Vermont Suicide
Prevention Symposium 2023


SEPTEMBER 27, 2023


Creating Communities of Hope Through Empowerment and Action


September 20, 2023

Pre-Symposium Webinar
September 20, 2023
12:00 – 1:00 PM

Participants of this workshop will learn about Man Therapy, the evidence-base supporting this approach, and the resources and strategies available to Vermont communities to share and promote this mental health resource to men who may be at risk for suicide.


September 27, 2023

Symposium Opening
9:00 – 9:30 AM

Greetings and Introductions

We will begin by welcoming folks and providing an overview of the day.

Kirk Postlewaite

Keynote Speaker
9:30 – 10:15 AM

Throughout time, societies have struggled with strong reactions to suicide. Suicidality has become a phenomenon not easily understood by many academic disciplines, including sociology, psychology, and psychiatry.

Morning Workshops
10:30 — 11:45 AM

The BeSMART presentation includes slides about national and local gun violence data and statistics to highlight the importance of secure storage practices.

Nurse Peggy Darling introduces Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and its successes with varied psychological diagnoses and its potential in suicide prevention.

This presentation will introduce 7 key elements of community-led suicide prevention (CLSP), review the new CLSP toolkit, and provide strategies for strengthening local suicide prevention efforts.

This dynamic training team will discuss the importance of providing trauma-responsive care for children and adolescents in emergency departments and the role that it can play in suicide prevention.

Keynote Speaker
12:45 — 1:30 PM

A nuanced understanding of the gaps between theory, practice, and research is necessary as an urgent response as suicide continues to devastate individuals, families, communities, and society.

Afternoon Workshops
1:45 — 3:00 PM

Children use 7.5 hours and teens 9 hours per day of entertainment technologies, four times the amount recommended by pediatricians.  

Clinical and community partners can use the Blueprint for Youth Suicide Prevention as a guide for implementing proactive suicide prevention practices where kids live, work, and play.

This presentation will illustrate Hartford HealthCare’s adoption and implementation of the Zero Suicide model in our health and behavioral healthcare settings.

Dr. Kevin Crowley will discuss strategies for collaborating with families and supports to create meaningful safety plans.

Keynote Speaker
3:15 — 4:00 PM

Alexina will talk about her lived experiences growing up with depression and anxiety. She will discuss how she learned to access resources and navigate the healthcare system, as well as self-care strategies that proved to be helpful.


October 4, 2023

Post-Symposium Webinar
October 4, 2023
12:00 – 1:00 PM

This presentation will describe the research on neurodivergent patients and suicide, including specific risk factors, outcomes, and barriers to accessing support. Research shows that suicide risk is highest in autistic adults with lower support needs and that masking/camouflaging is an independent risk factor for suicide.