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Texas Suicide Prevention Symposium: Coming Together to Care 2014

Texas Suicide Prevention Council and Mental Health America of Texas. For more information about the Symposium, please contact

Tuesday, August 12, 2014 from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM (CDT)

Texas Suicide Prevention Symposium:  Coming Together...

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August 12-Symposium Registration
Texas Suicide Prevention Symposium Admission Ticket. In order to expedite the check-in process, please bring an electronic or paper version of your ticket with you.
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Event Details


 Texas Suicide Prevention Symposium: Coming Together to Care 2014

Co presented by:  

Texas Suicide Prevention Council

Mental Health America of Texas 

Texas Department of State Health Services 

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration  

Terri Goodman and Associates 

Embassy Suites San Marcos Hotel, Spa and Convention Center

 San Marcos, Texas 

Free (but limited) registration 

EXHIBITORS:  Register your exhibit at the following link:




August 12, 2014: 

 Texas Suicide Prevention Symposium:

Coming Together to Care 2014
 Veremendi Ballroom
 Embassy Suites San Marcos,  San Marcos Texas  8:30 am – 5:00 pm 


Texas Suicide Prevention Symposium: Coming Together to Care 2014

8:30 am – 5:00 pm

Embassy Suites San Marcos,  San Marcos Texas 

Registration check-in 8:00 am. Breakfast and lunch will be included.

8:30am – 10:15am – Welcome and Opening Session:  Overview of Texas and National Zero Suicide Initiatives-Veremendi Ballroom

Welcome - Lynn Lasky Clark, President/CEO Mental Health America of Texas and Evelyn Delgado, Assistant Commissioner, Texas Department of State Health Services 


Richard McKeon, Chief, Suicide Prevention Branch, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration @McKeonRichard

Jenna Heise, Suicide Prevention Coordinator, Texas Department of State Health Services

Merily Keller, Texas Suicide Prevention Council and Consultant to Mental Health America of Texas @hodgekeller

Molly Lopez, Research Associate Professor and Director, Texas Institute for Excellence in Mental Health, School of Social Work, University of Texas at Austin

Tammy Weppleman,  Director of Crisis Services,  Denton County MHMR

Individual clincians have gone to great lengths to save lives from the tragedy of suicide, but in many cases systems have failed. With the release of the 2012 National Strategy for Suicide Prevention, zero suicide was set as an aspirational goal and system-wide strategies were emphasized. Texas joined the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention to implement these goals, and is revising the Texas State Plan for Suicide Prevention to support the new strategies.  Richard McKeon will discuss the new national strategies; Jenna Heise will review statewide efforts; Merily Keller will talk about the new state plan and tips for communities on how to implement strategies, and Molly Lopez will discuss evaluation of the Texas program.  

10:30am – 11:45am – General Session:  The Perversion of Virtue: Understanding Murder-Suicide  Veremendi Ballroom

Thomas Joiner - The Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor of Psychology, Florida State University  @thomasjoiner

Murder-Suicide is an appalling tragedy, which, in the U.S. alone, happens more than twice a day, every single day.  Yet our understanding of the phenomenon is not particularly well developed.  This talk advances and defends a conjecture about the mental processes involved in murder-suicide with a focus on how this conjecture might inform prevention efforts, including youth. 

12:00pm - 1:15pm –Luncheon and General Session:   Cracked, Not Broken - Surviving and Thriving After a Suicide Attempt: The Kevin Hines Story - Veremendi Ballroom

Kevin Hines, International Speaker, Author and Mental Health Advocate.  @KevinHinesStory

The 2012 Lifetime Award Winner by the National Counsel for Behavioral Health and Eli Lilly, Kevin shares his story of triumph over adversity after his suicide attempt off the Golden Gate Bridge. 

1:30pm – 3:00pm – Breakout Sessions:  

  • Reducing Access to Lethal Means: CALM and Related Strategies  -Veremendi Ballroom E

 Elaine Frank, Center on Access to Lethal Means, Injury Prevention Center at Dartmouth College. 

Reducing access to lethal means-particularly firearms-is an effective strategy for suicide prevention. This workshop will focus on why and how communities in New Hampshire and across the country are implementing this strategy.  

  • Military and Veteran Prevention, Intervention and Research: Military Suicide Research Consortium and the Vets4Warriors Program  - Veremendi Ballroom  F

Thomas Joiner,  Department of Psychology and Director,  Military Suicide Research Consortium, Florida State University @thomasjoiner

Overview of research programs underway at the Military Suicide Research Consortium and its role in the National Action Plan.  

Mark A. Graham, Major General, U.S. Army, Director Vets4Warriors

Overview of peer networks designed for service members and their families, how these resources are used to support outreach and management, and enhance clinical care via the Reciprocal Peer Support Model and other peer-based approaches. 

  • Suicide Prevention in Emergency Rooms: Meeting the Challenges and Seizing the Opportunity - Veremendi Ballroom G

Richard McKeon, Chief, Suicide Prevention Branch, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration @McKeonRichard 

Nearly all roads in suicide care lead to emergency departments (EDs). Widely available, open 24/7 and offerings links to speciality care, for better or worse, the ED is where patients in crisis are told to go. However, despite tremendous opportunity for positive intervention with suicidal patients,  EDs present a unique set of challenges and opportunities which are discussed in this session. 

 3:15pm-4:45pm-Breakout Sessions: 

  • Suicide from the Inside Out: Attempt Survivors Speak Out -  Veremendi Ballroom E -

Dese'Rae Stage, Dese'Rae L. Stage Photography and suicide awareness advocate  @deseraestage

Jennifer Haussler Garing, Epidemiologist, suicide prevention advocate, writer

Two attempt survivors share their experience as both attempt survivors and suicide prevention advocates, with particular emphasis on how attempt survivors can add to successful strategies for suicide prevention.  This session promises to bring a greater understanding of how someone gets to suicide as a young person or adult, what helps and doesn't help prevent that suicide, and how attempt survivors are mobilizing to become part of the conversation about suicide prevention using safe messaging. 

  • Upstream Approaches to Suicide Prevention:  Can We Prevent the Onset of Serious Risk?  Veremendi Ballroom F -
Phillip Rodgers,  Vice-President of Design, Development and Evaluation, Living Works Education, Inc. @DrPhilRodgers

This presentation will address what can be done to prevent the very onset of serious suicide risk through the use of so-called upstream or primary prevention approaches, including approaches for youth.  Various upstream programs and their supporting methods will be discussed.  Information on where to find best practice programs will also be outlined and shared.  

  • Working Minds:  New Developments in Suicide Prevention in the Workplace-                Veremendi Ballroom G
Sally Spencer-Thomas,  Executive Director,  Carson J. Spencer Foundation @sspencerthomas

The majority of people who die by suicide are of working age, yet very little has been done to target this population.  This presentation will focus on making the humanitarian case for a comprehensive workplace suicide prevention plan: identifying employees at risk; providing quality and accessible mental health care; delivering appropriate crisis response; restricting lethal means; bolstering belongingness; and providing education and training, as well as additional topics. 
CEUs,  TEA and Nursing Contact Hours: 

CEUs will be offered for social work, LPC, LMFT, Juvenile Probation and LCDC  and there will be no cost.   CEUs will be available at the close of the event. 

NURSING Continuing Education Contact Hours Available!

NURSES:  Terri Goodman and Associates is an approved provider of continuing nurses' education by the Texas Nurses Association, an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.  To ensure you receive your contact hours, please check in at the Nursing Continuing Education table for further instructions. 

Texas Education Agency (TEA)  CPE Hours Available!

SCHOOL PERSONNEL:   Please indicate in your registration that you are in need of TEA CPE Hours. Please check in at the "TEA CPE" Table at the Symposium for further instructions. 

TCOLE Hours Available for Law Enforcement Community!  Here are the instructions we received from TCOLE:  Work through your department's training coordinator to get attendance approval and after training take the provided certificate of completion, and agenda and speaker packet to your coordinator. This coordinator will submit hours per their electronic reporting system (TCLEDDS).


The Embassy Suites San Marcos is holding a limited number of rooms at the government rate of $83.00 per night in conjunction with this event.  Please use the following link to book your room:

 or call Embassy Suites San Marcos at: 1-512-392-6450 and ask for the Texas Suicide Prevention Symposium room rate.  

If the Embassy Suites is sold out, please contact the Crystal River Inn Bed and Breakfast at 512-396-3739.  They offer the goverment rate if rooms are available.  Alternatively,  try which often lists rooms at or below the government rate of $83.00 per night.


Funding for this Symposium is made possible by the Texas Department of State Health Services and (in part) by grant number 2014-045276.  The views expressed in written conference materials,  presentations or other publications and by speakers and moderators do not reflect the views, opinions, or policies of CMHS,  SAMHSA or HHS nor does mention of trade names, commercial practices or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government. 

When & Where

Embassy Suites San Marcos - Hotel, Spa & Conference Center
1001 E McCarty Ln
San Marcos, TX 78666

Tuesday, August 12, 2014 from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM (CDT)

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Texas Suicide Prevention Council and Mental Health America of Texas. For more information about the Symposium, please contact

We are the state’s largest and longest-serving mental health education and advocacy group. Our proactive, positive approach to mental health issues has been helping Texans address mental health concerns by opening minds since 1935.

Today, our reach extends beyond our original intent by serving to promote mental health, working to prevent mental illness and substance abuse, and ensuring all Texans have access to effective, culturally competent mental health care.

  Contact the Organizer
Texas Suicide Prevention Symposium: Coming Together to Care 2014
San Marcos, TX Events Conference Health

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