Nov 4, 2020

Umatter for Schools Goes Virtual!

Because of the demands created by the COVID 19 pandemic to avoid in person trainings, CHL and the Vermont Suciide Prevention Center has moved our Umatter® for Schools training to an entirely online format!

CHL developed and implemented Umatter, a national best practice program and public information campaign for suicide prevention that promotes mental health, teaches self-care, risk assessment, coping and help-seeking skills. Umatter for Schools provides school teams with the knowledge and skills to develop a comprehensive, asset-based approach to suicide prevention at their school including Gatekeeper training, staff and parent awareness training, prevention and postvention protocol development and Lifelines curriculum training for implementation in grades 7-12.

The newly designed Umatter for Schools online training consists of 3-4 Zoom meetings and coursework over 6 weeks.  Schools are encouraged to send teams with a minimum of two people consisting of a guidance counselor, nurse, health educator, mental health provider, and/or administrator as well as at least one decision maker. Schools who have sent teams in the past are encouraged to send newly hired or assigned staff to support mental health and suicide prevention strategies in the school.

Here's what one former trainee has said about Umatter for Schools:

My initial connection with CHL was as a participant in the Umatter for Schools. [Our school] sent a team of participants including administrators, security personnel, a school counselor, student assistance program coordinator and social worker to learn about early warning signs, risk factors, best practice. The two-day workshop also had school teams begin to design suicide protocols to clearly delineate each school’s response to a student experiencing suicidality. [Our school] had never considered developing a protocol for suicide prior to this workshop and the Chair of the Counseling Department, Student Assistance Program Coordinator, and I were tasked to complete one during a school in-service day. I cannot over-emphasize the importance of this document. It is referred to and followed every time a … student exhibits suicidal thinking, which happens on a regular basis. I have personally trained our staff … on how to use the protocol, including educating staff on warning signs and risk factors. 

Umatter for Schools online will offer sessions in fall 2020 and spring 2021.  It's challenging for everyone to offer supportive services for students, but we are happy to rise to the challenge and are honored to work with educational communities that are doing so as well.  

Please donate to help us continue this important work!


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Sep 28, 2020

The VT Suicide Prevention Symposium

On August 18, 2020, the VT Suicide Prevention Center (VT-SPC), in collaboration with the Center for Health and Learning (CHL), presented the Vermont Suicide Prevention Symposium 2020: Bringing Resilience into Focus. The virtual Symposium was a huge success and attracted over 350 participants from healthcare, social services, mental health, community-based organizations, state agencies, policy makers and people with lived experience.

The goal of the Symposium was to empower and engage community-wide stakeholders in Zero Suicide strategies, evidence-based practices, and lessons learned in the field. By facilitating connections between misuse and suicide prevention stakeholders, it will become easier to advance effective prevention strategies. These connections can create new ways to form innovative collaborations and increase knowledge about risk and protective factors and recommend strategies for working with vulnerable populations. This is especially important in Vermont where suicide rates are higher than the national average.

The Symposium brought together national, regional, and local keynote and workshop presenters covering a wide range of topics including youth, older adults, LGBTQ+, lethal means, law enforcement, veterans, telehealth, peer support, social justice and racial equity. Each speaker shared powerful and compelling stories revolving around their own lived experiences with suicide and mental health and/or professional experience from the field.

Keynote and Workshops presentations at the symposium included:
Widening the Lens: Social Justice and Racial Equity in Suicide Prevention
Away from No way: Every Child Has a Story, Every Story Deserves Heroes
Community Collaboration for Zero Suicide: The Lamoille County Experience
Zero Suicide Pathway to Care - Addressing Challenges for Systems Engagement
Integrating Suicide Focused Care in Primary and Specialty Care
Reframing Resiliency: Doing More and Asking Less Of The LGBTQIA+ Community
Telehealth & Suicide Prevention: Supporting Mental Health Clients Remotely
Lethal Means Safety and Suicide Prevention: New Approaches for Firearm Safe Storage Counseling
Care Transitions:  Best Practices, Innovation, and Community-based Connections
Comprehensive Suicide Prevention in K-12 Schools
Strategies for Engaging Students in Success and Building Resilience
The Nature and Roles of Mental Health Peer Support
A Veteran’s Perspective on Suicide Survival and Prevention
Drowning while Flying High: When a Leader Struggles with Depression and Suicidal Thoughts

See more of what took place at the Symposium by visiting https://vermontsuicidepreventionsymposium.org/

CHL and the VT-SPC would like to thank our event sponsors, including:

  • The Vermont Deparment of Mental Health
  • C&S Grocers
  • Chroma Technology
  • The Mental Health Technology Transfer Center
  • UVM Medical Center
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont
  • OneCare
  • North Country Hospital
  • New England Publlc Health Training Center 
  • Northeast Telehealth Resource Center (NETRC)
  • Vermont Care Partners
  • Vermont Department of Health
  • Invest EAP
  • NAMI-VT
  • Mt. Ascutney Hospital and Health Center

Links:

Sep 2, 2020

Bringing Resilience into Focus

On August 18, 2020, the VT Suicide Prevention Center (VT-SPC), in collaboration with the Center for Health and Learning (CHL), presented the Vermont Suicide Prevention Symposium 2020: Bringing Resilience into Focus. The virtual Symposium was a huge success and attracted over 350 participants from healthcare, social services, mental health, community-based organizations, state agencies, policy makers and people with lived experience.

The goal of the Symposium was to empower and engage community-wide stakeholders in Zero Suicide strategies, evidence-based practices, and lessons learned in the field. By facilitating connections between misuse and suicide prevention stakeholders, it will become easier to advance effective prevention strategies. These connections can create new ways to form innovative collaborations and increase knowledge about risk and protective factors and recommend strategies for working with vulnerable populations. This is especially important in Vermont where suicide rates are higher than the national average.

The Symposium brought together national, regional, and local keynote and workshop presenters covering a wide range of topics including youth, older adults, LGBTQ+, lethal means, law enforcement, veterans, telehealth, peer support, social justice and racial equity. Each speaker shared powerful and compelling stories revolving around their own lived experiences with suicide and mental health and/or professional experience from the field.

Keynote and Workshops presentations at the symposium included:

  • Widening the Lens: Social Justice and Racial Equity in Suicide Prevention
  • Away from No way: Every Child Has a Story, Every Story Deserves Heroes
  • Community Collaboration for Zero Suicide: The Lamoille County Experience
  • Zero Suicide Pathway to Care - Addressing Challenges for Systems Engagement
  • Integrating Suicide Focused Care in Primary and Specialty Care
  • Reframing Resiliency: Doing More and Asking Less Of The LGBTQIA+ Community
  • Telehealth & Suicide Prevention: Supporting Mental Health Clients Remotely
  • Lethal Means Safety and Suicide Prevention: New Approaches for Firearm Safe Storage Counseling
  • Care Transitions:  Best Practices, Innovation, and Community-based Connections
  • Comprehensive Suicide Prevention in K-12 Schools
  • Strategies for Engaging Students in Success and Building Resilience
  • The Nature and Roles of Mental Health Peer Support
  • A Veteran’s Perspective on Suicide Survival and Prevention
  • Drowning while Flying High: When a Leader Struggles with Depression and Suicidal Thoughts

See more of what took place at the Symposium by visiting https://vermontsuicidepreventionsymposium.org/

CHL and the VT-SPC would like to thank our event sponsors, including:

The Vermont Deparment of Mental Health
C&S Grocers
Chroma Technology
The Mental Health Technology Transfer Center
UVM Medical Center
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont
OneCare
North Country Hospital
New England Publlc Health Training Center 
Northeast Telehealth Resource Center (NETRC)
Vermont Care Partners
Vermont Department of Health
Invest EAP
NAMI-VT
Mt. Ascutney Hospital and Health Center

Links:

 
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