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CT Suicide Advisory Board Holds Symposium on Community Response to Suicide Loss

September 8-14, 2019 is National Suicide Prevention Week

Crowmell, CT – To honor National Suicide Prevention Week, the Connecticut Suicide Advisory Board (CTSAB) will host a symposium on Wednesday, September 11, 2019 to provide communities and stakeholders information on how planning for and responding to suicide death using safe and effective practices promotes healthy grieving and healing, and helps prevent future loss. The symposium, “Community Response for Healing: Postvention as Prevention” is geared toward town and school administrators, first responders, mobile crisis providers, behavioral health providers, faith leaders, concerned community organizations and citizens. The event will be held at the Red Lion Hotel located at 100 Berlin Road in Cromwell from 8:30 – 11:30AM.

The CTSAB is the single state-level suicide advisory board in Connecticut that addresses suicide prevention and response across the lifespan. It is cooperatively tri-chaired by the CT Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, DMHAS and the Department of Children and Families (DCF), and is legislatively mandated under DCF. For more information about the CTSAB, please go to

“While even one death is too many, Connecticut’s suicide prevention efforts have helped to keep the state’s suicide rate low in comparison to national trends,” said Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) Commissioner Miriam Delphin-Rittmon. “Suicide is a mental health and public health issue. Supportive communities make a difference in preventing suicide and responding to suicide loss. Our hope is that community stakeholders will learn how they can come together to plan and respond to suicide loss so they can better support their community and those who need it most.”

Since 2013, the CTSAB has been developing and utilizing a postvention response plan for youth suicide death based on national best practices. When a community experiences a suicide loss, a coordinated, supportive response involving various stakeholders has proven to help loss survivors and others struggling with thoughts of suicide feel less alone and stigmatized. The goal of the response plan is to minimize the suicide death’s ripple effect, including reducing the impact of trauma and risk of contagion of vulnerable individuals. When the response plan is activated, CTSAB members work collaboratively to provide community and school contacts with resources and consultation to ensure that the community is informed of how to appropriately respond to a youth suicide death and prevent additional loss.

“As we strive to improve how we partner with communities and empower families to raise resilient children who thrive, it is difficult – but essential -- to face the fact that suicide is the worst possible outcome any of us can imagine,” said Department of Children and Families Commissioner Vannessa Dorantes. “It is so important that Connecticut builds off the great work underway by the CTSAB and others by assisting communities to develop their capacity to prevent suicide and to heal and recover after an unfortunate death by suicide. DCF is proud to partner with others to support this symposium to help communities deal with suicide.”

At the symposium, the Postvention Response team will share its experiences and lessons learned from responding to dozens of youth suicide deaths over the past six years, providing communities and stakeholders with guidance on how to develop similar plans and processes at the local level, as well as expanding the response to older age groups. There will also be an introduction to the state suicide prevention plan as well as the new regional suicide advisory boards, Connecticut suicide trends and data, and a table activity where attendees will have the opportunity to initiate the community planning process using a sample scenario. Information tables with resources will also be available. Space is limited and registration is required. To register go to by September 3, 2019.

“On behalf of the AFSPCT Chapter Board of Directors and more than 4000 volunteers and walkers for this years Out of the Darkness Walks, we are pleased to support this year’s Suicide Prevention Symposium on 9/11. We are proud partners of CTSAB and its efforts to reduce suicide in CT by focusing on prevention education, postvention response and grief support to all those who live in CT.” Thomas Steen, Past Co-Chair of AFSPCT and Tri Chair of CTSAB.

If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call 211 or 1(800)273-8255(TALK) or text “CT” to 741741. In an emergency, call or text 911.


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Media Contacts

Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services
Diana Shaw
(860) 418-6967 (office)
(860) 558-0024 (cell)


Department of Children and Families
Gary Kleeblatt
(860) 550-6305 (office)
(860) 622-9824 (cell)