Annual Suicide Prevention Conference Planned for Sept. 11

August 11, 2015

The fifth annual Suicide Awareness and Prevention

Conference provides special presentations and

educational opportunities.

Mercy Hospital Jefferson will host its fifth annual Suicide Awareness and Prevention Conference for members of the community, educators, mental health professionals, law enforcement officers, suicide survivors and anyone whose life has been impacted by suicide.

The free seminar is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, September 11, at Peace Tabernacle Church, 11096 Highway 21, in Hillsboro. Check-in begins at 8 a.m. The registration deadline is September 4. T-shirts are only guaranteed for those who register before August 21.

The keynote speaker at the conference is police officer Jules Ferraro from Newton Township, Penn. His presentation is titled, “Suicide by Cop.” Specially trained in crisis intervention, he has been honored by his department for life-saving actions.

Additional presentations are planned by Dana Branson of the Family Counseling Center; Elizabeth Baiocchi of the Veterans’ Administration Suicide Prevention Team; Kristina Kersting of Lutheran Family and Children’s Services; Jennifer Cagle-Huffman, a support group creator; and Suzanne Richardson, guidance director at Bayless High School.

Survivors who have lost a loved one to suicide may submit names of their loved ones to be printed on the back of the conference T-shirt. Those names must be submitted by Friday, August 21, to be included.

In addition to the speakers and education sessions, each participant will receive a free box lunch and certificate of seminar completion approving six contact hours for professionals. Space is limited to 200 participants, so advance registration is required. On-line registration is available at

Informational and educational booths will set-up throughout the conference. For more information call Erin Poniewaz at 636-933-1635 or email

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