Conference Schedule


Tuesday, October 24

1:00 PM – 4:00 PM          Special Workshops 

6:00 PM – 7:30 PM           Welcome Reception and Networking


Wednesday, October 25

8:00 AM – 9:00 AM          Registration & Breakfast

9:00 AM – 10:30 AM        Keynote Speaker: Dr. Frank Campbell, “In the Beginning…”

                                            Learn More about Dr Frank Campbell

10:30 AM – 10:50 AM      Meet a LOSS team; and a sponsor

10:50 AM – 11:15 AM      Break – Visit with Exhibitors and Networking

11:15 AM – 12:30 PM      Morning Breakout Session

12:30 PM – 1:45 PM         Lunch and Panel: Statewide approaches to Postvention and L.O.S.S. Teams

                                            Michelle Bulington, Lindsay DeCamp, Sandra McNally, Noah Whitaker, Austin Lucas, Sheila Murphy, Don Belau

1:45 PM – 2:00 PM           Break – Visit with Exhibitors and Networking

2:00 PM – 3:15 PM          Afternoon Breakout Session

3:15 PM – 3:45 PM           Break – Visit with Poster Presenters and Exhibitors

3:45 PM – 4:45 PM           Keynote Speaker: Alliance of Hope — A Stellar Resource


Thursday, October 26

8:00 AM – 9:00 AM           Registration & Breakfast

9:00 AM – 10:30 AM        Keynote Speaker: Dr. Melinda Moore, “LOSS Teams and Posttraumatic Growth: A Way Forward”

                                             Learn More about Dr Melinda Moore

10:30 AM – 10:50 AM       Meet a LOSS team; and a sponsor

10:50 AM – 11:15 AM       Break – Visit with Exhibitors and Networking

11:15 AM – 12:30 PM      Morning Breakout Session

12:30 PM – 1:45 PM          Lunch and Panel: Local approaches to Postvention and L.O.S.S. Teams

                                          Kristen Smith, Stephanie Carducci , Michelle Hendrix-Swords, Susanna Rickmann, Jackie Jones, Shawna Hightree

1:45 PM – 2:00 PM            Break –  transition to Breakout rooms

2:00 PM – 3:15 PM          Afternoon Breakout Session

3:15 PM – 3:45 PM           Break – Visit with Exhibitors and Networking

3:45 PM – 4:45 PM           Closing Ceremony

Schedule subject to change

Wednesday Morning Keynote Speaker

9:00 AM – 10:30 AM

In the Beginning...

Presented by Dr. Frank Campbell

This keynote address will describe the American landscape in the period from 1986-1998 for those bereaved by suicide. I will share how The Discovery Channel documentaries that featured my work on the impact of suicide and the Active Postvention Model (APM) which became known as the LOSS Team (Local Outreach to Suicide Survivors). I will share what I found to be true in America as well as other countries I have visited as a result of these documentaries. Because so many, who saw the films, wanted to establish services for those bereaved by suicide, I found myself being invited to countries in pursuit of having a loss team. However, so many did not understand that the APM is a referral process and what was most needed before you can have referral was services that will help those you seek to help. I will describe the process I went through to develop survivor services and LOSS Teams since 1998.

This keynote is intended to celebrate how this mission has become a worldwide movement to support those who have paid the greatest price by having a loss to suicide. Those who provide this support are primarily others who have found that help that helped them and now they are going out as a lighthouse of hope to those newly bereaved by suicide. LOSS Team members are the best part of the newly bereaves worst day ever and establishes the installation of hope in a place where hopelessness has been their only thought. Then they point to safe harbor where those newly bereaved can feel, heal and deal with their loss so that one day they also may be able to help those in need of these services.

Wednesday Morning Breakout Sessions

11:15 AM – 12:30 PM 

Adolescent Suicide Bereavement & Facilitating Grief Groups

Presented by Lauri Yersavich, MS, LSW & Sarah See, MS, LPC

The death of a peer is a major loss in one’s life. Although grief is a normal reaction to loss, adolescents grieve differently than adults and may struggle with unfamiliar feelings and responses. This is even more common following the suicide death of a same-aged peer, when their beliefs about their safety and control in the world are impacted. This session will focus on the following topics: the definitions and models of grief work; adolescent understanding of unique reactions to loss; and ways to support youth through group interventions specific to suicide loss.

Investigating Compassionately: Why Collaboration with LOSS Teams Matters at a Death Scene

Presented by Katelyn Yoder, MA, F-ABMDI

The early stages of a death investigation, including a death by suicide, have a tremendous impact not only in the confident certification of the death but also on the grief process of the survivors of the suicide loss. While death investigators must work within scientific and investigative constraints to encourage a high-quality investigation, working with compassion toward survivors does not impede successful investigation. Death investigators are uniquely positioned to bridge the divide between investigation and family assistance, particularly during a scene response. This presentation identifies common concerns investigative agencies may have with introducing LOSS teams to a scene response and offers the counterpoint that working collaboratively with a LOSS response team during scene responses provides significant benefits not only for the death investigation, but more importantly for the family each office is charged to serve. This presentation is recommended for law enforcement and coroner agencies as well as those individuals looking to develop LOSS teams with the support of their local investigative agencies.

Where's the Packing Tape

Presented by Robbie Graham

In this engaging presentation, attendees will learn the importance movement in grief. They will learn how engagement with grief facilitates the transition from physical presence to memory. Using the analogy of moving to a new home, attendees will also learn ways to not only facilitate this in themselves but also in helping others. With humor and personal anecdotes, this presentation is appropriate for the bereaved as well as responders and caregivers.

Wednesday Lunch and Panel

12:30 PM – 1:45 PM

Statewide approaches to Postvention and L.O.S.S. Teams

Presented by Michelle Bulington (IN), Linsdsay DeCamp (MI), Sandra McNally (AZ), Austin Lucas (OH), Sheila Murphy (MD), and Noah Whitaker (CA).

Join us over lunch and hear state postvention leaders share how they are supporting community L.O.S.S. Teams throughout the state. We will hear an overview from each state including how they are supporting individual teams with training, marketing, financials, and how they are facilitating collaboration opportunities.

Wednesday Afternoon Breakout Sessions

2:00 PM – 3:15 PM 

Whole Health for the Whole Self: Creating an Integrative Postvention Service Model

Presented by Shannon Ortiz

Participants will learn about whole health, also known as integrative health, and how it can be used to develop Postvention Services for those impacted by suicide loss. When it comes to the mind, body, and soul, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. The grief and trauma of suicide loss will impact every aspect of an individual, which means good Postvention should promote a whole health model when providing Postvention Services to loss survivors. Participants will learn and participate in some activities that go above and beyond just a traditional talk support group offered to suicide loss survivors.

A Suicide Specialist: Turning Postvention into Prevention

Presented by Dallas Allen

During this presentation, individuals will learn about the first ever Suicide Investigations and Postvention Specialist based in a Medicolegal Office and what makes it unique in the field of medicolegal death investigations. While learning about this position, they will also learn about how the Suicide Postvention Specialist collaborates with LOSS Community Services and other mental health agencies to provide grief guidance and support for survivors of suicide loss. Lastly, individuals that attend the presentation will gain insight on what the Suicide Postvention Specialist means for prevention, including the utilization of Suicide Fatality Reviews to change the way suicide is approached in the community.

Companioning Suicide Survivors

Presented by Jude Grant and Will Haupt

Since 2015 LOSS Community Services utilizes volunteers as trained companions to meet with newly bereaved survivors. Their vast knowledge was documented to assess the critical skills needed to companion a suicide survivor. These critical skills were developed into a two day training to impart new volunteers with the skills and knowledge to walk with a survivor. 

Wednesday Afternoon Keynote Speaker

3:45 PM – 4:45 PM

Alliance of Hope - A Stellar Resource

Presented by Dr. John McIntosh, Ph.D, and Denise Meine-Graham

Alliance of Hope is a ‘stellar’ resource built by suicide loss survivors who provide compassion and support promoting the healing of the heart.  It is a featured, trusted resource for LOSS teams across the country.  Participants will learn how the Alliance of Hope provides a 24/7 welcoming place of healing and remembrance to loss survivors.

Thursday Morning Keynote Speaker

9:00 AM – 10:30 AM

LOSS Teams and Posttraumatic Growth: A Way Forward

Presented by Dr. Melinda Moore, Ph.D.

Research on suicide bereavement has focused on the psychopathology of this loss. A new area of positive psychology, Posttraumatic Growth (PTG), offers another vehicle for understanding the consequences of these experiences by investigating the possibilities for personal growth within the context of this traumatic death. In this talk, Dr. Moore will describe how LOSS team members may experience growth as a consequence of their service to more newly bereaved through LOSS Community Services in Franklin County, Ohio.

Thursday Morning Breakout Sessions

11:15 AM – 12:30 PM 

Non-Traditional Therapeutic Approaches for Suicide Loss Survivors

Presented by Phil Bulone, PhD, Florida Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern and Dima Al Fassi, Peer Specialist

Although traditional approaches to individual therapy and support groups can offer survivors of suicide loss hope, other approaches are effective options. For example, non-traditional therapy approaches using nature, art, and movement offer innovative ways for survivors of suicide loss to process thoughts, emotions, and trauma surrounding their experience. Furthermore, survivors of suicide loss often experience physical and emotional isolation. Social distancing and lockdowns compounded this isolation during the height of COVID. Currently, while the telehealth boom and the convenience of Zoom support groups certainly expands reach, survivors might miss out on making physical connections and discovering helpful alternative, non-traditional therapies. This session will review the benefits of non-traditional therapy approaches used with survivors in the LOSS Team of Broward County Florida postvention service program.

LOSS Team & Co-Response Models – Bridging the Gap to Support the Suicide Loss Survivor Community

Presented by Barbara Brunzell, Eileen Davis, Michele Phillips

LOSS team responses are as varied as the communities they serve. This break-out session explores what LOSS team responses look like in two communities.

LOSSteam MetroWest (Local Outreach to Suicide Survivors) launched officially in 2017 and was the first LOSS Team in Massachusetts and New England. The team is fully comprised of volunteers who have all lost a loved one to suicide. A key component of the program’s success is our collaborative partnership with the local Co-Response Jail Diversion Program. The Co-Response Model features clinicians who are embedded within local police departments and ride alongside law enforcement to respond to mental health related crises in the community.

This workshop will provide a thorough understanding of the Co-Response Model, LOSSteam MetroWest operations, the activation process, and the soft hand off from Co-Response Clinician to Team Volunteer to suicide loss survivors in our partnering communities. The benefits of this collaboration are far reaching, positively impacting all parties involved – first responders, clinicians, team volunteers, and most importantly, those who have lost a loved one to suicide. New and veteran LOSS Teams have an opportunity to expand their offerings and reach more suicide loss survivors by engaging in similar collaborative partnerships in their communities.

Dying, Death, and Bereavement in a Digital World

Presented by Julie Olds and Kevin Schoedinger

The digital world creates a very different environment for how we live and work. However, laws and regulations governing the use of digital communication have not kept up with the technology. Ethical and moral considerations become increasingly important not only when conducting business online, but also when interacting on a more personal level. This program will examine the ways in which we live and work online as it relates to dying, death, and bereavement, with special attention for suicide survivors.

Thursday Lunch and Panel

12:30 PM – 1:45 PM

Local approaches to Postvention and L.O.S.S. Teams

Presented by Kristen Smith (OH), Stephanie Carducci (MD), Michelle Hendrix-Swords (IN), Susanna Rickmann (MI), Jackie Jones (CA), Shawna Hightree (NE)

Join us over lunch and hear from individual L.O.S.S. Teams who are part of a statewide approach to suicide postvention. We will hear an overview of each team, discuss what’s been helpful as part of a statewide approach, what the challenges have been, and what advice they have for teams who may be part of a statewide approach.

Thursday Afternoon Breakout Sessions

2:00 PM – 3:15 PM 

Understanding the Role of Social Identity and Productive Engagement in Supporting the Transition from Military Spouse to Widowhood

Presented by Machelle D. Terrell, Ph.D

 Despite significant efforts, a lack of understanding remains to support transitioning from military spouse to widowhood as a specific factor that increases vulnerability to social isolation and loneliness. Today, eradicating social isolation and loneliness in the general population and its impact on health has received public attention worldwide. This presentation explores how theories around social identity and productive engagement can help the bereaved widow and their family secure a sense of purpose, meaning, and value that will facilitate a successful and sustainable transition to life outside the military community.

Advocating for Survivors During Biohazard Remediation

Presented by Krista Gregg

During this presentation we will share key information about the biohazard remediation industry and processes to help LOSS members advocate for suicide loss survivors. This will include details about the biohazard remediation industry, a guide for quickly identifying quality companies, overview of working with insurance and types of insurance coverage, education on the dangers of biohazards and how to protect yourself from bloodborne pathogens. We will also answer questions about the biohazard industry and other topics related to biohazard remediation.

Survivor Stories of Hope and Awareness

Presented by Amy Ware and Luigia Bailey

Survivor Stories: “Losing a parent to suicide- how to rebuild your life through hope and compassion“, and “Then Danny Died, Again“, a Suicide Survivor’s Struggle to Heal while Battling Comorbid Psychiatric Disorders.

Schedule subject to change