Suicide Prevention Convening Meeting

Westin Westminster | Westminster, Colo. | Oct. 2, 2019


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Wednesday, Oct. 2

7:30-8:15 a.m.

Registration and Breakfast

8:15-9 a.m.

Welcome and Introductions

NCSL will introduce the convening and participants will introduce themselves.



Charlie Severance-Medaris, policy associate, NCSL
Kate Blackman, group director, NCSL
Elizabeth Zurick, health policy analyst, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

9-9:45 a.m.

Overview: Suicide in the States

This session will provide an overview of the public health burden of suicide in the United States.


Moderator: Charlie Severance-Medaris, NCSL
Speaker: Dr. Alex Crosby, senior medical advisor, CDC | Powerpoint | PDF file-48 pages

9:45-10:30 a.m.

Know the Signs

This session will provide a brief overview of the signs that someone might be considering suicide and provide attendees with tools to address these situations.


Moderator: Karmen Hanson, NCSL
Speaker: Sheri Cole, Colorado area director, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention | Powerpoint | PDF file-43 pages

10:45-12:15 p.m.

State Policy Options: Options for Legislators

This session will provide an overview of what states can do to prevent suicide from a state policy perspective.


Moderator: Kelly Hughes, NCSL

Dr. Alex Crosby, senior medical advisor, CDC | Powerpoint | PDF file-31 pages
Moe Keller, vice president of public policy, Mental Health Colorado | Powerpoint | PDF file-19 pages

Handout | PDF file-1 page

Study handout | PDF file-56 pages

Dr. Barbara Becker, director, Mental Health First Aid Colorado | Powerpoint | PDF file-9 pages

12:15-1:15 p.m.

Lunch and Table Discussions

Participants will engage in discussions about prevention efforts in their states while lunch is served. Participants will have an opportunity to share legislation they’ve worked on or plan to work on in the next session.

1:30-3 p.m.

Addressing Special Populations

This session will provide participants with policy interventions for populations with disproportionately higher rates of suicide than the general population. These populations include youth, LGBT+ communities and military veterans.


Moderator: Kate Blackman, NCSL
Chris Weiss, interim executive director, The Second Wind Fund
Sam Brinton, head of advocacy and government affairs, The Trevor Project | Powerpoint | PDF file-7 pages
Ashlie Brown, director, Colorado Health Institute | Powerpoint | PDF file-9 pages

3:15-4:45 p.m.

Successes and Innovations: State Panel

This session will provide an opportunity for policymakers to share successful interventions and other efforts in their states.


Moderator: Tahra Johnson, NCSL


Senator Sean Bowie, Arizona

Representative John Mizuno, Hawaii

Senator Daniel Thatcher, Utah

4:45-5 p.m.

Wrap Up and Looking Forward

This session will provide a wrap up of the day’s discussion and leave participants with a message of hope and empowerment.


Moderator: Charlie Severance-Medaris, NCSL

5-6:30 p.m.