UVU Conference on Suicide Prevention to feature Sally Spencer-Thomas

Utah Valley University will host Dr. Sally Spencer-Thomas during its 2017 Conference on Suicide Prevention on October 6 from 9 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. in the Sorensen Student Center. The single-day event will shine a light on a range of issues dealing with suicide loss and prevention.

Dr. Spencer-Thomas is a clinical psychologist, inspirational international speaker and an impact entrepreneur. Known nationally and internationally as an innovator in social change, Dr. Spencer-Thomas was a recent invited speaker at the White House. She has also held leadership positions for the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, the International Association for Suicide Prevention, the American Association for Suicidology, and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Dr. Spencer-Thomas was moved to work in suicide prevention after her younger brother died of suicide after a difficult battle with bipolar condition. Her goal is to elevate the conversation and make suicide prevention a health and safety priority in our schools, workplaces and communities.

“As a community, the more knowledge that we gain, the more likelihood that we will have the tools to be able to assist people in our communities and families to better understand the complexities associated with suicide and suicide loss,” said J.C. Graham, Director of Crisis Services at UVU. Graham, a licensed social worker and professional member of the National Association of Social Workers and the American Association of Suicidology, will be the plenary speaker at the conference.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, “suicide is a serious public health problem that can have lasting harmful effects on individuals, families, and communities. While its causes are complex and determined by multiple factors, the goal of suicide prevention is simple: Reduce factors that increase risk (i.e. risk factors) and increase factors that promote resilience (i.e. protective factors). Ideally, prevention addresses all levels of influence: individual, relationship, community, and societal. Effective prevention strategies are needed to promote awareness of suicide and encourage a commitment to social change.”

The conference is sponsored by Utah Valley University’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences, UVU Crisis Services, and UVU Veteran’s Center. In addition to Dr. Spencer-Thomas’ keynote and J.C. Graham’s plenary presentations, the program will include several concurrent sessions intended to elevate the conversation and bring hope and healing to participants. This conference has been approved for 6 CEUs by NASW for those interested. Tickets are $65 and include lunch, parking, and all conference materials. More information can be found at www.uvu.edu/chss/suicide_prevention.

Fourth region (Section 1)