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2024 Annual HESPC Conference: Reframing Suicide Prevention

Conference Location: The William Pitt Union  – 3955 Fifth Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15260

We are excited to announce the 2024 annual conference of the Higher Education Suicide Prevention Coalition (HESPC). This year’s conference will be held on May 15th and 16th at The William Pitt Union on the University of Pittsburgh’s campus. Based on your feedback, we will once again offer a condensed breakout model in which less simultaneous sessions allow attendees to hear from more speakers and panelists. We also plan to offer Self Care Sessions, and we hope that you will find them to be useful in facilitating a healthy mind and body of your own as we work to prevent suicide. As in previous years, the conference will include insightful presentations, provocative panels, and skillful workshops. This event is specifically designed to meet the diverse needs and interests of attendees, while creating a powerful opportunity for networking, learning, and developing techniques to prevent suicide.

Please check out the resources and information below. We hope to see you in May!

Conference Agenda with Session Titles
Presentation Slides (Coming Soon!)
Continuing Education Credits
Hotel and Travel
Exhibitor Information

Day 1 Plenary Presenter: Ebony Ramsey, PhD

Dr. Ramsey is an expert in the holistic development of both universities and their students. Since receiving her PhD in Human Resources Development with a concentration in Higher Education & Leadership from Colorado State University, she has contributed to such development at several historically Black colleges and universities. Dr. Ramsey is also the Owner of Creole Girl Collective, LLC, which provides management and consulting services, and serves as Director for Research Advisory Services at the Education Advisory Board (EAB). Through her involvement in activism, education, policy writing, and so much more, she has worked continually to make higher education better for students around the country. Read Dr. Ramsey’s full bio here.

“The world that we live in today is informed by our lived experiences which are likely formed through the identities that we hold. We often speak about identity in terms of culture, ethnicity, faith practice, gender or even sexuality, but we rarely consider how age or generational differences also have a large role in shaping how we see the world. Join us for a candid dialogue around how multigenerational dynamics illuminate the ways that we deal with and view mental health and suicide prevention.”

Day 2 Plenary Presenter: Craig Bryan, PsyD, ABPP

Dr. Bryan, a board-certified clinical psychologist, expert in cognitive-behavioral treatment for individuals experiencing suicidal thoughts and PTSD, and United States military veteran, has dedicated his career to helping people find meaning in their lives while coping healthily with their mental health-related struggles. As a clinician and researcher at The Ohio State University College of Medicine, he has greatly contributed to improving cognitive-behavioral interventions for military veterans, first responders, and other adults dealing with mental health issues and suicide risk.

“Over the past two decades, the U.S. suicide rate has steadily increased despite expanded efforts to reverse this trend via expanded awareness campaigns, wide implementation of suicide prevention programs and initiatives, and increased mental health advocacy, and anti-stigma campaigns. To the befuddlement, confusion, and frustration of researchers, clinicians, family members, and many others, these efforts have not reversed the trend of rising suicides in the U.S. Why do suicide rates continue to rise despite our best efforts? One possibility is that many of our fundamental assumptions about suicide may be flawed. In this presentation, several core assumptions about suicide prevention will be critically evaluated and alternative perspectives will be presented, along with implications for suicide risk screening, treatment, and community-based programming.”