Session Descriptions

Below are the Session descriptions for the 2018 Conference.  More details will be provided as they are available.

Monday, October 22

8:30am – Introduction

8:45am – 9:30am – Frank Campbell: LOSS: Installation of H0PE 

9:30am – 10:30am – LOSS Panel Discussion

10:30am – 10:45am – Break

10:45am – 12:00pm – Teri Krull: Keeping Hope Alive for Our Children
This presentation will review suicide’s impact on parents, children, families and friends. Complicated grief will be discussed coupled with research supported information on the impact of oppression and multicultural insensitivity when treating the child survivor with the prospect of hope being highlighted as a key component of care for all survivors, most especially the children.

Learning Objectives: Participants will be able to review points of interest regarding Child Survivors as a treatment population identify specific information regarding complicated grief explain the impact of oppression and multicultural insensitivity in engaging with the child survivor describe, identify and utilize ways to instill hope into the lives of child survivors 

12:00pm – 1:15pm – Networking Lunch

1:15pm – 2:45pm – Break Out Sessions

Clinician: Teri Krull – Experiential Play Therapy Part 1

First Responders/LOSS Teams: Don Belau – Moving Past the Suicide Loss Call
Individuals who respond to a suicide loss scene whether they are law enforcement, first responders, or a LOSS team are vulnerable to distress. There are physiological and emotional changes when the individual reaches out to and connects with the suicide loss survivor.

No two LOSS calls out is alike which adds to uncertainty. It is a challenge for the first responder and/or LOSS team member to strive to maintain control of their emotions, their voice, and the same time be reassuring, providing hope to the survivor, affirming to them that they are not alone and that there is hope.

Coping is a complex process which is too often pushed into the background, leading to possible negative consequences.  Building resiliency of the team member is a process which calls for the informed support of all who do this needed work. There are physiological and emotional changes which need to acknowledged.

This training provides an understanding of the complex emotional experiences that are presented during a suicide loss call out, and offers techniques to enhance the building of personal resiliency which helps negate the emotional burnout that first responder and/or LOSS team member may experience.

Learning Objectives:

• Be able to acknowledge the complexity of emotions that a first responder and/or LOSS Team member may experience
• Summarize Various Barriers to Coping
• Identify how to Build Personal Pillars of Coping
• List the principles of Building Self-Resiliency
• Explain the importance of Building and Maintaining Peer Support

2:45pm – 3:00pm – Break

3:00pm – 4:30pm Break Out Sessions

Clinician: Teri Krull – Experiential Play Therapy Part 2

First Responders/LOSS Teams: Stephanie Schweitzer, LOSS Teams: Building Team
Partnerships with First Responders

This workshop will take participants from the beginning stages of how to set up a LOSS Team in their community to sustaining that program in the community it serves while expanding it to meet the needs of both the neighboring service areas and the changing needs of its most important partners, the team members and its primary partner organizations, those first responders connecting them to the newly bereaved survivors. Special attention will be given to developing the type of working relationship with local law enforcement and Coroner’s Offices that becomes a “team approach” to helping survivors immediately.

In addition, participants will learn how every LOSS callout, response to a suicide death scene, is different. Various potential scenarios and additional roles of team members will be described. While a LOSS Team’s primary role is to provide the instillation of hope to the newly bereaved and guide them to survivor support services and behavioral health and medical services, every callout to a suicide death scene and every postvention visit is unique. Therefore, various scenarios will be outlined, including the difficult dynamics of supporting survivors through multi-complex trauma, cultural sensitivities, organ and tissue donations, and how team members can ensure their own psychological and physical well-being is maintained while serving others after they have walked this same grief journey.

Tuesday, October 23

8:30am – Introduction/housekeeping

8:45am – 10:00am – Jeff Dill: First Responders: A Cult of Their Own?
This keynote will look at the world of 1st responders, how brainwashing occurs, and how to practice self-care to ensure we take care of ourselves.

Learning Objectives:

•  Attendees will identify emotional and behavioral actions within themselves.
•  Identify and put into practice on how to perform an Internal Size-Up.
•  Attendees will be able to utilize self-practice care.

10:00am – 10:30am Networking Break

10:30am – 12:00pm

Franklin Cook: Evidence- and Practice-Informed Approach to Implementing Peer Grief Support After Suicide Systematically in the USA

This workshop is based on an article of the same title recently published in Death Studies and written by the presenter and co-authors Linda Langford of SPRC and Kim Ruocco of TAPS. The paper states that indicators of the effectiveness of peer services for people bereaved by suicide are sufficient to support moving beyond the decentralized network of autonomous programs that now exists. It presents the TAPS program as an example of strategically imple-mented, comprehensive services that are meeting the needs of a large community of loss survivors (military families). It goes on to argue that Consumer-Operated Services, an organizational development model, and Recovery-Oriented Systems of Care, a systems-change model, could guide the establishment of systematic, nationwide, evi-dence-informed peer support for survivors of suicide loss.

Learning Objectives:

•  Explain key sources of the evidence base for the effectiveness of peer support for the suicide bereaved
•  Explain how various elements of the TAPS program constitute a comprehensive peer-led response to suicide grief
•  Discuss how approaches such as Consumer-Operated Services and Recovery-Oriented Systems of Care could guide systematic development of peer services for suicide loss survivors

Kim Ruocco: Building a Postvention Program from a Survivors Perspective

This key note will highlight my own journey from tremendous grief to incredible growth. It will connect my journey with the three-part Best practice model developed for TAPS. This key note will provide a hopeful message of healing for survivors and those who care for them.

Learning Objectives:

•  Participants will be able to name three phases of a comprehensive, postvention model.
•  Participants will gain a message of hope that can be shared.
•  Participants will gain unique clarity on how survivors of suicide loss heal                      

10:45am – 12:00pm – Teri Krull: Keeping Hope Alive for Our Children

12:00pm – 1:15pm – Networking Lunch

1:15pm – 2:45pm – Break Out Sessions

First Responder: Jeff Dill: Saving Those Who Save Others, Part 1
Part 1 of a 2 Part Program.  This presentation involves a careful examination of firefighter suicides, PTSD, addictions and other behavioral health issues within the fire and EMS services. Emphasis is placed on the educational role FBHA plays nationally through the collected data and statistics.

Learning Objectives:

•  Attendees will identify emotional and behavioral actions of FF’s and EMS.
•  Identify Top Five warning signs/symptoms of possible suicidal firefighters and EMS
•  Attendees will be able to utilize communication skills with firefighters and EMS members.
•  Discussion of suicide rates within the EMS and fire service.
•  Attendees will understand how retirement plays a role emotionally for FF’s/EMTs.

Survivors: Franklin Cook: Grief Sharing Circles

2:45pm – 3:00pm – Break

3:00pm – 4:30pm Break Out Sessions

First Responder: Jeff Dill: Saving Those Who Save Others, Part 2
This is part two of a two part program.  This presentation involves a careful examination of firefighter suicides, PTSD, addictions and other behavioral health issues within the fire and EMS services. Emphasis is placed on the educational role FBHA plays nationally through the collected data and statistics.

Survivors: Kim Ruocco: TAPS specifics