Samaritans has designed and hosted some of the nation’s most respected suicide prevention training conferences and professional development workshops over the past 20 years that have attracted subject matter experts and guest speakers from among the country’s most noted public health analysts, epidemiologists and clinicians.
Samaritans conferences and training programs have addressed a broad-spectrum of timely topics, concerns and issues confronting those who provide public and mental health services to those who are in distress, in crisis and potentially suicidal.
Acknowledged as the organization responsible for putting suicide prevention on the health agenda of the nation’s largest public school system with 1.2 million students in NYC, Samaritans has also been a primary source of suicide prevention education and training for the NYC Department for the Aging, Administration for Children’s Services, Human Resources Administration, Housing Authority, Department of Youth and Community Development, NYPD, etc.
Past conference guest speakers and presenters have included: NYS Office of Mental Health Commissioner Michael F. Hogan; Executive Director Suicide Prevention Resource Center, Jerry Reed; Special Adviser to the US Surgeon General, David Litts; Vice President NYC Health & Hospital Corporation, Joyce Wale; Associate Professor Hunter College School of Social Work, Irene Chung; University of Rochester Department of Community & Preventative Medicine and Psychiatry, Kerry Knox; Chair, Department of Psychology Texas Tech University, M. David Rudd; Columbia University Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Madelyn Gould.
“Responding to someone who is suicidal can be stressful, in that it is literally a life or death situation. The client’s life is at stake, and you have to drop everything (personally and professionally) in order to address the client’s crisis. Today’s conference helped to prepare the audience for such a crisis situation and gave us tools and resources to help us deal with the situation.” A participant at a Samaritans Suicide Prevention Training Conference
Examples of past Samaritans conferences include:
The New York City SUMMIT on Suicide Prevention
NYC’s first comprehensive professional development conference focusing on suicide prevention brought together over 400 mental and public health policy makers and providers from NYC non-profits, government agencies, universities and schools to learn about best practices, promising programs, effective interventions, issues in cultural diversity and high-risk populations from 40 experts, practitioners, program designers and noted researchers.
Preventing Suicide in Our College & University Communities
Over 200 attendees from 37 colleges and universities gathered to learn the keys to effective prevention practices focusing on identification and assessment, anxiety and mood disorders, cultural diversity, ethical and legal issues, and web-based resources with experts from NYU Child Study Center, NYU Student Health Center, NYU School of Medicine, Jed Foundation Ulifeline Program and Samaritans.
“Lean On Me” Suicide Awareness & Public Education
Hosted with NYU School of Medicine, over 300 providers from 50 community-based agencies and all 12 NYC public school regions learned about the latest research in depression screening, post-traumatic stress and service delivery. Keynotes included: Sharon Carpinello, Commissioner, NYS Office of Mental Health; Harold Koplewicz, Director, NYU Child Study Center; Lloyd Sederer, Executive Deputy Commissioner, NYC Department of Health.
Pressing Issues in Preventing Suicide and Self-Destructive Behavior
This professional workshop explored some of the issues and topics currently confronting frontline health providers working with those who are at-risk of hurting themselves or others including understanding suicide contagion, effective postvention responses to a suicide, recognizing and responding to mood and behavioral disorders.
Preventing Suicide in NYC’s Diverse Communities
With a focus on responding to diverse communities in NYC’s five boroughs, over 270 participants from 60 community-based organizations and over 70 public schools learned the keys to effective suicide prevention practice with an emphasis on responding to individuals in the Asian, Latina, African-American and LGBTQ communities as well as victims, at-risk youth and older adults and those with psychiatric disorders.