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Northeast Wisconsin Suicide Summit The Language of SuicideNortheast Wisconsin Suicide Prevention
Virtual Summit

The Language of Suicide

Thursday, October 22, 2020

An All-Day Conference
8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Cost: $129

Exploring the Concept of Self-Care

An authentic approach to supporting personal development, this presentation covers three components of self-care: Awaken Your Body, Look Your Best and Balance Your Lifestyle. Self-care can play a significant role in recovery and each component has a role in building up a sense of self, helping individuals feel better about themselves and increasing their confidence to interact with others. 

Learning Objectives:

  1. Become familiar with the concept of self-care.

  2. Learn about the value of self-care in mental health recovery.

  3. Provide practical steps for applying self-care in everyday life.

Laura Yochelson is a dedicated learner, educator, and mental health advocate. She holds a bachelor of science in health promotion and a master’s in health promotion management from American University (AU) in Washington, D.C. She has written and presented extensively about her long struggle with mental illness. The lessons that she has distilled from her experiences have attracted a wide national and international audience. 

Image of Laura Yochelson

For the Youth, By the Youth: Learning from Kenya

A presentation that demonstrates how a mental health startup in Kenya approached the barriers of awareness, stigma, financing and insufficient resources to tackle a growing problem of youth depression and suicide. The team uncovered the individualized nature of stigma and reluctance to get help. People are willing to accept that mental health is fundamental but resist openness and the need to seek professional help. The team understood an innovation solution was required -- for the youth, by the youth -- and turned to technology and commonly used platforms to develop customized solutions where young adults can maintain their privacy while getting help, all the while continuing to promote mental health publicly.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Show importance of tailored mental health solutions for diverse populations

  2. Encourage further research and cooperation

  3. Describe how to survive as a mental health startup by focusing on your target audience

Judah Njoroge is an inspiring, creative, innovative and confident leader, who created a Minority Club in his high school and more recently founded Beating Mental Health Stigma [BMHS], a successful mental health venture in Kenya. In 2017, while on campus, he started what is now the Youth Against Suicide(s) initiative by personally reaching out to his fellow students in response to the increasing number of youth suicides locally and globally. Under his leadership, the initiative has now grown and has helped over 100 people “Choose Life,” as he puts it, through peer support and professional counseling. 

Image of Judah Njoroge


How to Answer Questions from Teens About Mental Illness

As teenagers navigate adolescence they often confront challenges of mental illness both in themselves and their peers. At the same time, they often don’t feel comfortable or don’t know how to initiate conversations with adults on these topics or the appropriate ways to support their peers. In this session we will learn how to create cultures in educational environments that support developmentally appropriate conversations around mental health. We will also discuss what to do if a teen comes over for a 1:1 conversation on these topics. 

Learning Objectives:

  1. Techniques for creating permission with teens to talk about Mental Health

  2. Learn how to balance content and context in communicating with teens

  3. Techniques for responsible follow-up after the conversation 

From Prada to Princeton, Marc Fein has spoken at some of the top companies and organizations around the world. He is a renowned coach, educator, and mental health activist who speaks internationally about his own experiences living with mental illness and teaches how we can create inclusive and empowering communities. Marc is a Program Director at NCSY and also facilitates leadership workshops for educators and founded a camp for teens.

Image of Marc Fein


Suicidal Intrusive Thoughts: What They Mean, What They Don't

Most people experience intrusive, unwanted thoughts about violence, sex, blasphemy and suicide. But for about 2% of the population living with OCD and related anxiety conditions, intrusive thoughts can lead to a debilitating cycle of obsessions and compulsions. What’s worse? When persons report having repetitive thoughts and images about suicide, many practitioners fail to distinguish between anxious thinking and suicidal intent. In this session, Aaron Harvey will share his intimate experience with suicidal obsessions, the dangers of living with comorbid depression, and ways to distinguish between intrusive unwanted thoughts and suicidal intent to mitigate misdiagnosis, and improve treatment programs.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Understand the prevalence of intrusive thoughts and the nuances between unwanted suicidal thoughts and suicidal intent

  2. Understand the complications presented in patients with comorbid anxiety and depression

  3. Understand how to avoid misdiagnosis and secure proper path to care

Aaron Harvey is executive director and cofounder of Made of Millions Foundation, a global advocacy nonprofit on a mission to change how the world perceives mental health. Since 2016, he and his team have generated millions of users across their digital properties -- and Launched the world's first chatbot to help people living with anxiety from intrusive thoughts. Hosted mental health art exhibitions in New York and London featuring award winning artists, advocates and brand partners like Rolling Stone, Tumblr and Afropunk. Developed "Beautiful Brains," a mental health manual for the modern workforce. And been featured in the New York Times, Fast Company, Forbes, Women's Health, Refinery29, Vice and notable others.

Image of Aaron Harvey


The Narcissistic Family

This presentation will be a breakdown of the Narcissistic Family, and the effects on the adult children of these family units, based on the book by S. Donaldson-Pressman and R.M. Pressman. Often the demonstrated symptoms are similar to those of Adult Children of Alcoholism (ACOA), and this breakdown will discuss these similarities, as well as enumerate different therapeutic techniques. While the issues that arise with the Narcissistic Family Unit may not always appear to be drastic and harmful, they can be, and understanding the effects can help those who have experiences this still have a shot at healthy life, relationships and general outlook.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Identify the signs of a Narcissistic Family

  2. Learn how to put yourself first

Mindy Roth is a licensed psychologist in the State of Israel. Originally from Brooklyn NY, she received her BA in Psychology from Touro College and her MA in Forensic Psychology from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, with a focus on Victimology. After spending a year as a MASA Israel Teaching Fellow, Mindy moved her life to Israel, where she looks forward to starting her own practice and using her personal experiences to continue helping the population of at-risk youth.

Image of Mindy Roth


The Power of Language to Combat the Suicide Pandemic

Dr. Appasani brings together a unique experience in the global mental health space spanning from conducting molecular research on depression/addiction to delivering services in rural India, Nepal, and Los Angeles all the way to working at the World Health Organization and launching global initiatives at the United Nations. Through all his exposure to the human condition, what stands out is the power of language. The ways in which we use language to describe mental health and illness is the most powerful tool we have to combat the pandemic of suicide. Let’s transform the simple word of ‘commit’ to ‘died by’ or ‘lost their life to suicide.’ This not only allows for acceptance of the individual’s suffering, but it allows caregivers and loved ones to move forward whilst honoring the passed individual. Through language, we tune into the power of storytelling—a therapeutic modality for those who have been through mental ill health and to allow those who feel trapped in darkness. This session will focus on the importance of language, terminology we use, and the power of storytelling in mental health. Through these simple changes we can create a society that is once again full of empathy, compassion, and love—all to support access to services without shame.

Learning Objectives:
  1. Learn terminology to reframe the conversation around suicide and mental health.
  2. Gain an understanding of the commonality of the human condition across geographical and socioeconomic sectors.
  3. Learn the power of storytelling and how to empower patients/clients to share their stories in a therapeutic and impactful manner.

Dr. Raghu Kiran Appasani is a Psychiatrist, Neuroscientist, Mental Health Advocate, and Social Entrepreneur focused on bridging the gap between western and eastern practices to create a wholesome society. He is the Founder & CEO of The MINDS Foundation, a mental health nonprofit, for which he has been recognized as a World Economic Forum Global Shaper, One Young World Delegate Ambassador, StartingBloc Fellow, Nexus Global Delegate, EchoingGreen, MassChallenge, and Kellogg Innovation Network Delegate. He serves as The Mental Health Expert at the GLEOW Group and serves as an advisor to a number of ventures in the mental wellness space. Through his extensive scientific research, he has published over 35 peer-reviewed articles and edited five books. He has given over 60 talks on mental health, entrepreneurship, global health, and consciousness in parallel with authorship for ThriveGlobal, The Better India, and The Huffington Post. His commitment to wellness has led to the develop of initiatives focused on reliance and empathy in physicians, resulting in him receiving the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award from the Gold Humanism Honor Society.

Image of Dr. Raghu Kiran Appasani


Continuing Education .6 CEHs/6 CEUs

In addition to handouts and other materials, continuing education credit hours and units will be provided and can be used for social workers, marriage and family therapists, professional counselors, nursing home administrators, and other health and human service professionals.

Presented in partnership by:

Center for Suicide Awareness
University of Wisconsin-Green Bay
University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh