2017 Suicide Prevention Symposium

VT Suicide Prevention Symposium - 2017

vtspc symposiumThis annual cross-agency statewide event brings together professionals, suicide attempt and loss survivors, and concerned citizens across all sectors for a day of learning from national experts on critical topics and skills in suicide prevention. The day is designed to support statewide suicide prevention efforts and local communities in implementing the recommendations of the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention and the Vermont Suicide Prevention Platform using data-driven and evidence-based practices.  Collective Reflections: Joint Impact in Prevention, Treatment and Recovery.




The following are the slides from the presentations made at the Symposium:


Keynote – “Staying Alive:  The State of Suicide Prevention in Health Care 2017” – Mike Hogan, PhD, Principal, Hogan Health Solutions




















Eric Astleford, MA, QMHP
Crisis Clinician, NCSS

Eric is a crisis clinician with Northwestern Counseling and Support Services. He holds a master's degree in Clinical Psychology from Saint Michael's College and is  a magna cum laude graduate from Johnson State College. He is a veteran of the United States Air Force where he served as a military police officer. He is a member of the American Psychological Association and the Vermont Association of Psychoanalytic Studies. Eric holds academic honors from Psi Chi and Delta Epsilon Sigma.



Catherine Barber, MPA
Senior Researcher at the Harvard School of Public Health's Injury Research Center
Catherine Barber is a senior researcher at the Harvard School of Public Health’s Injury Research Center where she led the effort to design and test the pilot for what is now the CDC’s National Violent Death Reporting System. She is the founding director of Means Matter, a project to disseminate research and interventions aimed at reducing a suicidal person’s access to highly lethal suicide methods. Recent work focuses on collaborating with gun owner groups on suicide prevention initiatives.



Jessica Bernard, MA

Quality Management Chief of the Child, Adolescent, and Family Unit,
Vermont Department of Mental Health
Ms. Bernard is the Quality Management Chief for the Vermont Department of Mental Health, Child, Adolescent, and Family Unit. Her role ensures that all programs and services for children and families that are funded by the state are in compliance with state and federal laws and regulations, while achieving desired outcomes through the provision of high-quality services and supports. In addition, she contributes to policy development through ongoing processes to gather accurate, valid and reliable data and continuous quality improvement activities. Ms. Bernard is currently participating in work groups to identify suicide prevention initiatives, examine strategies across the Agency of Human Services, and assist in promoting educational platforms.


Thomas Delaney, PhD
Assistant Professor (Pediatrics)

Vermont Child Health Improvement Program
The Robert Larner, M.D. College of Medicine at the University of Vermont

Dr. Tom Delaney is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine. He earned MA and PhD degrees in psychology from the University of Denver, where he studied neuro-psychological functioning in children and youth. Since 2009, he has conducted a variety of program evaluations of mental health, suicide prevention and substance abuse treatment projects. His interests in suicide prevention include suicide postvention, assessing the effectiveness of different prevention training approaches, and evaluating the Zero Suicide approach to systems change. Tom is an instructor in the medical and graduate public health education programs at UVM, where he has developed and taught courses on research methods and statistical analysis.


Elaine de Mello, LCSW
Connect Supervisor of Training and Prevention Services
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) NH

Elaine de Mello is a licensed clinical social worker who has worked in the mental health field since 1978 as a clinical program manager in inpatient and community settings; she also served as an emergency services clinician and director of Quality Improvement. Additionally, Elaine worked for seven years as a school counselor and currently teaches on the faculty at Plymouth State University and as a Child Impact Program teacher at Riverbend Community Mental Health Center.
Elaine has worked full time with NAMI NH since 1999 where she had a lead role in the development of the Connect Suicide Prevention and Postvention Program, a national best practice. Elaine has provided training and consultation in mental health and suicide prevention throughout the United States and Canada in a variety of settings including state and tribal entities, community coalitions, schools and campuses, health care facilities, and military and paramilitary organizations.  She serves as a trainer for the NH Police Standards and Training Council, and is also a master trainer in AMSR, CALM and Connect and is certified in conducting psychological autopsies through the American Association of Suicidology.  Elaine serves on the NH Suicide Fatality Review Committee and has been the co-chair of the NH Youth Suicide Prevention Assembly since 2003. She serves on the national faculty for Zero Suicide. Elaine is a 2012 recipient of the NH State Suicide Prevention Award.


Mike Hogan, PhD
Hogan Health Solutions

Michael Hogan, PhD, served as New York State (NYS) Commissioner of Mental Health from 2007-2012, and now operates a consulting practice in health and behavioral health care. Previously, Dr. Hogan served as Director of the Ohio Department of Mental Health (1991-2007) and Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Mental Health from 1987-1991. He chaired the President’s New Freedom Commission on Mental Health in 2002-2003. He was appointed as the first behavioral health representative on the board of The Joint Commission in 2007, and as a member of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention in 2010. He served (1994-1998) on the National Institute of Mental Health’s National Advisory Mental Health Council, as President of the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (2003-2005) and as Board President of NASMHPD’s Research Institute (1989-2000). His awards for national leadership include recognition by the National Governor’s Association, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the Campaign for Mental Health Reform, the American College of Mental Health Administration, and the American Psychiatric Association. He is a graduate of Cornell University, and earned an MS degree from the State University College in Brockport, New York and a doctoral degree from Syracuse University.


Beth Holden, MS, LCMHC, LADC
Associate Director Community Programs, Howard Center

Beth Holden is a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor and a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor in Vermont.  She holds a Masters of Science degree in community counseling from the University of Vermont.  She has worked as a clinician and supervisor in the mental health and substance abuse fields for almost 24 years and is currently employed with the Howard Center as an Associate Director overseeing community programs.  Beth has vast experience and expertise with children, adolescents, adults and families.  She has specialty training in emergency mental health services, co-occurring disorders, trauma informed practice, managing suicidality and supervision. She is level two trained in EMDR, and is a qualified mental health professional (QMHP). Beth serves on the Vermont Addictions Professionals Association Board and the UVM Graduate Counseling Program Advisory Board.


E. David Klonsky, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Psychology
Director, Personality, Emotion, and Behaviour Lab
University of British Columbia

E. David Klonsky, PhD, is Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of British Columbia. He has more than 80 publications on suicide, self-injury, and related topics, and has been recognized by awards from the American Association of Suicidology, Association for Psychological Science, and Society of Clinical Psychology (APA). He is Associate Editor of Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, Past-President of the International Society for the Study of Self-injury, and has advised the American Psychiatric Association (DSM-5), US Government (suicide warning signs), and Correctional Services Canada (suicide/self-injury training), among other Canadian and international organizations. He recently developed the Three-Step Theory (3ST) of suicide.


Cathleen Lamberton
President, Cathleen L., LLC

Cathleen Lamberton is an inspirational speaker, coach, and devoted public servant.  She has served her community, state, and nation by speaking with high schools, colleges, CEO’s, and many different organizations .  Her work educates and creates awareness on suicide prevention, stress reduction and addresses the grief process to create an effective and productive life.  

She served along side the Vermont Governor for seven years, a legislator for eight years, and owned and operated small businesses. As a legislator she spoke to the Brazilian Parliament and Israeli Government.  Since 2009, she has been the EVP of the Associated General Contractors of Vermont.  Her life’s work became focused in March 2010 after her son took his life by suicide.  Cathleen works with and educates people who incur large amounts of stress.  She has a diverse background which provides many skills and tools that will quickly provide solutions for a well balanced life. 

Richard T. McKeon, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Chief of Suicide Prevention Branch of the Division of Prevention, Traumatic Stress, and Special Programs of the Center for Mental Health Services of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA)

Richard McKeon received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Arizona, and a Master's of Public Health in Health Administration from Columbia University. He has spent fifteen years leading in psychiatric emergency service and hospital-based community mental health settings. He spent 5 years on the Board of the American Association of Suicidology as Clinical Division Director and served on the Board of the Division of Clinical Psychology of the American Psychological Association. He is currently Chief for the Suicide Prevention Branch in the Center for Mental Health Services, of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, where he oversees all branch suicide prevention activities for campuses, tribal youth, and several national prevention efforts. He has been appointed to Veteran and Military task forces and contributed to the revision of National Strategy for Suicide Prevention and the development of WHO's World Suicide Prevention Report. Dr. McKeon is the Co-Chair of the Federal Working Group on Suicide Prevention.


Julie Parker, LCMHC
Assistant Director, Outpatient, Crisis and Integrated Health Services
Northwestern Counseling & Support Services

Julie Parker is a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor who earned her MA in Counseling Psychology from Antioch University. She has worked at Community Mental Health Centers for over 20 years. She is currently the Assistant Director of Outpatient, Crisis and Integrated Health Services at Northwestern Counseling & Support Services which serves Franklin and Grand Isle County. She is passionate about the community she serves whose mission is to offer high quality services that promote healthy living and emotional well- being.



Megan Rigoni, MPH
Vermont Department of Health, Project Assistant/Temporary Intern
VCHIP, CHAMP Chart Reviewer

Megan is a recent graduate from the University of Vermont with a Master in Public Health and an undergraduate degree is in Dietetics, Nutrition and Food Sciences. Megan currently works at both the Vermont Department of Health and VCHIP. She lives in Winooski, VT and is originally from Rochester, NY.





Tony Stevens, MS, LCMHC
Crisis Team Leader
Northwestern Counseling & Support Services

Tony has been employed at Northwestern Counseling & Support Services for 15 years working on and managing their mental health crisis team(s).  He completed his Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling at the University of Vermont in 2002 and is licensed as a Clinical Mental Health Counselor in VT.  He has been trained in Critical Incident Stress Management and has provided numerous debriefings over the years to local companies and Emergency Responders.  Tony was the prior chairperson of the Emergency Services Directors that meet monthly in VT.  Tony and his team(s) have worked to integrate crisis clinicians within various branches of Law Enforcement in Franklin & Grand Isle counties as well as the Emergency Department at Northwestern Medical Center.  Tony also co-facilitates a Survivor of Suicide Loss Support Group that meets monthly in St Albans.


Becky Stoll, LCSW
Vice President, Crisis & Disaster Management

Becky Stoll serves as Vice President for Crisis and Disaster Management for Centerstone. In this role, Stoll oversees the continuum of Centerstone’s Crisis Services, including the 24-hour Crisis Call Center, Mobile Crisis Response Team, as well as Centerstone’s Crisis Management Strategies, which is a public and private sector crisis preparedness and response service.
Becky Stoll has participated as a faculty member for the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention and Suicide Prevention Resource Center's Zero Academies across the U.S. and has attended a White House briefing on “building partnerships for suicide prevention.” She also presented at the first international gathering of organizations committed to Zero Suicide in Health and Behavioral Health Care in Oxford, England, as well as the second gathering in Vancouver, Canada.
“We want to see no one in our care taken by their own hand, and we are grateful, at Centerstone, to be involved with the Zero Suicide in Health and Behavioral Health Care initiative,” said Stoll.


JoEllen Tarallo, EdD, MCHES, FASHA
Director, Vermont Suicide Prevention Center
Executive Director, Center for Health and Learning

Dr. JoEllen Tarallo is Executive Director of the Center for Health and Learning (CHL), a comprehensive health promotion organization, and Director of the VT Suicide Prevention Center (VT-SPC), a public-private partnership with Vermont Department of Mental Health and numerous other partners. ( The VT-SPC was established to guide and sustain suicide prevention efforts in Vermont and to serve as a resource for data, information, resources and collaboration. Under her leadership CHL developed the Umatter for Schools training, designated as a national Best Practice program, and the Umatter for Communities training for community professionals, Umatter YYA Mental Health Wellness Promotion and Community Action, and Umatter public information. This includes the website; an award winning youth website, aimed at promoting positive mental health and help seeking. Umatter training includes Gatekeeper training, professional and organizational protocol development, Staff and Community Awareness and instruction of the Lifelines curriculum. Dr. Tarallo is a state and nationally licensed health educator, trainer, school administrator, program developer and project manager, who works at the crossroads of education and public health, including service at the local, state, national and international levels.  She has received distinguished professional awards from the American School Health Association, VT Association for Physical, Health Education, Recreation and Dance, and Prevention Works VT.