2014 Beyond the Basics Conference Materials



The Beyond the Basics conference serves as a "best practice" conference offering participants in-depth and progressive information and the latest research in the field of suicide and suicide prevention. The conference is designed for an adult audience that has attained basic training and knowledge in suicide and suicide prevention, and wishes to expand their knowledge and ability to engage in suicide prevention in Maine. The 2014 theme, "Broadening the View • Extending the Reach." guides a program of the most up-to-date research on suicidology and evidence-based tools, and provides participants with information to use in everyday practical applications. This year's conference featured national leading experts on suicide assessment and prevention, a learning experience not to be missed.  



One-Day Training


Keynote: Contemporary Developments in Clinical Suicide Prevention - David A. Jobes, PhD, ABPP

Trends in health care are creating unique challenges and potential responses to effectively managing suicidal risk across a spectrum of care. This plenary will review recent developments in policy, theory, and research related to clinical work with individuals who are suicidal. Advances in suicide risk assessment and treatment will be discussed and future directions will be explored.


Second Keynote: Suicide and Suicide Prevention in Older Adults - Carol Podgorski, PhD, MPH, MS

In this plenary presentation, Dr. Podgorski will focus on a two-pronged approach to suicide prevention in older adults—promoting mental health and reducing risk factors. She will provide an overview of suicide in older adults, the risk factors for suicide, and the prevalence of mental disorders in community-dwelling older adults. She will also discuss how aging service professionals are well positioned to contribute to suicide prevention efforts in the populations they serve. Emphasis will be on interventions that aging service professionals can use in primary prevention of suicide by creating healthier communities for older adults.

Keynote 2 - Carol Podgorski


Workshop 1: Session A

A1: The Collaborative Assessment and Management of Suicidality (CAMS)

This workshop will present an evidence-based approach to effectively working with suicide risk using the “CAMS” approach to care. With 25 years of research support, CAMS is both a philosophy of care and clinical framework for assessing, tracking, and treating suicidal risk to outcomes. Using CAMS also ensures ethical and competent care with implications for decreasing the risk of malpractice liability therein.


A2: Grief After Suicide: Walking the Journey with Survivors

 This workshop will provide a focused overview of the impact of suicide on survivors, and the clinical and support responses that are needed after a suicide occurs. The workshop is geared primarily towards clinicians working with suicide bereavement, but will be suitable for survivors who want to learn more about the impact of suicide, and the recovery process afterward.

A2 - Bereavement After Suicide - Jordan 1
A2 - Bereavement After Suicide - Jordan PPT
A2 - Bereavement After Suicide Reading List

A3: Working Together: Law Enforcement and Mental Health/Crisis Services

This timely discussion will highlight effective models of collaboration between local law enforcement and the regional crisis teams in their areas. Representatives from the Waterville, Augusta and Portland Police Departments, together with professional crisis workers from Crisis and Counseling (located in Augusta) and The Opportunity Alliance (located in Portland) will explore how each system has learned from each other and improved practices when responding to community crisis needs. These teams will share their experiences and highlight practices that help blend cultural understandings (law enforcement and social service) and ethical and legal requirements of each system. They will share their experiences of what has been working and what are some of the ongoing challenges. Attendees will gain an increased understanding of police and crisis response as well as learn best ways to utilize these services when concerns arise for someone requiring outside intervention. You will also learn about the training programs (CIT – Crisis Intervention Team training) that are used to increase awareness and improve crisis response. There will be time for discussion following the presentations.

A3 - Police Culture - Chief Dempsey

Using the eC-SSRS: Practical/Operational/Data Considerations

Following last year’s Beyond the Basics keynote presentation by Kelly Posner, PhD., this session will explore the experience and insight gained from over 100,000 assessments of 32,000 patients using the eC-SSRS. This patient self-rated/ePRO approach addresses the challenges of conducting consistent interviews, differentiating attempts from non-suicidal self-injurious behaviors (NSSIB), and implementing a broad scale screening and routine assessment program. The value of the resulting data, documenting how each ideation and behavior question contributes to understanding the risk of impending suicidal behavior, will also be presented.

A4 - eC SSRS - Federico
A4 - sCSRRS - Rogers Grand Rounds

A5: The Basics of School-based Suicide Awareness and Prevention including Maine's New Training Law

This session will provide the audience with an overview of Maine’s new suicide awareness and prevention training law for school personnel that goes into effect at the start of the 2014–15 school year for high schools and the 2015–16 school year for elementary and middle schools. The law is one supporting component of Maine’s comprehensive school-based suicide prevention program. During this session participants will gain an understanding of the overall program; engage in a review of available school resources; and discuss strategies for saving lives through a school and community approach to prevention.

A5 - Basics of School-Based Awareness - Berry
A5 - LD 609 FAQ - Mar 2014

A6: LGBTQ Youth: Safe and Accepted

LGBTQ identified youth in Maine report three times the rate of suicide attempts than their peers. Schools and community members can help address this issue through acceptance and by identifying supportive resources in their communities. Panelists from Out as I want to Be, GLSEN, EqualityMaine and the Trevor Project Youth Advisory Council, and USM Center for Sexualities and Gender Diversity will talk about how best to support LGBTQ youth in our schools and communities and identify the resources in their areas that could be most supportive to this population. Through support and acceptance we can make a difference.

A6 - LGBTQ Panel
A6 - Maine Organizations Working with LGBTQ Youth


Caring About Lives in Maine Awards: Dr. Sheila Pinette, Director, Maine CDC

The Maine Suicide Prevention Program proudly presents the Caring About Lives in Maine Award to individuals and agencies working to prevent suicide in the State of Maine.


Workshop 1: Session B

Implementing the C-SSRS

The Psychometric Properties of the Columbia-Suicide Severity Rating Scale (C-SSRS) are used extensively across primary care, clinical practice, surveillance, research, and institutional settings. The C-SSRS has been associated with decreased burden by reducing unnecessary interventions and redirecting limited resources. Following last year’s Beyond the Basics presentation by one of its developers, Dr. Kelly Posner, more sites have implemented the scale here in Maine. This panel, with representatives from a behavioral health emergency room, a psychiatric hospital and a crisis provider will explore why they have adopted the scale, how it is being used and what have been their experiences using the scale.

B1 - CSI Crisis C-SSRS
B1 - SHH Admissions C-SSRS
B1 - SHH Discharge C-SSRS

B2: Suicide Prevention in Senior Living Communities

This session will address competencies and skills that aging service professionals need to become competent and comfortable creating senior living communities that promote good mental health and prevent risk for suicide among residents. This presentation will consist of an overview of principles of suicide prevention and risk reduction as published in the SAMHSA publication Promoting Emotional Health and Preventing Suicide: A Toolkit for Senior Living Communities. The session will include an interactive discussion involving a case scenario that will provide participants an opportunity to apply the principles from the toolkit to an actual case.

B2 - Senior Living Communities - Podgorski

B2 - Senior Living Communities - Podgorski PPT

B3: Sexual Violence, Slut-Shaming and Suicide Prevention

Over the last few years, media reports of teens who kill themselves because of gender-based bullying, sexual harassment, and/or sexual violence have increased. This session is designed to explore the intersections of sexual violence and suicide and how prevention education can help to prevent sexual violence and suicide.

B3 - Slut Shaming and Suicide Prevention

B4: Postvention Needs of School Communities Following a Student Suicide

The suicide death of a student is a tragic crisis that every school hopes it never has to face. Unfortunately, Maine faces several such losses every year, and it is of enormous benefit for a school system to be prepared for the tidal wave of grief and need that comes with such a loss. The concern over contagion must be taken very seriously. This session will feature speakers from schools across Maine that have weathered the storm of suicide postvention and are prepared to talk about what was needed, what was helpful and also what challenges they faced as they worked to support the needs of the students, staff and community. There will be time for discussion for those attending.


B5: Child and Adolescent Suicide: Risks, Intervention and Prevention

Although child and adolescent suicide is relatively rare, it is a leading cause of youth deaths worldwide. Research has shown that effective identification and intervention can have a significant impact on youth suicide. The effectiveness of these efforts is grounded in a thorough understanding of risk factors associated with youth suicide and best practice informed interventions. This workshop will review our current understanding of child and adolescent suicide and it relationship to treatment and prevention.