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Thursday, October 20, 2011

National Suicide Survivors Day

From Christina Benton, Suicide Prevention Manger, Virginia Department of Health

On November 19, 2011, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) will sponsor an event to provide an opportunity for the survivor community to come together for support, healing, and information. Simultaneous conferences for survivors of suicide loss will take place throughout the U.S. and internationally.
Each conference site is organized locally, but they’re all connected in spirit as participants across the globe watch a special 90-minute AFSP broadcast together. In the U.S., conference sites will show the broadcast together from 1-2:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.

In Virginia, there are four local conference sites taking part in this event. These events are taking place in Fishersville, Richmond, Salem, and Woodbridge. For information about each of the four events please see the contact information included at the bottom of this email.

For those survivors of suicide loss who don't live near a conference site or who find it difficult to attend in person, the 90-minute broadcast will also be available live on the AFSP website from 1-2:30 pm, Eastern Standard Time, with a live online chat immediately following the program. It will then be saved on the website so that survivors can watch it again throughout the year at anytime.

To register to watch from your home computer or to learn more about the event, please use the following link,

Information on Local Virginia Conference Sites (all will take place on Saturday, November 19, 2011)

Augusta Health Community Care Building, 64 Sports Medicine Drive, Fishersville, VA 22939
Conference Starts: 12:30 p.m. EST
Contact: Nancy Koplin,, 540-332-4012

Richmond Public Library, 101 East Franklin Street, Richmond, VA 23219
Conference Starts: 12:30 pm EST
Contact: Ashlee Witt,, 804-894-7158

Education Center Auditorium/Lewis-Gale Medical Center, 1900 Electric Road, Salem, VA 24153 Conference Starts: 12:30 pm EST
Contact: Diane Kelly (MHA of Roanoke Valley),, 540-344-0931

Sentara (Potomac) Hospital 2300 Optiz Blvd. Woodbridge, VA 22191
Conference Starts: 12:30 pm EST
Contact: Victoria Graham,, 703-221-1144

There are also two local conferences taking place in the Washington DC Metro Area. Their information is:

Residence Inn Alexandria Old Town, 1456 Duke Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
Conference Starts: 12:00 p.m. EST
Contact: Dennis Tackett,, 703-644-2112

Washington DC
Howard University, 2455 6th Street NW, Washington, DC 20001
Conference Starts: 12:00 p.m. EST
Contact: Zikia Jones-Martin, 678-437-7727,

Monday, October 3, 2011

Suicide Prevention Training - ASIST

Staunton City Schools, in conjunction with the Virginia Department of Health, is hosting an Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) program in Staunton, VA October 20-21, 2011.

ASIST is the most widely used intervention skills training in the US. It is a two-day intensive, interactive and practice-dominated course designed to help caregivers recognize risk for suicide, intervene to prevent immediate harm and link persons at risk to the next level of care.

ASIST is often used by people in a variety of “front line” positions. It is for all caregivers (any person in a position of trust). It is suitable for school counselors, psychologists, social workers, administrators, nurses, case workers, police/correctional/juvenile justice staff, soldiers, organizations working with military/veterans, social service staff, foster care staff, clergy, advocates for elderly and all 'natural helpers' who work in the field of human service (regardless of the population served).

Because of the support of the Virginia Department of Health's Division of Prevention and Health Promotion, this training will be offered at no cost to participants; the training is typically valued at $250. All training materials will be provided; meals will be "on your own".

Because of the demand for seats, please register only if you are able to attend the full two days, and are not 'on-call' for other duties during that time.

All participants will receive a certificate documenting 14 hours of instruction. Continuing Education credits are available for licensed social workers, licensed professional counselors, and law enforcement upon request. Participants who miss any part of the training will not receive CEUs or a certificate.

Training Details
Memorial Baptist Church
224 Taylor St.
Staunton, Va

October 20th-21st
8:00am – 4:00pm (both days)

Please contact Christina Benton for any questions at or 804-864-7736.