Previous Symposium Presentations

Find presentation materials from previous Texas Suicide Prevention Symposiums by clicking on the links below to view or download the full PDF, Word, or PowerPoint files.


What Are We Missing? Addressing the Rising Suicide Rates Among Black Youth

Presented by: Michael Lindsey

Suicide is preventable. Sadly, the suicide death rate among Black youth has been found to be increasing faster than any other racial or ethnic group. In this presentation, Dr. Lindsey will discuss signs and symptoms of depression, suicide, and anxiety in Black children. He will also explore the importance of access to care, as well as preventive measures and policy.

Creating a Suicide Safe School Culture: Suicide Safer Schools Roadmap

Presented by: Michael Boehl, Terri McBryde, Holly Robles, PhD

The Texas Suicide Prevention Collaborative has developed the Texas Advanced Suicide Safer Schools Roadmap, a guide to developing your own district plan for suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention. Expert trainers and authors in school and youth suicide prevention will share key points and pro tips from TxSSSR for school personnel in all levels of skill development to develop their own district suicide prevention and intervention plan.


Pre-teen Suicide Risk and the Need for Upstream Prevention

Presented by: John Ackerman, PhD

Although less prevalent in the teenage years, elementary school-aged children can experience suicidal thoughts and behaviors, and the reported suicide rate among youth ages 10–14 has nearly tripled in the past decade. Moreover, racial disparities exist such that Black youth are twice as likely to die by suicide than white youth under the age of 12. The possibility of heightened vulnerability during the pandemic will be discussed.


Promoting Life, Coping with Death: Social Media, Social Connection, and Youth Suicide Prevention

Presented by: Jonathan Singer, PhD

School staff have a unique role in identifying and responding to youth suicide risk. This includes understanding the role of technology, including social media, in youth suicide prevention. When the unthinkable happens, school staff need to understand not only short-term crisis work but also the components of long-term school-based postvention.

Overview: Texas Child Mental Health Care Consortium

Presented by: Luanne Southern

The Texas Child Mental Health Care Consortium (TCMHCC) was created by the 86th Texas Legislature to leverage the expertise and capacity of the health-related institutions of higher education to address urgent mental health challenges and improve the mental health care system in this state in relation to children and adolescents. TCMHCC offers a vast array of resources to schools, primary care providers and others who are addressing the needs of children and adolescents in Texas.


Update from the State Title IV Office

Presented by: Rod Pruitt

In this presentation, we will provide an update of the efforts of the Title IV, Part A School Safety State Initiative in partnering with the Texas Suicide Prevention Collaborative to provide training and guidance to the education service centers and local education agencies in the areas of suicide prevention, reentry, and postvention.



Working With and Through Local Coalitions to Improve Suicide Prevention Outcomes

Presented by: Jennifer Crutsinger, LPC and Diane Manley

The Resilient Youth Safer Environments (RYSE) Garrett Lee Smith SAMHSA grant supports comprehensive Suicide Safer Early Intervention and Prevention Systems aimed at supporting youth-serving organizations in the Galveston County Region. This presentation will provide an overview of RYSE and discuss how working with local coalitions improves suicide prevention outcomes


On the Horizon: Suicide Prevention Efforts in 2022

Presented by: Courtney Harvey, PhD

This presentation will dive into HHSC’s suicide prevention goals for 2022. Participants will get a look into HHSC’s team efforts and learn how these resources can build their local communities.


Preparing for 988: The National Perspective

Presented by: James Wright

This presentation and discussion will focus on the national transition to 988, SAMHSA’s vision for 988 readiness and response, and what it means for Texas crisis services, critical partnerships and collaborations, Lifeline and crisis center response, and ultimately individual crisis care.


National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and 988 Planning Grant Overview

Presented by: Reilly Webb

Participants will learn about the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline structure in Texas and be provided an overview of current and future planning efforts related to 988 transition including Texas Health and Human Services Commission priorities.


Updates from the State Suicide Prevention Coordinator

Presented by: Tammy Weppelman, Bethany Myers, and Jennifer Haussler Garing

At the end of this presentation participants will be able to

    1. List three current suicide prevention initiatives in Texas
    2. Describe populations that experienced changes in suicide mortality and attempts in 2020
    3. Describe how Texas has incorporated the Zero Suicide framework in the public mental health system


Self-Reflection: Insights from the 2021 Disney Spirit Awardee

Presented by: Tre Tipton

Tre Tipton, the 2021 Disney Spirit Award’s Most Inspirational College Football Player, will travel through his mental health journey as he faced adversity and trauma from childhood through his college years. Travel this extraordinary path of perseverance through tough struggles with faith and self-determination as he moved through help, healing, and hope.



Flipping the Script: Reidentifying Rural Values as Opportunities to Prevent Suicide

Presented by: Nathaniel Mohatt

Rural communities experience higher and faster growing suicide rates compared to urban areas. There are unique strengths and challenges that contribute to suicide risk and resilience in rural areas. By identifying protective factors and how to leverage them to prevent suicide, we can strengthen strategies within rural communities to reduce suicide deaths.



Black Suicide Science: Understanding Crisis in a Different Context

Presented by: RL Walker

The path that leads to suicide vulnerability is often characterized singularly such that a specific set of problems are believed to escalate risk. However, suicide deaths among Black adults and youth seem reveal a relatively unique course. Dr. Walker will discuss patterns of suicide death, highlight relevant research from the Culture, Risk, and Resilience Lab, and propose important steps in addressing suicide as a serious but preventable public health concern.


Postvention, Loss, and Grief and the Pivot to Hope, Healing, and Recovery

Presented by: Kate Hardy

Each suicide loss survivor has a unique story, life, and often times grief journey. Kate Hardy is a nine-time suicide loss survivor who was one of the many who did not feel comfortable in traditional and conventional postvention efforts. This panelist will show the positive effects of using novel approaches to reach and address the unmet needs of survivors, acknowledging that traditional activities and services meet many needs for survivors, and thus, have become the status quo, but out-of-the-box thinking could increase preventative and post-care impact.



So, You Want to Start a LOSS Team?

Presented by: Frank Campbell, PhD

The L.O.S.S. (Local Outreach to Suicide Survivors) Team is an Active Postvention Model (APM) that was first presented in 1997 as an approach to reduce the elapsed time between a suicide death and those who were impacted seeking local resources for help. The presentation will describe the goals and accomplishments of the L.O.S.S. Program, outline the research results associated with the program, and offer ideas for modeling the program in new areas.


Community-based Interventions for Suicide Prevention: Working Together to End Veteran Suicide

Presented by: Aaron Eagan

The SP 2.0 Community-Based Interventions for Suicide Prevention (CBI-SP) model builds upon VHA’s Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention current efforts and reaches Veterans through facilitating community coalitions focused on ending Veteran suicide. Learn the three focus areas of this evidence-informed model.



Suicide Prevention in a Diverse Social Service Agency: Tackling the Barriers to Achieving Confidence in Prevention Skills Across All Staff

Presented by: Jill Palmer, DSW, LCSW

Our multifaceted approach to suicide prevention is best dispersed across the organization. A level of confidence across all staff is vitally important to identify clients who are in need of suicide support, management, or crisis intervention. The removal of waiting for client lead behaviors for suicidal identification has been key for our organization, and the use of asking screening questions has allowed us to provide care quickly with excellent results.


An Update on Suicide and Suicide Prevention in the United States and Texas: Focus on U.S. Veterans

Presented by: Rajeev Ramchand

This presentation will review the most recent data on trends in suicide deaths in the United States and Texas, including during lockdowns associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, in the general population, and specifically among U.S. Veterans. It will also review suicide risk factors and how risk factors may inform where mitigation strategies should be focused. It will conclude with a discussion of evidence-based strategies for prevention both within health-care settings and outside of such settings.


Upstream Suicide Prevention: New Initiatives from the Texas Veterans Commission

Presented by: Blake Harris, PhD

This presentation will outline the efforts of Texas Veterans Commission’s Veterans Mental Health Department (VMHD) to reduce Veteran suicide through use of a modified risk-needs-responsivity framework. VMHD’s statewide and local efforts are organized around elevated risk factors including military traumas, justice involvement, homelessness and housing instability, isolation, and limited access to attainable social supports.


Moral Injury in the Aftermath of Afghanistan

Presented by: Wyatt R. Evans, PhD, ABPP

Learn about the construct of moral injury and describe how this form of biopsychosocial-spiritual suffering may arise following exposure to values violations in the context of military operations. Specifically, the potential morally injurious aspects of war in the post-9/11 era up to and including the recent withdrawal from combat operations in Afghanistan will be highlighted.


Updates from the Army Suicide Prevention Office

Presented by: Derek Ferrell

The Army CRRT is a visibility tool designed to provide Command Teams at echelon the ability to see and understand risk factors impacting their formations and soldiers (BN/CO level). The intent is for commanders to utilize this tool to better support soldiers and address needs and risk factors in the attempt of adverting crisis to include suicide.


Texas National Guard – Resources for Prevention to Postvention

Presented by: Shandra Sponsler

This talk will center on the programs and services available to the Texas Military Department to support the health and wellness of the force, as well as resources for prevention to postvention. We will also discuss the role and resources of the Personnel Service Division, how to access them, and how to support the Guard members in your community.


New Developments in Lethal Means Safety

Presented by: Mike Anestis, PhD

Dr. Anestis will describe the nature and magnitude of the relationship between firearms and suicide and will identify communities particularly vulnerable to this tragedy. He will focus on various strategies for preventing firearm suicide and ongoing efforts to better understand effective messaging surrounding safe firearm storage, emphasizing the potential value of messaging as a public health tool.


The STRONG STAR Training Initiative: Building Provider Competence in the Delivery of Evidence-based Treatment for PTSD

Presented by: Brooke A. Fina, LCSW, BCD

Treating PTSD has an important role in suicide prevention as PTSD is one of the conditions that is predictive of suicidal behavior. Yet, recent surveys find that less than 20% of community providers are adequately trained to implement evidence-based treatments (EBTs) for PTSD. This presentation will present data on the SSTI program evaluation using the Reach, Effectiveness, Adoption, Implementation, and Maintenance (RE-AIM) framework to assess dissemination and implementation outcomes nationally and share information on the training model and opportunities for training for Veteran-serving providers.



Texas Suicide Prevention Symposium 2016

Texas was host to one of the nation’s largest suicide prevention events for the 14th year. The Texas Suicide Prevention Symposium 2016 featured local and national experts speaking on many of the highest priority suicide prevention topics. More than 800 participants and 40 vendors participated this year.

Message from the United States Chief Technology Officer

8:15am – 9:30am: Update on Local, State, and National Zero Suicide Initiatives

9:45am – 10:30am: General Session: Injury Prevention and Suicide Prevention

10:30am – 11:00am General Session: The Intersection of Chronic and Hidden Illnesses and Mental Health: Federal Initiatives Driving Change

11:00am – 11:30am: General Session: Department of Defense Public Health Approach to Suicide Prevention

11:30 – 12:00pm: General Session: The Data Age in Mental Health

  • Dr. Glen Coppersmith

12:00 – 1:15pm: Luncheon & General Session: Suicide Prevention and Social Media: The Good News for Digital Immigrants and Natives

1:15pm – 1:30pm General Session: Counseling on Access to Lethal Means

Session 1: National and Texas Initiatives for Suicide Prevention in Military and Veteran Populations Firearm Safety: Recommendations for Community and Clinical Efforts-A Holistic Approach in the Department of Defense and VA.

Texas Suicide Prevention and Peer Support Initiatives for Veteran Populations

  • Sean Hanna

Session 2: Resiliency & Upstream Suicide Prevention

Session 3: Trauma and Trauma Informed Care

Session 4: Injury Prevention and Suicide Prevention in K-12 and Colleges


Overview of State and National Zero Suicide Initiatives

Innovations in Clinical Assessment and Treatment David Jobes

Suicide Safer Schools!

Suicide Prevention Messaging and Social Media Done Safely

Twitter, Podcasts, and Live Streaming: Using Social Media as a Tool for Professional Development

Overview of CAMS Approach to Suicidal Risk

Youth Suicide: Contemporary Issues in Prevention, Intervention, and Postvention in Secondary Education

Tarrant County LOSS Team: A Local Perspective to Postvention

Prevention and Resiliency in Persons of Color Communities

Prevention and Resiliency in Special Populations