Opening Plenaries

Pat Dudgeon


Bronwen Edwards
Lakshmi Vijayakumar

Pat Dudgeon is from the Bardi people in Western Australia. She is a psychologist and professor at the Poche Centre for Aboriginal Health and the School of Indigenous Studies at UWA. Her area of research includes Indigenous social and emotional wellbeing and suicide prevention.

She is the director of the Centre of Best Practice in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention at UWA. She is also the lead chief investigator of a national research project, Transforming Indigenous Mental Health and Wellbeing that aims to develop approaches to Indigenous mental health services that promote cultural values and strengths as well as empowering users. She has many publications in Indigenous mental health, in particular, the Working Together Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mental Health and Wellbeing Principals and Practice 2014.

Bronwen is the CEO of Roses in the Ocean, Australia’s national lived experience of suicide organisation providing innovative, highly collaborative leadership within the suicide prevention sector, for people with LE of suicide, communities, sector organisations & government.

Having dedicated themselves for over a decade to developing the lived experience of suicide movement, driving system reform, sharing learnings, and co-designing innovative service solutions that address service gaps, Roses in the Ocean has recently launched the Lived Experience of Suicide Informed and Inclusive Culture Change suite of resources to support services, organisations and government to meaningfully integrate lived experience in all suicide prevention activity.

As the driving force behind the National Safe Spaces Network, Roses in the Ocean have been working with communities over recent years to co-design safe spaces and peer enhanced services, including their community managed and led Pop-up Safe Spaces.  Their Peer CARE Connect service provides a national lived experience of suicide warm line and in-community suicide prevention peer workforce services.

Bronwen holds a variety of state and national advisory positions, to which she first and foremost brings her personal lived experience of suicide to the table, while also striving to honour the vast perspectives of others she has been privileged to work with and walk alongside over many years.

Bronwen is the Co-Chair of the International Association of Suicide Prevention Special Interest Group: Lived Experience.

Dr. Lakshmi Vijayakumar is the founder of SNEHA, an NGO in Chennai for the prevention of suicide. She is the Head, Department of Psychiatry, Voluntary Health Services, Adyar, Chennai. She is a member of the W.H.O’s International Network for Suicide Research and Prevention. She is an Honorary Associate Professor in the University of Melbourne, Australia.

She was the Vice President of the International Association for Suicide Prevention (I.A.S.P.) for four years. She was awarded the Ringel Service award by IASP. She has been conferred Honorary Fellowship of the Royal College of Psychiatrists (FRCPsych), U.K and FRCP (EDIN) for her work on suicide prevention.

She was one of the  editors of the WHO’s report “Preventing Suicide – A global imperative” published in 2014.

She has received numerous awards in India such as For The Sake Of Honour, Bharathi Virudu, Women Doctor of the year etc. She has actively worked for decriminalization of suicide, media guidelines for reporting of suicide and  developing a national suicide prevention strategy for India.

She has published widely in peer reviewed journals and has authored several chapters. She is a reviewer for numerous journals and has edited two books.

Her area of interest and expertise includes developing cost effective community intervention to prevent suicide.

Leilani Darwin

DISCUSSANT

Lai Fong Chan

DISCUSSANT

Murad Khan

DISCUSSANT

Leilani Darwin is the Director of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Strategy at the Black Dog Institute. She has joined the Executive leadership team to drive the work that they are doing to be a trusted partner to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities social and emotional wellbeing to address suicide prevention and mental health. Leilani is already well known within the sector for her work and leadership in Suicide Prevention and Mental Health she is a powerful advocate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander led, culturally informed practices within mainstream services. This has been built from her own personal lived experience of losing many loved ones to suicide and her own mental ill health. Living with depression, anxiety and suicidality Leilani navigates workplace obligations and her own wellbeing. 

Through her leadership with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Lived Experience Centre she will continue to work closely with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community to support and empower their voices and participation in key policy reform, program development and advisory roles across both the Mental Health and Suicide Prevention sector.  

Dr. Chan Lai Fong is currently Associate Professor of Psychiatry & Consultant Psychiatrist at the National University of Malaysia. She trained in psychiatry at the National University of Malaysia and completed a Clinical Fellowship in Mood & Anxiety Disorders at the University of Toronto, followed by a Master of Science in Affective Neuroscience at Maastricht University. Dr. Chan was awarded the 2017 De Leo Fund Award by the International Association of Suicide Prevention (IASP) for outstanding research on suicidal behaviours carried out in developing countries.

Dr. Chan’s current areas of research focus include suicide prevention among health care workers, media safe messaging & pesticide suicide prevention. She is the 3rd Vice-President & Malaysian representative of IASP, member of the Malaysian National Technical Working Group on Suicide Prevention and scientific committee of the IASP World Congresses (2017-2021). Dr. Chan has also been involved in suicide prevention consultation with the World Health Organization from 2019-2020.

Dr. Murad M Khan, MRCPsych, PhD is Professor Emeritus, Dept. of Psychiatry & Consultant, Suicide Prevention & Mental Health, Brian & Mind Institute (www.aku.edu/bmi) Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan. He is also Associate Faculty at Center for Bioethics & Culture (CBEC), Karachi. He is a member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, UK & obtained his PhD from King’s College, University of London.

Prof. Khan served as the President of the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) (2017-2020) (www.iasp.info). He serves on IASP Task Force for decriminalization of suicide. He has published widely on suicidal behavior in Pakistan and developing countries, focusing on epidemiology and socio-cultural and religious factors in suicide and self-harm.  He serves on the Board of several mental health organisations in Pakistan.

His other research and clinical interests include mental health of women and elderly, bioethics, organisational ethics and narrative medicine.

Rory O'Connor

CHAIR

Rory O’Connor PhD FAcSS is Professor of Health Psychology at the University of Glasgow in Scotland, President of the International Association for Suicide Prevention and a Past President of the International Academy of Suicide Research. Rory leads the Suicidal Behaviour Research Laboratory (Web; Twitter @suicideresearch) at Glasgow, one of the leading suicide/self-harm research groups internationally.

He has published extensively in the field of suicide and self-harm, specifically concerning the psychological processes which precipitate suicidal behaviour and self-harm.  He is also co-author/editor of several books and is author of When It is Darkest. Why People Die by Suicide and What We Can Do To Prevent It (2021).   He is Co-Editor-in-Chief of Archives of Suicide Research and Associate Editor of Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior. Rory acts as an advisor to a range of national and international organisations including national governments on the areas of suicide and self-harm.

Closing Plenaries

Stephen Scott
Emmanuel Nii-Boye Quarshie
Maddison O'Grady-Lee

Stephen Scott is the General Manager – Strategy & Policy at Roses in the Ocean, Australia’s national organisation for people with lived experience of suicide.

Stephen has over twelve years of government and non-government experience in the suicide prevention, mental health and drug and alcohol fields, including leading roles in the development and implementation of state and national strategy for suicide prevention.

His professional background includes health promotion, community development, international health, communications and journalism. He has previously worked with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community organisations in the Asia Pacific region on gender, sexuality, population health and human rights.

He has a Bachelor degree in Sociology and Anthropology, a Master in Political Economy, and a graduate certificate in Business majoring in Public Administration.

Nii received his PhD in Psychological Sciences (with research focus on adolescent self-harm in sub-Saharan Africa) at the University of Leeds, UK, where he worked with Prof Allan O. House and Prof Mitch G. Waterman. Currently, Nii is a lecturer in the Department of Psychology, University of Ghana. Nii’s academic interests span community and applied health psychology, particularly, adolescent mental health, community-based and in-school interventions.

Nii’s research focuses on understanding adolescent self-harm, suicide, and child sexual abuse prevention; he is passionate about developing interventions to promote adolescent mental health in low- and middle-income countries, mainly, those within sub-Saharan Africa. He has keen interests in the application of multi-ecological frameworks and interdisciplinary models to understand adolescent self-harm and suicidal behaviours.

Nii was awarded the prestigious 2021 De Leo Fund Award by the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP), for outstanding research on suicidal behaviours carried out in developing countries.

Maddison is currently completing the combined PhD/Clinical Psychology Master’s degree at the University of New South Wales and the Black Dog Institute. Maddison’s PhD research focuses on investigating life interference from symptoms of anxiety and depression in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people. Her work aims to improve the measurement of mental ill-health for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people. Maddison is also the Co-Founder of the Global Youth Mental Health Advocacy Fellowship, which empowers young people to advocate for mental health within their community.

Rory O'Connor
Jo Robinson

CHAIR

Lai Fong Chan

CHAIR

Rory O’Connor PhD FAcSS is Professor of Health Psychology at the University of Glasgow in Scotland, President of the International Association for Suicide Prevention and a Past President of the International Academy of Suicide Research. Rory leads the Suicidal Behaviour Research Laboratory (Web; Twitter @suicideresearch) at Glasgow, one of the leading suicide/self-harm research groups internationally. He has published extensively in the field of suicide and self-harm, specifically concerning the psychological processes which precipitate suicidal behaviour and self-harm.  He is also co-author/editor of several books and is author of When It is Darkest. Why People Die by Suicide and What We Can Do To Prevent It (2021).   He is Co-Editor-in-Chief of Archives of Suicide Research and Associate Editor of Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior. Rory acts as an advisor to a range of national and international organisations including national governments on the areas of suicide and self-harm.

Jo Robinson is an Associate Professor at Orygen, where she leads the suicide prevention research unit, which is regarded as the leading centre of youth suicide research in the world.

A/Prof Robinson’s work focuses on the development, and rigorous testing, of novel interventions that specifically target at risk youth across settings, on evidence synthesis, and on the translation of research evidence into practice and policy. Her work has a strong focus on the potential of social media platforms in suicide prevention. This includes the development of the #chatsafe guidelines, the first evidence-based best practice guidelines for safe peer-peer communication about suicide online, which are now available in 12 countries around the world.

Examples of other current projects include the development of a multi-faceted and systematic approach to youth suicide prevention across north-west Melbourne, the establishment of a self-harm surveillance system in emergency departments across Victoria, and a large-scale school-based study.

A/Prof Robinson also has a keen interest in policy development and evaluation and has led the development of two major policy reports and is regularly called upon to provide advice to both state and federal government. She is a member of the Self-injury Advisory Group for Facebook and was an advisory board member for the Oprah Winfrey production The Me You Can’t See.

She is also an Associate Editor of a leading suicide prevention journal – Suicide and Life-Threatening Behaviour and Vice President of the International Association for Suicide Prevention.

Dr. Chan Lai Fong is currently Associate Professor of Psychiatry & Consultant Psychiatrist at the National University of Malaysia. She trained in psychiatry at the National University of Malaysia and completed a Clinical Fellowship in Mood & Anxiety Disorders at the University of Toronto, followed by a Master of Science in Affective Neuroscience at Maastricht University. Dr. Chan was awarded the 2017 De Leo Fund Award by the International Association of Suicide Prevention (IASP) for outstanding research on suicidal behaviours carried out in developing countries.

Dr. Chan’s current areas of research focus include suicide prevention among health care workers, media safe messaging & pesticide suicide prevention. She is the 3rd Vice-President & Malaysian representative of IASP, member of the Malaysian National Technical Working Group on Suicide Prevention and scientific committee of the IASP World Congresses (2017-2021). Dr. Chan has also been involved in suicide prevention consultation with the World Health Organization from 2019-2020.

Keynotes

COVID-19

Jane Pirkis
Michiko Uedo
Thilini Rajapakse

Professor Jane Pirkis is the Director of the Centre for Mental Health at the University of Melbourne. She has worked in the suicide prevention field for nearly 25 years and has a particular interest in reporting and portrayal of suicide in news and entertainment media. Recently, she has conducted a number of studies focusing specifically on preventing suicide in boys and men. She is a past Vice President of the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP), and was a founding co-Chair of IASP’s Suicide and the Media Special Interest Group. She is the Editor-in-Chief of Crisis, and the 2019 winner of the IASP Stengel Award for Outstanding Research in the Field of Suicide Prevention.

Michiko Ueda is Associate Professor in the Faculty of Political Science and Economics at Waseda University, in Tokyo, Japan. Prior to joining Waseda University, she has taught at Syracuse University and California Institute of Technology. Her research interests include media and suicide, socioeconomic determinants of suicide, and railway suicide. Her latest publications include “Suicide and mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic in Japan” (Journal of Public Health, 2021), “Mental health status of the general population in Japan during the COVID-19 pandemic.” (Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences, 2020), and “Tweeting celebrity suicides: Users’ reaction to prominent suicide deaths on Twitter and subsequent increases in actual suicides” (Social Science and Medicine, 2017). She received her Ph.D. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). 

Prof Thilini Rajapakse is a Consultant Psychiatrist and Professor attached to the Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka. She works as an academic, teacher and clinician, in mental health. Her areas of research interest include depression, self-harm and suicide in Sri Lanka and she has several publications in these areas.

Affiliations

Dept of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka &
South Asian Clinical Toxicology Research Collaboration, Faculty of Medicine, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka

Surveillance

Katrina Witt
Ella Arensmen
Yoshiaki Takahashi

Dr Katrina Witt

Dr Katrina Witt is an NHMRC emerging leader based at Orygen and the Centre for Youth Mental Health at The University of Melbourne, Australia. She is also a Senior Editor for the Cochrane Collaboration, UK. She has worked in the field of suicide prevention for nine years and her innovative and award-winning program of work focuses on the prevention of self-harm and the establishment of sentinel surveillance systems for monitoring population trends in self-harm and suicide worldwide.

In this capacity, she has sat on the academic advisory committee for the Office of the Chief Psychiatrist in Victoria, Australia and has provided expert advice to the World Health Organization. She was awarded the 2019 Andrej Marušič Early Career Researcher award from the International Association of Suicide Prevention in recognition of her research.

Professor Ella Arensman is Director of Research with the National Suicide Research Foundation (NSRF) and Adjunct Professor with the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College Cork, Ireland. She holds an MSc and PhD from Leiden University, The Netherlands.

She has been involved in research and prevention into suicide and self-harm for more than 28 years, with emphasis on risk and protective factors associated with suicide and self-harm and effectiveness of suicide prevention and self-harm intervention programmes. In Ireland, she played a key role in developing Reach Out, the National Strategy for Action on Suicide Prevention (2005-2014), and she is currently involved in the development of the new Irish Strategic Framework for Suicide Prevention, 2015-2020. In recent years, she developed an innovative Suicide Support and Information System (SSIS).

She has published extensively in scientific peer reviewed journals and international textbooks, and she fulfils an advisory role on many national and international steering groups, and editorial boards, including Crisis.

Professor Arensman has a pro-active approach towards international collaboration in suicide research and prevention, reflected by her longstanding involvement in many international consortia, such as the WHO/Euro Multicentre study on Suicidal Behaviour, the European Alliance Against Depression (EAAD), Optimised Suicide Prevention Programmes and their Implementation in Europe (OSPI-Europe), Preventing Depression and Increasing Awareness through Networking in the EU (PREDI-NU), and Mental Health Training through Research Network in Europe (MARATONE).

In collaboration with the World Health Organisation, she has been pro-active in the development of national suicide prevention programmes in countries with limited government support. She has been involved in the recent IASP-WHO Global Survey on Suicide Prevention, which has provided new insights into suicide prevention in regions across the world for which limited information was available.

Professor Arensman’s vision for IASP over the coming years would be to actively encourage international collaboration in suicide prevention and research resulting in a more effective global strategy. A key direction would be to bridge the gap between researchers and policymakers in order to strengthen the implementation and evaluation of national suicide prevention programmes. For the growth of IASP, it will be important to empower young professionals to have an active role in the work of IASP.

Yoshiaki Takahashi is a Professor of Behavioral Economics and Data Science at Meikai University, Japan. He is also Acting Director of Suicide Data Analysis at the Japan Suicide Countermeasures Promotion Center (JSCP) and a vice president of the International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies. He obtained a Ph.D. in International Studies at Waseda University.

His research interests are in the development of evidence-based economic and social policies. His team started to publish regional suicide statistics with police suicide records when he was a senior research fellow at the Economic and Social Research Institute in the Cabinet Office, Japan. He was involved in many international projects as a vice-chair for OECD Consumer Policy Committee, the head of an advisory team for GNH2015 survey in Bhutan, and the head of an advisory board for suicide ideation longitudinal surveys in the Japan Foundation. His research team has also conducted qualitative and quantitative surveys internationally like India, the Philippines, Thailand, Costa Rica, and the Netherlands.

Media

Paul Yip
Jo Robinson
Yasir Arafat

Professor Yip is the  director of the Centre of Suicide Research and Prevention at the University, a  chair professor of population health at the Department of Social Work and Social Administration and the Associate Dean (Research) at the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Hong Kong.   

His research interests are  to identify and develop good practices to promoting wellness and suicide prevention in the population. He is a recipient of the Australia-China Alumni Award for Research in 2019; a medal of honor from the Hong Kong SAR Government in 2017; the Stengel Research Award from the International Association of Suicide Prevention in 2011, outstanding supervisor and researcher of the University of Hong Kong in 2010-11 and 2009-2010 respectively; a distinguished alumni of La Trobe University. He has published more than 500 research papers relating to population health and suicide prevention

Jo Robinson is an Associate Professor at Orygen, where she leads the suicide prevention research unit, which is regarded as the leading centre of youth suicide research in the world.

A/Prof Robinson’s work focuses on the development, and rigorous testing, of novel interventions that specifically target at risk youth across settings, on evidence synthesis, and on the translation of research evidence into practice and policy. Her work has a strong focus on the potential of social media platforms in suicide prevention. This includes the development of the #chatsafe guidelines, the first evidence-based best practice guidelines for safe peer-peer communication about suicide online, which are now available in 12 countries around the world.

Examples of other current projects include the development of a multi-faceted and systematic approach to youth suicide prevention across north-west Melbourne, the establishment of a self-harm surveillance system in emergency departments across Victoria, and a large-scale school-based study.

A/Prof Robinson also has a keen interest in policy development and evaluation and has led the development of two major policy reports and is regularly called upon to provide advice to both state and federal government. She is a member of the Self-injury Advisory Group for Facebook and was an advisory board member for the Oprah Winfrey production The Me You Can’t See.

She is also an Associate Editor of a leading suicide prevention journal – Suicide and Life-Threatening Behaviour and Vice President of the International Association for Suicide Prevention.

Dr. SM Yasir Arafat is currently working as an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Enam Medical College and Hospital, Dhaka, Bangladesh.  His research focused on suicidal behavior, social aspects of human behaviors, psychometrics, and sexual medicine. He completed his MD in Psychiatry in 2019. He also holds an MPH, MBA, and MBBS. He has (co)authored about 270 articles and book chapters. He edited the first book on panic buying in academia titled Panic Buying – Perspectives and Prevention.

He conducted the first psychological autopsy study in Bangladesh and opens several dimensions in suicide research of the country like media reporting of suicide, neuropsychiatric sequelae of non-fatal hanging, depression, and suicide literacy. He is the top fifth author in 2020 in Bangladesh and among the 2% of global researchers based on citations as per Scopus. He is also affiliated as Visiting Senior Research Associate, University of Bristol, UK.   

Priority Settings

Soumitra Pathare
Lai Fong Chan
Maree Toombs

Dr Soumitra Pathare is a consultant psychiatrist, and the Director of the Centre for Mental Health Law & Policy at the Indian Law Society, Pune, India. His primary interests are in the areas of suicide prevention, mental health policy, scaling up mental health services, rights-based care, and legislation.

In the past, he has provided technical assistance to the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India, in drafting India’s new Mental Healthcare Act 2017, which takes a rights-

based approach to mental healthcare. He was also a member of the Mental Health Policy Group appointed by Government of India to draft India’s first National Mental Health Policy released in October 2014.

He has served as a WHO consultant in many low- and middle-income countries (Botswana, Seychelles, Lesotho, Samoa, Vanuatu, Eritrea) assisting them in drafting and implementing mental health legislation and national mental health policy.

Soumitra is also the co-director of SPIRIT (an implementation research project on suicide prevention funded by NIMH) and the co-lead on Outlive! (a youth suicide prevention project funded by Comic Relief, UK).

Dr. Chan Lai Fong is currently Associate Professor of Psychiatry & Consultant Psychiatrist at the National University of Malaysia. She trained in psychiatry at the National University of Malaysia and completed a Clinical Fellowship in Mood & Anxiety Disorders at the University of Toronto, followed by a Master of Science in Affective Neuroscience at Maastricht University. Dr. Chan was awarded the 2017 De Leo Fund Award by the International Association of Suicide Prevention (IASP) for outstanding research on suicidal behaviours carried out in developing countries.

Dr. Chan’s current areas of research focus include suicide prevention among health care workers, media safe messaging & pesticide suicide prevention. She is the 3rd Vice-President & Malaysian representative of IASP, member of the Malaysian National Technical Working Group on Suicide Prevention and scientific committee of the IASP World Congresses (2017-2021). Dr. Chan has also been involved in suicide prevention consultation with the World Health Organization from 2019-2020.

Refugees & Displaced Persons

Nicholas Procter
Leilani Darwin
Samah Jabr

Professor Procter is Chair: Mental Health Nursing and Director of UniSA’s Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Research and Education Group. He has longstanding research and education interests in suicide prevention for people of migrant and refugee background, including people with insecure visa status. He is a former Chair of the health sub-committee of the joint advisory committee for the governments of Australia and Nauru on Nauruan regional processing of asylum seekers, previous member of the Minister’s Council for Asylum Seekers and Detention, and has acted as an independent advisor to a Commonwealth Ombudsman’s Own Motion Investigation into Suicide and Self-Harm across the Australian Immigration Detention Network. In addition to many other activities Professor Procter is Australia’s National Representative to International Association for Suicide Prevention to 2023.

Leilani Darwin is the Director of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Strategy at the Black Dog Institute. She has joined the Executive leadership team to drive the work that they are doing to be a trusted partner to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities social and emotional wellbeing to address suicide prevention and mental health. Leilani is already well known within the sector for her work and leadership in Suicide Prevention and Mental Health she is a powerful advocate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander led, culturally informed practices within mainstream services. This has been built from her own personal lived experience of losing many loved ones to suicide and her own mental ill health. Living with depression, anxiety and suicidality Leilani navigates workplace obligations and her own wellbeing. 

Through her leadership with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Lived Experience Centre she will continue to work closely with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community to support and empower their voices and participation in key policy reform, program development and advisory roles across both the Mental Health and Suicide Prevention sector.  

Samah Jabr is a psychiatrist and psychotherapist practicing in the public and the private sectors within Palestine in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. She is currently the Chair of the Mental Health Unit within the Palestinian Ministry of Health. She has taught both in the classroom and in clinical settings on the faculties of several Palestinian universities and  George Washington University within the Division of Global Mental Health, where she is currently an Associate Clinical Professor. She has served as the medical director of several governmental, non-governmental, and private mental health centres in Palestine. Dr Jabr often serves as a consultant for international organizations regarding program development, policy planning, and program implementation. She is also a prolific writer and author, her areas of interest include suicide, mental health, colonialism, and universal human rights. 

Priority Populations

Nicole Hill
Joe Ball
Laura Shannonhouse

Nicole Hill is a Forrest Research Foundation Prospect Fellow in youth suicide prevention at the Centre for Child Health Research at the University of Western Australia; an Honorary Research Associate at the Telethon Kids Institute, Perth; and the co-chair of the International Association for Suicide Prevention Special Interest Group on suicide clusters and contagion.

Nicole’s work focuses on identifying and preventing clusters of suicide and self-harm in young people and working with stakeholders to coordinate community-wide postvention support following a suicide loss. Examples of her current projects include improving aftercare for young people who present to emergency departments following deliberate self-harm, an evaluation of a police-led rapid postvention referral system for people bereaved by suicide, and the evaluation of Roses in the Ocean Peer CARE Connect program.

Nicole is interested in translating research into policy and practice. She currently serves as an expert advisor for local suicide prevention committees in Western Australia and works with stakeholders from the WA Mental Health Commission, Police, Mental Health Services and non-for-profit organisations under a systems approach model to suicide prevention.

Joe is a longstanding LGBTIQA+ advocate, with a passionate commitment to the issue of LGBTIQA+ suicide prevention. Joe is the CEO of Switchboard Victoria which is a nationally recognised LGBTIQA+ suicide prevention organisation. Joe believes in grass roots solutions to systemic issues and draws upon LGBTIQA+ history and the wisdom of LGBTIQA+ elders to guide their work.

In 2020 Joe was honoured as one of the 50 Outstanding LGBTI+ Leaders in Australia. Joe proudly identifies as transgender and uses the pronouns they/them. Joe works and lives on the lands of the Kulin Nation in Narrm (Melbourne) Victoria.

Dr. Laura Shannonhouse is an Associate Professor at Georgia State University.  She is a nationally certified counselor, Licensed Professional Counselor, and a trainer/facilitator of several LivingWorks programs.

Her clinical experiences include a crisis center, college counseling center, cancer center, etc., as well as deployments with disaster impacted populations domestically and internationally (e.g. illness-related trauma in South Africa; daycare center fire disaster in Mexico with losses of 49 infants/toddlers, post-Katrina charter school teachers; both southeast Asian and post-earthquake Haitian refugees, post-earthquake Mexico City, etc.). Therefore, her research centers on crisis intervention and disaster response.  She conducts community-based research in K-16 systems and with the aging network to prevent suicide (suicide first aid), and with disaster impacted populations in fostering meaning-making through one’s faith tradition (spiritual first aid). She has 55 juried journal articles, and ~40 additional publications with larger practitioner reacher (i.e. book chapters and op-eds).

She feels blessed to have had her scholarship funded by both federal (i.e. Department Health and Human Services) and foundations (i.e. John Templeton Foundation) entities.