You are looking for a suicide prevention speaker and want to know how much? Here are some of the questions I will ask and some topic examples from past events at universities.

Typical questions

Is this to students? How many approximately? Live and virtual? How long? Type of venue? Staff and professors, too? Training for college staff in addition (professors, academic advisors)? Would you be buying some books, Diary of a Broken Mind as well as Emotionally Naked: A Teacher’s Guide to Preventing Suicide and Recognizing Students at Risk?

So I can come up to speak to students the day before or the same day and then speak to or have a conversation with faculty, academic advisors, usually, counselors and other admin mixed in. Sometimes I follow or precede with an anxiety workshop. I would need to know your needs before I can offer a price.

Suicide Prevention Topics for Colleges and Universities

For Eastern Illinois University Bonine Suicide Prevention Conference

After Thomas Bonine died by suicide in June 1998 while attending Eastern Illinois University, his father wanted a way to keep his son’s memory and educate others about suicide. This conference has been the ongoing attempt of Bonine’s father, Tom, to further suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention while making sure colleges and high schools have appropriate response plans to suicides and suicide attempts. This event was virtual and included about 300 participants. Here is the schedule for this event. (pdf)

Audience: Parents of the student who died by suicide, other loss survivors, students, teachers, counselors, and current and past graduates. Attendees from high schools and colleges. Community members. This one offered free CEUs. 

Keynote Topic: The Emotionally Naked Truth About Student Suicide

Description: Based on the book, Emotionally Naked: A Teacher’s Guide to Preventing Suicide and Recognizing Students at Risk, this presentation will empower educators, parents, students, clinicians, and community members with the skills to leverage their relationships to reduce this threat to life. Attendees will learn the cryptic and often veiled ways students cry for help, how to respond and what to do. Attendees will also learn ways in which educators have modeled and embedded SEL competencies in learning to facilitate connection, the foundation of suicide prevention.

Learning outcomes: 

• Real-life examples of signs of suicide in youth and what to say/do

• Examples of how educators have seamlessly built connection, mindfulness, and coping skills into their classroom culture

• Lesser-known transitions when students are more at risk

• The impact of covid on mental health and how we can rebuild connection

This was an in-person event in Orem, Utah.

Keynote Topic: Diary of a Broken Mind

Audience: Live and virtual streaming. 100 UVU students, 400 adults. Adults are family members, service providers, educators, first responders, veterans, and other stakeholders/community members Keynote Topic: Diary of a Broken Mind: A mother’s story, a son’s addiction, and suicide

Description: After Anne Moss tried to find help for her son, Charles, a creative genius and rap artist, he met heroin, a love/hate relationship that ended with his suicide on June 5, 2015. This presentation focuses on the story of how the funniest, most popular kid in school suffered from depression and became addicted to heroin and how Anne Moss found healing after the most devastating loss of her life. This presentation includes video clips. Learning outcomes: • How we can best support one another • What to do in the face of a loved one’s cycle of self-destruction • Healthy vs. unhealthy coping strategies for healing • How to find hope after devastating loss

We did an activity for this one and this is from the online audience. Jamboard “I struggle with”.

Given that suicide is the number two cause of death on college campuses and silence has simply given it a promotion, we can no longer lock it in a closet but offer thoughtful and open conversation within guidelines. High school to college is a difficult transition and the world of standardized testing has done little to prepare students for this step. Are you having this conversation on your campus?

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