The goal of the Massachusetts Suicide Prevention Program is to reduce the number of suicides and suicide attempts among Massachusetts residents. We seek to raise awareness of suicide as a public health problem. The Program provides support to community agencies, education and training for professionals and caregivers, and funds programs working with youth, veterans and older adults.
To that end, beginning in September 2010, the Massachusetts Suicide Prevention Program developed a webinar series designed to provide additional education, awareness, and information on suicide prevention and related topics of interest to providers and consumers throughout the Commonwealth. Below you will find descriptions as well as transcripts and closed captioned videos for each webinar.
Webinar 1: 9.23.2010
That’s So Gay: Preventing and Addressing Anti-Gay and All Forms of Bullying
The That’s So Gay: Preventing and Addressing Anti-Gay and All Forms of Bullying webinar was presented by Marisa Howard-Karp, Program Director of The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender (GLBT) Youth Project. This webinar focused on increasing understanding of the impact of bullying and harassment among youth in schools, youth-serving communities, and communities at-large.
Transcript: That’s So Gay
Webinar 2: 10.29.2010
Standing in the Shadow of Love: The Role of the Black Church in Youth Suicide Prevention Webinar
The Standing in the Shadow of Love: The Role of the Black Church in Youth Suicide Prevention webinar was presented by Dr. Sherry Davis Molock, Associate Professor of Psychology at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. This webinar helped participants understand the cultural and religious challenges associated with talking about suicide in the African American community. In addition, participants learned practical solutions to help faith-based communities with other community based organizations and mental health professionals develop suicide prevention programs in African American churches.
Transcript: Standing in the Shadow in Love
Webinar 3: 11.18.2010
The Battlemind webinar was presented by Kevin Lambert, Special Population Outreach, of the Massachusetts Department of Veterans Services. The “military mindset” of a service member is often times not easily understood by their civilian counterparts. Understanding the reintegration process of a returned service member is often difficult without understanding the transition they are making from “solider to civilian.” Therefore, this webinar helped providers have a better understanding of the psychological and social stressors endured by service members both during their deployment and upon returning home as well as providing information on how families can better assist and cope with the process.
Webinar 4: 12.15.2010
Young Black Men and Suicide Webinar
The Young Black Men & Suicide webinar was presented by Emmanuel Daphnis, MPH, MDiv, Director, of Operation Make a Difference (OMAD). This webinar identified and explored the risk factors that contribute to the current suicide trends within the Black male community. The presentation also explored the correlation between homicide as a form of indirect suicide.
Transcript: Young Black Men & Suicide
Webinar 5: 1.25.2010
The Cyberbullying webinar was presented by Elizabeth Englander, Ph.D., Founder & Director of the Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center at Bridgewater State University. This webinar focused on the causes of abusive (bullying) behaviors in children, with a particular emphasis on cyberbullying, Internet Safety, and cyber-risk behaviors.
Webinar 6: 3.22.2010
Suicide Prevention and Intervention: Supporting Transgender Communities Webinar
The Suicide Prevention and Intervention: Supporting Transgender Communities webinar was presented by Gunner Scott, the Executive Director of The Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition, and a nationally recognized activist, educator, and community organizer on Transgender Rights, LGBT health issues, and LGBT partner abuse. This workshop provided an overview of transgender cultural information, specific data, experiences, and needs of transgender people with regards to suicidality, suicide prevention, and intervention. Participants left with tools and skills to support transgender people so they may access their services or call their hotline.
Transcript: Supporting Transgender Communities
Webinar 7: 6.1.2011
Youth Suicide and the School Environment
The Youth Suicide and the School Environment webinar was presented by Dr. Larry Berkowitz, Director of the Riverside Trauma Center, Rachel Corbitt and Jahnathen Lopez-Peoples, former students at the City on a Hill Charter Public School in Roxbury, Massachusetts. This webinar provided an overview of adolescent suicide prevention and postvention responses that educators and school staff can use to better support youth in crisis and promote mental health within a school environment.
Transcript: Youth Suicide and the School Environment
Webinar 8: 9.13.11
Grief and Healing after Suicide
The Grief and Healing after Suicide webinar provided an overview of the unique grief of survivors (those who have lost someone to suicide) and the unique supports needed to help heal after a suicide loss. The webinar addressed many of the issues that the newly bereaved face including: Why did this happen? How do I cope? Where can I find support? In addition, participants will gain more information on what we currently know about suicide and grief and what resources currently exist.
Transcript: Grief and Healing After Suicide
Webinar 9: 12.2.11
Veterans, Military Personnel, and Suicide Prevention
The Veterans, Military Personnel, and Suicide webinar was presented by John Rodolico, Ph.D., Director of Adolescent Addictions Training at McLean Hospital/Harvard Medical School. This webinar outlined the recent trends of suicide in the military and present techniques and policies used in the past and present showing how the military has adjusted to the recent increase in suicide. Included in the webinar will be a discussion on how to recognize the signs of suicide not only with military personnel but also returning veterans including National Guard and Reserve soldiers. Finally, there was a discussion about the military culture and the work being done to remove the stigma of getting help.
Webinar 10: 12.16.11
Grief after Suicide: Walking the Journey with Survivors
The Grief after Suicide: Walking the Journey with Survivors webinar was presented by John Jordan, Ph.D., FT, a licensed psychologist in private practice in Wellesley, MA, and Pawtucket, RI, who specializes in working with loss and bereavement. This webinar discussed some of the unique challenges of suicide loss for mourners and for those who would help them. In this webinar, Dr. Jordan addressed some of the central concerns that most survivors bring to therapy, and the themes that caregivers must help survivors address. At the end of this webinar, participants will be able to:
- Identify at least four themes in bereavement after suicide.
- Describe common psychological recovery tasks for suicide survivors.
- Identify broad clinical guidelines for work with mourners after a suicide.
Webinar 11: 4.2.12
Combatting Social Bullying among Older Adults
The Combating Social Bullying among Older Adults webinar was presented by Marsha Frankel, LICSW, the Clinical Director of Senior Services at Jewish Family & Children’s Services. This webinar will help participants identify and understand social bullying among older adults – the causes, the repercussions, and the remedies.
Transcript: Combatting Social Bullying among Older Adults
Webinar 12: 5.9.12
Talking with Dolores: Elder Mental Health Depression, and Suicide
The Talking with Dolores: Elder Mental Health, Depression, and Suicide webinar was presented by Kerry Morrison, Psy.D., Creator and Lead trainer of the L.I.F.E. (Living is for the Elderly) Training for Center for Human Development (CHD), and Rebecca Kessler, M.A., Co-trainer of L.I.F.E. and Suicide Prevention Grant Manager for CHD. This webinar used clips from Talking with Dolores, a one act play about aging and elder depression and the L.I.F.E. (Living is for the Elderly) training to help participants identify and understand the myths, statistics, resources available to combat elder depression and suicide.
Webinar 13: 5.18-12
When Sexual Assault Survivors Call: Suicidality within the Context of Sexual Assault
Participants will gain a better understanding of the increased risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors among survivors of sexual assault, and will understand the importance of discussing suicide and assessing suicide risk for the survivors we support. Participants will be able to utilize strategies gained to engage the survivor who is suicidal with increased confidence. Additionally, participants will learn about how to work and advocate with systems that respond to suicidal behavior.
- Finding a place for risk of suicide in strength-based work
- Understanding the relationship between trauma and suicide among survivors of sexual violence
- Prevalence of suicidal ideation among survivors of sexual violence
- What to look for: Subtle and overt signs of suicidal behavior
- Tools for responding to suicidal thoughts and actions
- Respectful conversations and interventions
- Engaging other systems and resources (including rape crisis centers)
- Self care: Taking care while giving care
Webinar 14: 7.2.12
The LGBT Bereavement: Is There a Difference? webinar was presented by Lisa Krinsky, LICSW, Director of the LGBT Aging Project & Beth Prullage, MSW, LICSW, and Adjunct Instructor at Smith College School of Social Work. Using clinical models and vignettes webinar participants will be provided with an overview of risk factors, experiences, challenges, and needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) elders as they grieve the loss of a loved one (family members, friend, partner/spouse, etc.).
Transcript: LGBT Bereavement
Webinar 15: 9.13.12
Eating Disorders and Suicide
Research has demonstrated high suicide rates in eating disorders. In fact, some studies have indicated that the high mortality rate in anorexia is more a function of suicidality than of a compromised medical status (Crisp, 2006). Individuals with eating disorders may be at particular risk for suicide based on their unique experience of the combination of perceived burdensomeness, isolation, and capacity to engage in a lethal act (Joiner, 2005). Despite the high prevalence of suicide in eating disorders, suicidality is under-researched in this population, and consequently, not well understood. The majority of practitioners have had less than two hours of training in suicide, and fifty percent fail to ask about and adequately assess suicidal ideation (Foster & McAdams, 1993; Peterson, Luoma, & Dunne, 2002). Because suicidality is so common in eating disorders, eating disorder professionals need to be better equipped than the general therapist in treating these symptoms and related behaviors (e.g., self-harm). This webinar will provide participants with a journey into the suicidal mind as it pertains to clients with eating disorders (Shneidman, 1998). Instruction on suicide risk assessment, suicidal crisis interventions, documentation guidelines, evidence-based and practical treatments, and in-therapy client (approved) video excerpts will be included.
Transcript: Eating Disorders and Suicide
Webinar 16: 10.26.12
Addressing Death with Dignity in Massachusetts
In November 2012, Massachusetts voters faced a ballot referendum on the Massachusetts Death with Dignity Act – whether individuals with terminal illness should be legally able to seek help in ending their lives. This is a complex issue with multiple perspectives and the Massachusetts Coalition for Suicide Prevention did not take a position to support or oppose the proposed legislation due to “our membership representing diverse and divergent views on this Initiative Petition.” This workshop will briefly present the Death with Dignity Act and facilitate a structured dialogue represented by the perspectives of webinar participants about how to better understand the complexities of this issue.
Transcript: Addressing Death with Dignity in Massachusetts
Webinar 17: 12.5.12
Self-Injury and the Attempt to Cope, Connect and Communicate
There is growing awareness of the link between trauma and the development of coping strategies such as self-injury. However, the concept of coping does not always answer why some people continue to use self-injury even after other, healthier tools are available. This webinar will take a look at the impact of trauma on language and relationships to understand how self-injury may also function as the individual’s best attempt at connecting and communicating. When self-injury is viewed in this light, new ideas and opportunities for healing engagement can emerge.
- Brief overview of self-injury
- Function of self-injury in coping
- Trauma’s impact on language and relationships
- Function of self-injury as a means of connecting and communicating
- New ideas for engagement
Webinar 18: 12.12.14
Lifelines Early Identification, Referral and Follow-up Tool
The aim of the webinar is to provide instruction in how to use the Early Identification Referral and Follow-up (EIRF) Tool to track and report on early identification of at risk youth and the services they receive as a result. Though this level of reporting is a requirement of the grant that funded the Lifelines trainings and implementation support, tracking the referral outcomes of those youth who are identified as being at risk is ethically, clinically and legally prudent irrespective of any grant requirements. At the end of the webinar participants will be familiar with the following:
- The kind of data that is to be reported
- How to use the EIRF Tool to document early identification and referral activities; and
- How the data reported can serve to document the effectiveness of suicide prevention programming in your school.
Webinar 19: 3.19.15
New Attempt Survivor Support Group
The aim of the webinar is to facilitate a discussion of the challenges, successes, and strategies for increasing attendance and running attempt survivor support groups being funded by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s Suicide Prevention Program.
Transcript: New Attempt Survivor Support Group
Webinar 20: 5.27.15
Supporting LGBTQ Youth in Substance Abuse Programs
The Supporting LGBTQ Youth in Substance Abuse Programs webinar covers current terminology and definitions for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning identities. Participants will also learn best practices for creating safer and welcoming spaces for LGBTQ and all youth that help youth meet their goals. Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions and receive resources for further support. At the end of the webinar, participants will be able to:
- Understand the concepts of biological sex, gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation.
- Describe ways to create welcome environments for LGBTQ youth.
For More Information:
For a listing of DPH-sponsored trainings, click here
Massachusetts Suicide Prevention Program
Massachusetts Department of Public Health
250 Washington Street, 4th Floor
Boston, MA 02108-4619