, Athens, Ohio
Eve-Lynn Nelson, Assistant Director of the Kansas University Center for Telemedicine & Telehealth

Joyce Sebian, Senior Policy Associate, National Technical Assistance Center for Children’s Mental Health at Georgetown University and coordinator for SAMHSA National Rural Behavioral Health
Viewing Requirements:

Joining this event is easy and free! All you need is access to a phone and an internet connection.
Register today at:

If you are a first-time registrant, we recommend that you use the following guidelines for creating a username and password:

Username: firstname.lastname. For example, John Smith's username would be john.smith
Password: lastname.yearofbirth. For example, if Jane Smith were born in 1960, her password would be smith1960

If you have any questions or concerns, contact Tiara Etheridge by e-mail at or by phone at (202) 403-5932. You can also take a look at “TA Partnership Webinar Frequently-Asked Questions” located online at .

"Community Action: What YOU can do to Stop Bullying Now!" webcast online

This webcast conducted on April 16, 2008, featured examples of state- and community-level campaigns that use Stop Bullying Now! (SBN!) resources.
Presenters, Captain Stephanie Bryn from HRSA and Dr. Susan Limber from the Institute on Family and Neighborhood Life, outlined how communities can put the resources to work locally.

The webcast also included a brief overview of the entire SBN! campaign <> and its resources. To view the archived webcast, visit

The campaign resources are available for MCH agencies to distribute at no cost. To receive free SBN! DVD toolkits, activities guides, or other resources, contact Katie Reardon at

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Update: Fairfax County Renews Contract with CrisisLink

On April 28, 2008, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved the County's FY09 budget, including $135,000 to help fund CrisisLink's 24/7 Crisis Hotlines . Fairfax County joins Arlington County and the City of Alexandria in continuing support so residents in crisis have somewhere to turn. Since 1969, thousands of highly trained, CrisisLink volunteers and staff have answered more than half a million crisis calls and responded to 25,000+ potential suicides.

"The strong, historical partnership between local governments--including Fairfax County, Arlington County, and the City of Alexandria--and CrisisLink has saved precious lives and prevented tragedies every day year after year, and this partnership continues to provide our region's residents with a place to turn in their darkest hours, We are truly grateful to the Fairfax Board of Supervisors, Arlington County Board, and Alexandria City Council for their support of the vital life-saving services CrisisLink provides to residents. " says CrisisLink Executive Director Carol Loftur-Thun.

"Last year, CrisisLink answered 27,532 calls from people in crisis," says Margaret Mathis, CrisisLink's Director of Hotline Services and Training. "Local jurisdictions' support is essential because they provide 50% of the funding for our 24/7 Crisis Hotlines, but our community's businesses, foundations and individuals have increasingly stepped up to support our services. With call volume up 78%--and youth calls up 227%--since FY04, we need more volunteers and funding than ever to meet the need, and we're truly grateful for our community's strong support."

FACT Conference on Prevention Family Violence

The Virginia Family and Children’s Trust Fund (FACT)
Conference on Community Collaboration In Preventing Family Violence

Date: Wednesday June 25, 2008
Time: 8:30 AM to 3:30 PM
Location: Richmond Convention Center
403 North 3rd Street-Richmond
Cost: $45 Registration online at

The Agenda

8:30-9:30 Registration and Networking Building Breakfast with FACT Board Members

9:30-10:45 Breakout Sessions. Topics include: The Use and Regulations of Nonprofit Organizations in Virginia, Panel Discussion on Developing Funding Streams for all Size Organizations, Virginia Department of Health’s Stop It Now Initiative, Developing and Using Community Collaborations to Launch your Programs.

11:00-12:15 Breakout Sessions. Topics include: Board Development and Capacity Building, Building and Refining Effective Program Evaluations, Are Special Events Really Worth the Effort?, Family & Children’s Trust Fund and Virginia Commonwealth University’s Social Indicators Collaborative Project.

12:30-2:00 Community Collaboration and Volunteer Awards Luncheon. Keynote by Secretary of Health and Human Resources Marilyn B. Tavenner (Invited)

2:15-3:30 Breakout Sessions. Topics include: Preparing your Organization for Generational Changes and Succession Planning, Developing Hispanic Services that Address Family Violence, Family & Children’s Trust Fund Grant Writing Workshop, Creating and Sustaining Successful Public-Private Collaborations

Monday, May 12, 2008

LOW Cost Training for Your State or Regional Suicide Prevention Coalition

Several low cost sessions are available to be completed by September 2008.
Potential costs – fees to secure your local training site, printing of materials, meals/snacks.

What is this training?
Strategic Planning for Suicide Prevention: Core Competencies (SPSP) was developed by the American Association of Suicidology in partnership with the Suicide Prevention Resource Center. SPRC is now partnering with the Suicide Prevention Action Network USA (SPAN USA) to disseminate the course.

Overall Goal
Participants will enhance their leadership and collaboration skills, and in line with The National Strategy for Suicide Prevention, be able to collect and present suicide-related data and information; implement suicide prevention programs in their communities; and determine the effectiveness of programs they implement. Participants also will increase their comfort and ability to communicate effectively about suicide and suicide prevention.

Eight Training Modules to Choose From
• Module 1: Scope of the Problem – Definitions and Data
• Module 2: Taking a Public Health Approach to Prevention
• Module 3: Data and Decision-making
• Module 4: Doing What Works
• Module 5: Creating a Logic Model and a Framework for Evaluation
• Module 6: Action Planning
• Module 7: Working Together and Building Partnerships
• Module 8: Building and Maintaining a Coalition

How do I get training in my state/region?
• Visit
• Complete the training questionnaire
• Then SPAN USA or SPRC will follow-up with you to set training dates

Friday, May 9, 2008

Juvenile Justice Conference

Making a Difference in Juvenile Justice
Sponsored by the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services and the Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice

Make plans now to attend this year's Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Conference at the Hampton Roads Convention Center, June 19-20, 2008. Instead of focusing on cutting edge trends in juvenile justice research and practices, as we have in the past, this year's conference will provide in-depth training on every day challenges for those who work with youth.

Topics for this year's conference include:
Working with Highly Resistant Youth: Dr. Clifton Mitchell will provide attendees with strategies to manage today's population of youth who are resistant to behavioral intervention.

Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative (JDAI) in Virginia: This training on a national initiative with local success demonstrates how you can use existing resources to bring winning strategies to your community.

Ruby Payne's Bridges out of Poverty: Officer Darryl Hunter will provide a basic understanding of the nature of poverty to include some hidden rules and generational stories to help attendees deal with kids exhibiting risky behaviors due to their situational poverty.

Mental Health in the Juvenile Justice System: A national look at resources available for use in your communities that foster collaborative approaches to decriminalizing children in need of mental health services.

Attendees requiring overnight lodging should contact the Embassy Suites directly at (757) 827-8200 or (800) EMBASSY to make lodging arrangements.
Lodging arrangements may also be made online at
Please mention or enter Group Code JJD to receive the conference rate of $75.00, plus tax. Reservations must be made by May 30, 2008.

Conference registration is $25 per day. A late fee of $15.00 will be charged for those payments not received before the conference.

For more information please contact Ashaki McNeil, DCJS, Program Analyst at
(804) 225-4329 or or visit our website at

NASMHPD releases report highlighting vital role of crisis hotlines

Last week, the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD) released a new technical report entitled Suicide Prevention Efforts for Individuals with Serious Mental Illness: Roles for the State Mental Health Authority. This report, which was a collaborative effort between NASMHPD’s Medical Directors Council and the Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC), highlights the important role that crisis hotlines can play in preventing suicide and specifically recommends that public mental health systems support and collaborate with crisis hotlines.

The public mental health system should support and collaborate with crisis hotlines to ensure individuals at risk for suicide, including those who have made a suicide attempt, can readily access high quality crisis support services.

The emphasis given to the important work of hotlines would not have been possible without the strong partnership shared between the Lifeline and NASMHPD. The workgroup meeting for this groundbreaking report, which took place in January 2007, included several Lifeline representatives, including members from the Lifeline’s Steering Committee and two subcommittees. Additionally, NASMPHD and SPRC allowed Lifeline’s Project Director, Dr. John Draper, to present before the workgroup on the vital role that crisis centers play in saving lives. As a result, the report includes a description of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline as well as a discussion of the SAMHSA-sponsored hotline evaluation studies published in the June 2007 issue of Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior.

Friday, April 11, 2008

CDC Releases Data from the National Violent Death Reporting System

An estimated 50,000 persons die annually in the United States as a result of violence-related injuries - approximately 137 people each day. Most communities lack the information they need to understand and ultimately prevent these deaths. Responding to this need, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) established the National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS) in 2002. NVDRS provides a comprehensive picture of violent death because it combines information from toxicology reports, crime reports, medical/coroners reports, death certificates, and other reports related to each death. By taking the once fragmented pieces of information and connecting them, NVDRS helps researchers and public health practitioners see more about the circumstances surrounding the violent deaths.

CDC is pleased to present the first detailed summary of data concerning violent deaths from 16 states collected by NVDRS in the April 11, 2008 edition of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report Surveillance Summaries (MMWR). The report, "Surveillance for Violent Deaths - National Violent Death Reporting System, 16 States, 2005," summarizes data on nearly 16,000 violent deaths occurring in 16 states in CDC's National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS) for 2005. The report examines several types of violent death, including incidents with multiple victims; provides up to date information on the demographic characteristics of violent deaths; and describes precipitating factors for violent deaths such as intimate partner violence and relationship problems, mental health problems, and drug or alcohol use at the time of death.

Findings show the majority of violent deaths included in the report were suicides (56percent); followed by homicides and deaths involving legal interventions (30 percent); violent deaths of undetermined intent (13 percent); and unintentional firearm deaths (0.7 percent). Other key findings in the report include:

* Approximately one third of homicides were precipitated by another crime.

* In 79 percent of these cases, the crime was in progress at the time of the incident.

* The crime was most often a robbery (40 percent), followed by assault(16 percent) or activity related to the drug trade (10 percent).

* Nearly 46 percent of suicide victims were described as experiencing a depressed mood. Almost as many were diagnosed with mental health problems (42 percent), yet only 33 percent of all suicide victims were known to be receiving mental health treatment at the time of death.

* Suicides by former and current military personnel comprised 20 percent of all suicides.

* Among military personnel suicides, 38 percent of decedents had a physical health problem that was believed to have contributed to the suicide-nearly twice as many as non-military personnel.

* Two hundred violent incidents involved a homicide followed by the suicide of the suspect.

* Seventy-five percent of victims were female, whereas 90 percent of suspects (suicide decedents) were male.

* Relationship problems or intimate partner violence (IPV) were precipitating factors for many forms of violence.

* Nineteen percent of all homicides were precipitated by IPV.

* Fifty-two percent of all female homicides were precipitated by IPV compared with nine percent of all male homicides.

* Thirty-two percent of all suicides were precipitated by a problem with an intimate partner.

* Alcohol intoxication was involved in many violent deaths: of the victims tested for alcohol (76 percent), nearly 60 percent were above the legal limit of 0.08 BAC at the time of death.

Information in this report provides some important clues to focus prevention

* Relationship problems or intimate partner conflict were precipitating factors for many forms of violence. Programs designed to enhance social problem-solving and coping skills, and skills dealing with stressful life events have potential to reduce violence.

* Prevention programs and efforts aimed at addressing mental health problems may reduce some of the precipitating factors for violence.

* Programs and efforts to increase education and outreach about warning signs for violence are very important for prevention.

For more information on this report and NVDRS please visit . You can also view an electronic copy of this document at (

Friday, March 28, 2008

Meeting Minutes

The minutes from the last VSPC meeting are avaialbe. If you would like a copy, please email Christy at

Priorities for the Coalition were set. They are:
• Solidify Membership
o Applications
o Identify who we are currently missing and invite them to participate
• Reconnect with DMHMRSAS.
• Raise awareness of the Virginia Suicide Prevention Coalition. This is a group effort! Mention the blog whenever you can, include it on resource materials, etc.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Urgent Request From CrisisLink

Fairfax Funding for Crisis Hotlines At-Risk: Come Show Your Support April 2nd

Join us to show your support for continued funding of CrisisLink's Crisis Hotlines.

We urgently need community members and supporters to turn out on April 2nd to show support for continued Fairfax County funding for CrisisLink's Crisis Hotlines:
• WHEN: Wednesday, April 2
• WHAT: Fairfax Board of Supervisors Public Hearing FY09 Budget
• TIME: Begins @ 7:00 pm, CrisisLink is speaker #37 so please be there by 8:00 pm
• WHERE: Fairfax County Government Center
• Directions:

Your action is essential to ensuring that CrisisLink can keep our Crisis Hotlines going 24/7/365-so please bring your family, friends, neighbors and colleagues too!

The Fairfax County-Falls Church Community Services Board (CSB) has proposed eliminating all funding for CrisisLink's Crisis Hotlines in FY09. Fairfax-Falls Church CSB funding represents approximately 25% of CrisisLink's Crisis Hotlines budget.

Thank you to the 63 supporters who showed up at the Fairfax Human Services Council meeting on March 10th--the Council was very impressed by this turnout, but we need an even bigger turnout this time!

April 2nd is your major chance to show support for Fairfax funding of CrisisLink's Crisis Hotlines in FY09.

The need for CrisisLink's Crisis Hotlines is greater than ever before:
• Last year, CrisisLink took over 7,600 calls from Fairfax callers, up 40% from just the year before.
• In 2006, suicides outnumbered homicides by 5:1 in Fairfax County
• Based on a national study, if CrisisLink prevented only 10% of Fairfax callers calling about suicide from attempting suicide in FY07, we saved Fairfax County over $1,078,000 in 9-1-1, police, emergency services, emergency room and treatment costs in that year alone.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Half of Us

The Jed Foundation, a nonprofit organization focused on preventing suicide among college students, and mtvU, MTV's college network, have dedicating March programming to college students' mental health. A component of the "Half of Us" campaign, the programming will focus on the toll that stress and other emotional issues are having on the national college audience and provide additional online resources and information about where to get help on campus. Learn more about this campaign and current programming at mtvU’s “Half of Us” website.

Stop Bullying Web-cast

Stop Bullying Now! Web cast
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
1:30 pm - 3:00 pm EDT

Community Action: What YOU can do to Stop Bullying Now!
Hosted by HRSA and

The Stop Bullying Now! Web cast will feature "spotlight examples" of state- and community-level campaigns that use the Stop Bullying Now! resources, and will outline how YOU can put the resources to work locally. The web cast will also include a brief overview of the entire Stop Bullying Now! Campaign and its resources.

Presenters will include: CAPT Stephanie Bryn, MPH - U.S. Dept of Health & Human Services, Health Resources & Services Administration. Dr. Susan Limber - Institute on Family and Neighborhood Life Clemson University

Spotlight on school, community and state developed programming.

To register online, go to

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Mental Health Parity Passes U.S. House

On March 5, 2008, the United States House of Representatives passed The Paul Wellstone Mental Health and Addiction Equity Act (H.R. 1424). The final vote was 268-148.

The U.S. Senate passed its version of mental health parity legislation (S. 558) on September 18, 2007. The House and Senate will now need to reach consensus on differences between the two bills so that the same bill can be re-passed by the House and Senate and sent to President George W. Bush. SPAN USA hopes that the differences can be worked out quickly so that millions of Americans will see equity between mental health and addiction recovery services and those for physical health services.

SPAN USA appreciates all of the hard work Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-RI), Rep. Jim Ramstad (R-MN) as well as the House leadership provided to obtain passage of federal mental health parity legislation in the U.S. House. Finally, SPAN USA thanks all of its grassroots advocates who sent emails seeking cosponsorship of the bill and who called their representatives asking them to vote for it. Advocacy in Action works!

More information can be found on the SPAN website.

Veteran's in Virginia

Va. Braces for veterans' needs, Washington Post, Mar. 1, 2008
Officials in Virginia are grappling with how to meet the mental health needs of the state’s returning veterans that choose to access community services instead of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) services. The article cites many reasons for veterans not utilizing VA services, including lack of proximity of VA centers, possible stigma from other service members, and long waiting lists for services. More information can be found at the SPRC website.

LGBT Issues: Free Training Teleconference

This just in from SPRC's Spark: Registration is now open for a free teleconference training entitled “Reducing Stigma and Discrimination among People who are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT)".This teleconference, presented by SAMHSA’s Resource Center to Address Discrimination and Stigma Associated With Mental Illness (ADS Center), is planned for Wednesday, March 12, 2008, 2:00–3:30p.m. ET. To read more about this event and link to the registration page, visit ADS Center. Note: Registration for this teleconference will close at 5:00p.m. on Monday, March 10.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Coalition Meeting

Make it a priority!!! March 3rd will be our first Virginia Suicide Prevention Council (now Coalition) meeting in a long while. First the particulars:

Sheraton Park South. You can click the link to get directions or other needed hotel information.
Who: Anyone interested in the suicide prevention & intervention. You do NOT have to be an "official" member of the Coalition. All stakeholders in suicide prevention are welcome. Come ready to work!
When: 10:00am to 3:00pm
What: The agenda is still in flux... YOUR input is desired. Please forward any ideas, needs, what if's to me by February 29th.

Please RSVP!! I need to give the hotel a head count.

Why make time for this??? It is incredibly difficult to eek out time to participate in yet ANOTHER meeting. The VASPC has quietly toiled away for several years. You deserve some recognition! You deserve to see the fruits of hard work! You deserve LUNCH! We need your time, talent and passion to continue moving forward.

What I need from each of you...

If you know of someone who has done tremendous work in Suicide Prevention, Intervention and Education, please send me an email so that they might be recognized for their work at the Coalition meeting.

Would you send me any training numbers, information about the kinds of trainings you are doing, groups trained, etc so that we can compile this information into a report. I am not going to be so brave as to promise it for the Coalition meeting, but it could happen. At least we could have a rough draft-a general gist, something. You can send it to me by February 29th. This would be an incredible document to have for our state representatives and for future federal funding opportunities.

I'd like to create a roster of VASPC participants. Will you send me your contact information also? I would like to be able to distribute this as a resource to other Coaltion members. You can send it to me by February 29th.

Even if you cannot attend the meeting, please forward any information you have about your work (or your organizations work) that we might compile into our report. You can send it to me. If you can't be there send us your good thoughts, energy and vibes. You will be missed!

Please send all of this informaiton by February 29th to (That includes the RSVP.) I will be out of town a bunch between now and the 3rd; but, I will make every effort to compile everything for the 3rd.

Spread the word. We don't have nearly enough people on our email flash list. Get the word out about the Coalition and about the meeting.

Hope to see you all in a mere two weeks.

Olweus Certification Training

You (or a member of your staff) are invited to submit an application to take part in training for certification as a trainer in the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program. The training will take place June 17-19, 2008 in Williamsburg, Virginia.

The purpose of the training is to expand our cadre of well-trained individuals in Virginia who are certified to provide training and follow-up consultation to Bullying Prevention Coordinating Committees at elementary, intermediate, middle, and/or junior high schools that desire to implement the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program. A description of the certification process and requirements for certification is attached.

If you are interested in taking part in this training for certification, we invite you to complete the attached application form. The deadline for returned applications is April 20, 2008. Although we hope to accommodate all interested individuals, we are committed to ensuring that the training is as interactive as possible and therefore will limit the number of participants.
A selection process will take into account such factors as the experience of the individuals seeking training, the expressed need for certified trainers in localities and within school divisions and the familiarity of applicants with the model. Virginia applicants will receive priority. Applicants will be notified of their participation in the TOT by May 10, 2008. The training will be provided by a team of experienced trainers including Jane Riese and Katie Moffett.

The cost of the certification training and the follow-up consultation is $3,900. This fee will include:

A three-day initial training (June 17-19, 2008)
A training notebook, including a CD-ROM containing PowerPoint slides and electronic versions of handouts needed for trainings A copy of all required and recommended Olweus Bullying Prevention Program materials Ongoing telephone consultation (approximately 15 hours total) with an Expert Trainer over a 24 month period A two-day booster training (date to be determined at the initial training)

If you have any questions about this invitation or any of the conditions described in this mailing, please do not hesitate to contact Katie Moffett at the Center for School-Community-Collaboration at 804-827-2622 or email For information about the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program, we encourage you to visit the website for the program at
Please feel free to share this information with appropriate colleagues.

Thank you for your interest in the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program. We hope that you will consider submitting an application!

Friday, February 15, 2008

GOSAP Grant Program

The Governor's Office for Substance Abuse Prevention (GOSAP) is pleased to announce the 2008-2009 Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act
(SDFSCA) Grant Program. The Request for Proposals (RFP) outlining the program components and specifics is now available at . GOSAP SDFSCA grant programs are intended to supplement the SDFSCA funds that flow directly from the Virginia Department of Education to every local school division for substance abuse and violence prevention programming. In addition, community needs assessments regarding youth substance abuse and violence may also seek GOSAP SDFSCA funds.

Organizations who intend to submit a proposal for this funding are required to have a representative attend one of the three RFP Workshops. Workshops are being held in Newport News on February 29, 2008, in Wytheville on March 5, 2008, and in Stafford County on March 7, 2008. Please see the web site (see above) for specifics regarding the workshops.

If you are not able to reach the web site, or still have questions after reading the RFP and information, please contact Joy Rogers-Murphy at the VCU Center for School-Community Collaboration at (804) 828-1482 or

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Virginia Data

As you are aware, injuries are a leading public health problem in Virginia. In 2006, there were 4,004 injury related deaths and 38,635 injury related hospitalizations. The Division of Injury and Violence Prevention, Virginia Department of Health just released Injury in Virginia, 2006, an in-depth analysis of injury-related inpatient hospitalization discharges and deaths in Virginia for the calendar year 2006. There are two new additions to the Injury in Virginia, 2006 report this year:

1. A Virginia Injury Review, which examines hospitalization and death related injuries in Virginia over the last five years (2002-2006)

2. The inclusion of 2006 hospitalization and death injury data for each of Virginia’s 35 Health Districts

The Injury in Virginia 2006 report and other injury related reports can be found on the web at If you have any questions or need additional data please contact me by phone at 804-864-7745 or by email at

Men Get Depression

Beginning in May, 2008, PBS Stations will air a documentary titled "Men Get Depression." This is part of a larger initiative on men and depression that can be found at The web site looks very interesting.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Job Openings at SPAN

Development Director
Suicide Prevention Action Network USA (SPAN USA) seeks energetic self starter with passion for mental health and suicide prevention to build donor base, plan and manage annual giving campaign, cultivate major donors, organize annual fundraiser and develop grant/foundation portfolio.

Bachelor's degree, excellent communication skills, 5-7 years experience in development at a non-profit or philanthropic organization, proficiency in MS Word and basic knowledge of spreadsheet and database software required. Click here for more details. Send resume with cover letter and salary history to

Administrative Assistant/Bookkeeper
Suicide Prevention Action Network USA (SPAN USA) seeks energetic self starter to manage day-to-day office administrative operation of small organization with focus on mental health and suicide prevention. The part-time position is 32 hours per week in eight-hour days, but alternate arrangements will be considered. Casual atmosphere and excellent opportunity to support the contribution of a nonprofit!

Three to five years administrative experience, including two years bookkeeping and/or accounting, excellent communication skills, and proficiency in MS Office and database applications including Access. Knowledge of QuickBooks is required and experience with web content management is preferred. Click here for more details. Send resume with cover letter to

Monday, February 4, 2008

2005 Mortality Data Available

WISQARS Updated with 2005 Mortality Data

CDC’s Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS) has now been updated with 2005 mortality data from NCHS' National Vital Statistics System. To access this data online, visit the WISQARS website.

For a summary of the latest national suicide data, prepared by Dr. John McIntosh, visit the American Association of Suicidology’s website.

Monday, January 28, 2008

CISM Training-Tidewater

March 1st-2nd. Critical Incident Stress Management Individual Crisis Intervention and Peer Support Course. Sponsored by the Tidewater Critical Incident Stress Management Team, Tidewater EMS Council, Inc.

March 1 & 2, 2008 0830-1630
Must attend both days to receive credit

$50.00 for CISM Members / $125.00 for Non Members

Checks at the door or call the office to pay by credit card 757-963-0632. NO CASH will be accepted at the door. Cost includes ICISF Certificate and Book. Coffee and light refreshments provided. Lunch is on your own. TEMS has a refrigerator and microwave on campus.

Please register by Friday February 22, 2008. Contact Heidi Gamblin by email if you have any questions at or phone 757-963-0632 x317.

When registering, please state your team affiliation.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Legislative Institute

Suicide Prevention Action Network USA (SPAN USA) advocates will be engaging in training on February 26th and going to Capitol Hill on February 27th and asking their members of Congress to cosponsor H.R. 4897 and its Senate companion (S. 1854). To join other suicide prevention advocates for these meetings, along with a Hill luncheon, tour of the Capitol and to view a display of Lifekeeper Memory Quilts on Capitol Hill, register for the Legislative Institute. Participants in this year's Legislative Institute will also have the opportunity to join our annual Friend for Life reception. Invited guests include Senator Gordon Smith, Senator Tom Harkin, Representative Leonard Boswell, and Representative Jim Ramstad. Also Award Winning Actress Marcia Gay Harden has been invited to join us after her prominent roles in the movies Canvas and Rails & Ties. You may know her from other films such as Mona Lisa Smile, Mystic River, Meet Joe Black or Space Cowboys. The regular registration deadline is January 31, so sign-up now! For more information and to register, please visit:

Thursday, January 24, 2008

University of Rochester Spring Training Institute

The University of Rochester is excited to announce its Second Annual Training Institute, Promoting Mental Health through Community Collaborations in Research. This Spring Research Institute on Community-Partnered Suicide Prevention Research is designed for academic-community partners who seek to deepen their experience in collaborative suicide prevention research public health and preventative approaches to decreasing suicide and related behaviors.

Applicants must apply as a team of at least two (one researcher and a lead community member). These partners must have a demonstrable commitment to work together fully and equitably in leading research on mental health issues (e.g., exposure to violence, substance abuse and others).

Applicants must provide at least one letter of support for each team member written by a director, dean, or department chair and a jointly authored three-page statement of collaborative research intent in concept paper form. This paper must include research aims, research focus, study design, information about the study population, expertise of the research team, location, and expected public health and policy relevance.

The full application packet is due by February 22, 2008 and applicants will be notified of the decision by March 8, 2008.

Details about the conference are posted on our website,

We hope to see you in Rochester in April, 2008!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Coalition Meeting

Please mark March 3, 2008 on your calendars! The Virginia Suicide Prevention Coalition is going to meet. We are tenatively scheduled to meet in Richmond. The specific time and location will be announced as the date gets closer.

On the Agenda so far:
Regional updates from those attending on suicide prevention efforts and training
Discussion of Garrett Lee Smith projects currently underway in Virginia
A State update
A presentation on NVDRS
Next steps?

Monday, January 14, 2008

Student Assistance Programming (SAP) Training

Announcing - Five regional Student Assistance Programming (SAP) two-day
trainings, which are being offered, free of charge, by the Virginia Department of Education and the Department of Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse Services, Project Treat (Training and Resource for Effective Adolescent Treatment). Project Treat is a grant initiative funded through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA).

SAP is a comprehensive K-12 approach to prevent and to address violence, substance use and mental health issues that interfere with student learning. It is a systematic process for school-based teams to work collaboratively with community resources to prevent or minimize these barriers. SAP is data-driven and utilizes existing school and community resources to address issues impacting school climate and individual students.

The trainings are designed for a school division or a school to send a team of five individuals. The team should include education and community counseling agency staff and a parent. A principal, a division level staff person or a school board member should be one of the education representatives on the team. Each training session is limited to twelve teams.

February 19 & 20, Williamsburg
February 21 & 22, Richmond
March 4 & 5, Harrisonburg
April 10 & 11, Abingdon
April 15 & 16, Caroline County

Teams will be accepted according to the date the registrations are received.
Refreshments and lunch will be provided. Lodging and travel expenses will be the responsibility of the participants. Expenses may be paid from federal funding already available to the school division under the Safe and Drug-Free schools program.

To register, click on the following link:

If the training is full, you are having trouble registering or you need to cancel, please contact Nancy Campbell, administrative assistant (VDOE), at (804)225-2910 or For any other additional information, contact Jo Ann Burkholder, specialist for safe and drug-free schools program (VDOE), at 804-371-7586 or

Upcoming CrisisLink Events

CrisisLink is also hosting several other events. Mark your calendars for:

March 8 - Spring Fashion Show Benefiting CrisisLink
April 12 - LinkUp & Listen, CrisisLink's 4th Annual Gala Event

You can get more information on both of these fun events at

CrisisLink Volunteer Training-Arlington

New Hotline Volunteer Listeners Needed. Classes begin Feb. 2! Attend one of our upcoming information sessions in Arlington to learn more about the opportunity.

Monday, January 14

Wednesday, January 23

Call Lindsay Paulette-Chapman at 703-527-6016 for details or to RSVP

ASIST Training

Jane Wiggins has two ASISTS scheduled for Thursday/Friday Feb. 21-22 and May 8-9, 2008. If you are in the Harrisonburg VA area and would like to take advantage of this oppotunity, please contact:

Jane R. Wiggins
Program Director
Central Shenandoah Valley
Youth Suicide Prevention Initiative
Work: (540) 568-8901
Fax: (540) 568-6409

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

AAS Conference

Don't forget the American Association of Suicidology Conference held in Boston, MA
April 16th - 19th, 2008. You can get more information about the conference at or by clicking the AAS link in the Stakeholders in Prevention box.

SPAN Legislative Institute


When: February 26-27
Where: Washington, DC
Why: Achieve Change Through Action
What's New: SPAN USA Lifekeeper Memorial Quilt display on Capitol Hill, Capitol Tour, Field Liaison Roundtable, attend the Friend for Life Reception...and more!