12th Annual Show Me You Care About Suicide Prevention

Conference – Thursday & Friday, August 3-4, 2017

Download a PDF Version

Thursday, August 3, 2017

12:15 Sign-in
1 p Conference Welcome

Elizabeth Makulec

Suicide in Missouri: Where We Stand

Liz Sale, PhD



Overview of School-Based Suicide Prevention

Jonathan Singer, PhD

2:30 break


Five Things Everyone Should Know About Suicide Prevention and Social Media

Jonathan Singer, PhD

3:45 break



A movie screening along with discussion

Lisa Klein, writer and director   –

6:00 pm Close


Friday, August 4, 2017

7:15 am Sign-in

Continental Breakfast



The Road to Accepting My Lived Experience

Rick Strait, MS, LPC

9:15 Break


Evidence Based Strategies to Prevent Suicide on Campus

Margo Leitschuh

In the Trenches: Lessons Learned in Creating, Vetting, and Implementing a District Suicide Prevention Policy

Amanda McAuley, MSW

10:45 Break


Demonization of Mental Illness

Donna Scott, ThD    


Chris Koester & Michelle Horvath

12:15 pm Lunch



Leah Crask Ellis

2 break


Bart Andrews, PhD
2:45 Questions/close

Continuing Education Units

The University of Missouri St. Louis, Missouri Institute of Mental Health will be responsible for this program and maintain a record of your continuing education credits earned.

The Missouri Institute of Mental Health will award 8.75 clock hours or 10.5 contact hours (1.5 CEUs) for this activity


Missouri Credentialing Board

The Missouri Credentialing Board has approved this program for 8.75 hours.


National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) Accreditation:

MIMH is an NBCC – Approved Continuing Education Provider, No. 6339 (ACEPTM) and may offer NBCC – approved clock hours for events (or programs) that meet NBCC requirements.   The ACEP is solely responsible for all aspects for the program. 

8.75 clock hours are offered for this program.



Thursday, August 3, 2017

Suicide in Missouri: Where We Stand

Elizabeth Sale, PhD is the Evaluation Director at the Missouri Institute of Mental Health at UMSL and has a 25-year history evaluating prevention programs. She has been the lead evaluator on the 2005, 2008, 2011 and 2016 Garrett Lee Smith Youth Suicide Prevention Initiatives. Dr. Sale and her research teams have developed several information briefs on suicide in Missouri that explore the demographic characteristics of those who die by suicide. She and other MIMH researchers developed a “Suicide Lifeguard” mobile app which provides information on warnings signs, help-seeking and national and local resources.

This presentation will provide statewide information on suicide, suicidal ideation and intentional self-injury. Trends in Missouri will be compared over time and to suicides nationally. Comparisons by gender, age and race/ethnicity will be presented as well as data related to the means by which individuals die by suicide.

Upon completion of this workshop participants will be able to….

  • Better understand suicide trends in Missouri and how Missouri stacks up compared to the nation as a whole;
  • Better understand those who are at greatest risk for suicide and intentional self-injury;
  • Use this information to identify populations who should be particularly targeted for services.


Dr. Jonathan Singer is a licensed clinical social worker and associate professor of social work at Loyola University Chicago. Dr. Singer’s clinical and research interests focus on interventions for suicidal and cyberbullied youth; service access and service utilization; and use of technology in education and clinical practice. Dr. Singer has given over 100 regional, national and international presentations to the U.S. Military, community mental health agencies, school districts, and national professional organizations on topics ranging from youth suicide and cyberbullying to ethics, social media, and adolescent development. He is the author of 50 publications, including the 2015 Routledge text, Suicide in Schools: A Practitioner’s Guide to Multi-level Prevention, Assessment, Intervention, and Postvention. He is a founding member of the online suicide prevention social media (#SPSM) community, an elected Board member of the American Association of Suicidology and the international organization Human Services Information Technology Applications. He is the committee chair for two national social work organizations and the founder and host of the award winning Social Work Podcast. He lives in Evanston, IL with his wife and three children and can be found on Twitter as @socworkpodcast.

Overview of School-Based Suicide Prevention

Schools provide adults with a unique opportunity to identify and respond to youth suicide. Today’s workshop will provide an overview of school-based suicide prevention. We will talk about the value of establishing a crisis team, suicide prevention programs, how to intervene in a suicidal crisis, and what schools should do in the aftermath of a suicide.

Learning objectives

At the end of the session participants will be able to:

  • Identify four areas of suicide prevention addressed in schools
  • Recognize suicide prevention programs with empirical support
  • Discuss the benefit of a crisis team in prevention, intervention and postvention.


Five Things Everyone Should Know About Suicide Prevention and Social Media

Description: The rise of social media has created an enormous shift in the way we disclose and discuss suicide risk. The speed with which information is created and shared on social media makes it hard for even the most tech savvy professional to keep up. In today’s talk you will learn about suicide-related hashtags, how to respond to suicide risk online, what the big social media platforms are doing to address suicide risk, the most common features of suicide prevention apps, and the online community, Suicide Prevention and Social Media (#SPSM).

Learning objectives

At the end of the session participants will be able to:

  • Identify hashtags currently being used on social media to identify suicide and related risk
  • Discuss ways that major social media platforms address suicide risk.
  • List the most common features of current suicide prevention apps


THE S WORD- Movie and Discussion

Lisa Klein is an award-winning director and writer dedicated to crafting groundbreaking documentary features. Her current project, THE S WORD, is a documentary that tackles one of the most cloistered issues of our time through emotional stories of suicide attempt and loss survivors. The film will be released later this year, with an expected national tour and extensive social outreach campaign.

In 2012, Lisa co-directed the award-winning film OF TWO MINDS, a journey into the lives of remarkable people living, struggling and triumphing with bipolar condition. The film played across North America at dozens of film festivals, theatrical showings, universities and special presentations; and in 2013 received both the EIC Prism Award and the SAMHSA Voice Award, the two highest honors for mental health filmmaking in the US. Lisa has toured the country speaking and using the film to raise awareness about bipolar condition and mental health issues, and plans to do the same with THE S WORD.

She is co-founder of MadPix Films, a documentary and media production company dedicated to producing character-driven stories that create global impact and social change. MadPix is based in Los Angeles, California, where she lives with her husband (and MadPix partner) Doug Blush and their daughter, Madeleine.

A suicide attempt survivor is on a mission to find fellow survivors and document their stories of courage, insight and humor. Along the way, she discovers a rising national movement transforming personal struggles into action.

THE S WORD is a powerful feature documentary that puts a human face on a topic that has long been stigmatized and buried with the lives it has claimed. The film gives a platform to those with lived experience – people who have attempted to take their own lives and survived to tell their stories. These are the voices that have been silenced for so long and their stories could save lives. Capturing personal revelations and surprising moments of humor, THE S WORD opens a door on this most taboo of subjects through the eyes of the people who have been there and are now committed to preventing others from getting to that edge.

Our central subject, attempt survivor Dese’Rae Stage, embarks on a mission to find fellow survivors and share their stories and portraits with the world. Suicide has affected her since she can remember; as a child, a family friend died by suicide, and as a teenager, her best friend died by suicide. She herself attempted suicide at 23 and continues to struggle through cycles of loneliness and depression. After moving to New York and pursuing a career in photography, she discovers that many of her own questions can be addressed using her camera, and she begins to explore life on the other side of suicide. As she becomes a recognized pioneer of a new movement, she also proposes marriage to her girlfriend Fel. As Des pursues her vision, she discovers a vibrant community of other attempt survivors who we meet through her unique lens.


Friday, August 4, 2017

The Road to Accepting My Lived Experience

Rick Strait currently works at Community Counseling Center as the ITCD program manager Rick is a Licensed Professional Counselor and has multiple certifications from the Missouri Credentialing Board included the Medication Assisted Recovery Specialist. Rick is a board member with the Eastern Chapter of Missouri American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). Rick is a Co-author of The i’Mpossible Project Reengaging with Life, Creating a New You. Rick is an adjunct instructor with Central Methodist University where he teaches Advanced counseling with evidence based practices.

Rick will share the path he has traveled that took him from struggling with depression, to being a suicide attempt survivor to the point of healing and becoming open about his lived experience and to being active as advocate for suicide prevention.   He will focus on several key moments on this road to self-discovery that helped him go from seeing lived experience as a curse to lived experience being a gift.


  • How accepting your lived experience can be healing
  • Learning how to share your lived experience can help others
  • Some steps in deciding if you’re ready to share your lived experience


Evidence Based Strategies to Prevent Suicide on Campus

Margo Leitschuh is the Communications Coordinator for Partners in Prevention. Margo is responsible for coordination of the statewide programs including CHEERS, SMART, Drive Safe. Drive Smart, Ask. Listen. Refer. And MoSafeRx. She graduated from the University of Missouri with a Bachelor’s of Health Science in Health Science and is passionate about her work in prevention.

Suicide is the second leading cause of death among US college students.  In addition to those who die by suicide, a greater number of college students attempt or contemplate suicide.  Missouri Partners in Prevention is a coalition of 21 universities in the state dedicated to creating healthier and safer campus communities.  In this presentation, staff from PIP will share data from the Missouri Assessment of College Health Behaviors and resources and lessons learned from the successful online suicide prevention gatekeeper training program Ask Listen Refer.

Learning objectives:  Attendees will learn about the rates of suicide attempt and contemplation of Missouri College students.  Attendees will learn about the importance of using epidemiological data to track suicidal ideation in campus communities.  Attendees will learn about programs implemented at Missouri’s colleges and university to address suicide and other mental health concerns. 


In the Trenches: Lessons Learned in Creating, Vetting, and Implementing a District Suicide Prevention Policy 

Amanda McAuley obtained both a Bachelors and Masters degree in Social Work from Saint Louis University. She is an experienced school social worker at an alternative high school where she provides direct support to students and families including crisis intervention, individual counseling, and linkage to community resources. Amanda also facilitates workshops in the areas of social emotional learning, coping skills, and understanding the impacts of trauma. Her areas of interest include incorporating trauma informed principles into school settings and resilience building through mindfulness and yoga.

Participants will explore one school district’s journey as they revised the policy, regulation, and assessment tools related to responding to potential suicidal behaviors among students.

Learning Objectives:

-Identify key stakeholders.

-Explore current research and best practices in the school setting.

-Examine the Risk Screening Form, Risk Assessment Tool, User Guide, and Parent Information Guide

-Discuss training, implementation, and staff supports.


Demonization of Mental Illness

Evangelist Donna Scott, ThD founded US, Inc (Unmasking Suicide) in January 2004. This Non-Profit organization was inspired after losing her baby brother to suicide in November of 2003. Her ministry is to those who have suffered a similar lost. In addition to her efforts to support families, her love for the church ignited her passion to inform and equip Pastors, Teachers and Leaders in the church as to the signs and progression of mental “wellness.”  She is QPR (Question, Persuade and Refer) certified and a member of the QPR Institute.

She has successfully completed ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training), AFSP (American Foundation of Suicide Prevention) Survivor Facilitator Training and she sits on the the Board of Directors for NOPCAS (National Organization of People of Color Against Suicide). She is a recurring guest instructor in the Social Services Department at Florissant Valley Community College. She works with St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department as a member of HMCA (Homicide Ministry and Community Alliance) to help bring support to families who have lost loved ones as victims of homicide. And lastly, Donna is an active founding member of UAN (Universal Advocates’ Network), a grassroots collaboration of local not-for-profit organizations working to holistically address the challenges in our community that exacerbates individuals battling mental illness.

In this seminar, Demonization of Mental Illness, the facilitator will discuss the stigmas associated with mental illness in the religious community with a new and refreshing look at the topic of mental illness versus demonic possession. The material will address the distinctions between the two conditions and the need to know the difference. The facilitator will provide welcomed insight into the myriad of challenges with which victims, health care providers, the religious community and faith-based organizations, and other entities are faced with in addressing the issues of properly dealing with this poignant topic.

The seminar attendees will come away with:

  • A healthy look at how the alignment of mental illness to all “illnesses” will help to elevate the devastation of stigmatization
  • Practical applications and relevant information from a faith based perspective highlighting the criticality of the role of the religious community.
  • Enlightenment on the inter-related manifestation of psychotic episodes and negative spiritual encounters.
  • Discuss the power of religious communities becoming “places of wellness” for all parishioners, including those battling with a mental health diagnosis.