2015 Beyond the Basics Conference Materials



Sponsored by the Maine Suicide Prevention Program led by the Maine CDC in the DHHS in partnership with NAMI Maine, the Co-Occurring Collaborative Serving Maine and the Maine Primary Care Association

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 2015 theme, “Beyond the Basics in Suicide Prevention: Pathway to Prevention — Working Toward Zero Suicide in Maine” 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 features national leading experts on suicide assessment and prevention, a learning experience not to be missed.

Download the brochure from the 2015 event.



One-Day Training


Keynote: Zero Suicide in Healthcare: The Time is Now - Michael F. Hogan, PhD

As a leader in the field of suicide prevention and an effective change-agent, Dr. Hogan will set the stage for change by describing the scope of suicide associated with healthcare settings, and the typical gaps in care in healthcare and behavioral health settings. He will highlight the programs which demonstrate that a systemic approach could be effective in preventing suicide, and describe the clinical and supporting elements of the Zero Suicide approach. He will share resources available to assist in implementation and suggestions for getting started.

Keynote - Hogan Workshop

Workshop 1: Session A

A1: Zero Suicide in Healthcare: How to Implement

This nuts and bolts, “how to” session, is designed for people who want to provide “suicide safer care.” Dr. Hogan will describe the clinical and supporting elements of the Zero Suicide approach and share available options for screening tools, safety planning, treatment and follow-through. He will discuss how to get started, provide tools to assess organizational and employee readiness, and address technical assistance that is available.


A2: School Protocols and Practices on Memorialization Following a Death: A Most Challenging Issue

Any school administrator, school counselor or other helping professional who has assisted in supporting a school community in the aftermath of a tragic death acknowledges that it is a time of anguish for all involved. The decisions made regarding memorialization of a student death can be among the most challenging issues school professionals address. This is even more challenging if the death is by suicide. School traditions, history and established practices are difficult to change. Making protocol decisions on memorial practices is best done proactively and with the involvement of a broad range of stakeholders. Please join three experienced school professionals as they discuss their community’s history with school memorial decisions and the process leading to the development of a district memorialization policy.

A3: The Effective Use of Social Media Messaging to Prevent Suicide

The Rhode Island Department of Health sought to engage in suicide prevention with youth, ages 15-24, through the Rhode Island Youth Suicide Prevention Project, a partnership of the Rhode Island Department of Health and the Center to Prevent Youth Violence. In this session, Mr. Hill will share the background of this project and explain simple steps that parents of high school youth can take in their homes to reduce the risk of suicide. He will cover the impact of traditional media, and the evolution of the use of social messaging media to promote means restriction.

A3 - CPYV Lethal Means Final Report
A3 - Hill Handouts
A3 - Media Year 1 and 2
A3 - Suicide Proof English Brochure
A3 - Suicide Proof Spanish Brochure
A3 - Suicide Proof Infographic

Culture, Care and Suicide Prevention: Perspectives to Develop a Reflective Practice and Cultural Humility

During this interactive session, we will consider how culture frames our practice and share what we’ve learned from our suicide prevention work. Examples from Dr. Wexler’s research in Northwest Alaska, where she focused on suicide and suicide prevention in an Alaskan Inupiaq community, will be discussed. ‘Best practices’ in cross-cultural settings and the conditions that support them will be illustrated, and participants will leave with a clearer sense of what we need to be aware of for doing cross-cultural work.

A4 - Culture Care Suicide Prevention

A5: The Transgender Community: Support Across the Lifespan

Transgender identified youth, adults and elders may experience a range of medical and behavioral health issues that can increase the risk for suicide, yet are not able to access adequate support in their communities. Panelists will present lived experience and perspectives on how systems, policies and processes can adapt to increase mental health and medical support for transgender identified members of our community. Participants will be encouraged to join the discussion with questions and perspectives as we all work toward zero suicide.

A6: Creative Pathways to Resilience: Restorative Interventions for Children, Adults and Families Coping with Suicide Bereavement

A death by suicide is often traumatic and complicated for those left behind. Suicide loss puts the bereaved at a higher risk for developing a combination of trauma and grief distress that can interfere with the natural bereavement process. This workshop will draw from current research and contemporary theoretical models to examine the interplay of trauma and grief reactions as well as the prominent themes and challenges that arise following suicide loss. We will explore restorative treatment interventions designed to promote stability, emotional regulation, and resilience while providing the bereaved a safe way to process their loss and reconnect with the life and memories of the deceased. Particular consideration will be given to the importance of tailoring each intervention to the individual’s needs and interests. Participants will be invited to reflect on their own restorative practices for personal and professional self-care.

A6 - Creative Pathways to Resilience Handout
A6 - References, Bibliography
A6 - Social Atom Blank
A6 - Suicide Loss, Resources
A6 - Suicide, Talking to Children
A6 - Creative Pathways to Resilience Powerpoint


Caring About Lives in Maine Awards: Kenneth J. Albert, RN, Esq., 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

Suicide, Messaging and the Media

How do journalists make the choice to report on suicide, and what do they focus on when telling the story? What is appropriate and safe messaging about suicide? How should you speak to the media following a suicide crisis? Join Erin Rhoda, an editor at the Bangor Daily News, and Ken Norton, Executive Director of NAMI New Hampshire, as they walk us through the process journalists follow to determine what they look for in interviews, what happens to determine what they are looking for in interviews, what happens after the facts are collected, and how to manage the interview. They will discuss messaging points to consider as an interviewee, as well as give simple and handy tips for those unfamiliar with engaging with the media on a regular basis. Attendees will hear interview best practices and learn how to respond to the media about a situation involving suicide.

B2: How School Resource Officers Support Suicide Prevention

A school resource officer (SRO) plays a unique role in a school community and can play a valuable role in working with high risk youth, including key roles in suicide prevention. In addition to the basic function of public safety, the SRO is often a link between the students and the community and is key to active prevention education and supports within a school. As such they play a significant role in the recognition of risk, engagement of resources and preservation of safety. The SRO may develop relationships with high risk youth not otherwise connected to the school resources. Three veteran SROs describe their roles in suicide prevention in a school community.

B3: Understanding the Functions of Self Injury and its Relationship to Suicide

Non-suicidal self-injury in adolescents is a serious behavior in its own right but its relationship to suicide makes it crucial that clinicians understand the function of the behavior and have the clinical tools to treat the behavior. Drawing on years of clinical practice and the latest research, Dr. Hollander will demonstrate how overwhelming emotions lead some teens to hurt themselves, and how various treatments–chief among them dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT)–can provide effective routes to wellness.

B3 - Self Injury

B4: Culture, Care and Suicide Prevention: Perspectives to Develop a Reflective Practice and Cultural Humility (A4 Repeated)


B5: Law Enforcement's Role in Suicide Prevention and at the Scene of a Suicide

Law enforcement officers regularly respond to scenes of crisis involving suicide risk. This includes onsite investigation in a community setting or home in the aftermath of suspected suicide. More frequently the response is to intervene with an individual in crisis and threatening suicide, or following a suicide attempt. The most challenging and difficult situation is a situation where a “suicide by cop” is triggered, whereby the officers involved are threatened or attacked in a manner that leads to their use of deadly force with someone who is suicidal. Each of these situations involves interactions with individuals in emotional crisis who may present a risk to themselves or to others. The interactions almost always involve family members and the general public. Please join these seasoned officers as they discuss their roles in suicide prevention, intervention and postvention in community interactions.