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Young survivors of the Parkland school shooting, active-duty and veteran service members, Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade – so many lives are tragically lost to suicide. A public health crisis, suicide affects people of all demographics and is second only to accidents as the leading cause of death for young people in the United States.

On April 10 at 7 p.m. at the Thelma P. Lally School of Education (1009 Madison Avenue, Albany), a multidisciplinary panel of mental-health experts, hosted by the Saint Rose Department of Psychology, will address popular misconceptions about suicide, current practices and resources for treatment, and research into and training for suicide prevention. Providing valuable information for the general public as well as mental-health practitioners, the panel welcomes questions from attendees. The event is free and open to the public.

Predicting who is at greatest risk is a complicated matter, requiring mental-health professionals to weigh myriad risk factors, like traumas – from disaster to job loss to bullying – as well as mental illnesses. “There are many causal agents, traumas, psychiatric disorders, and other reasons that often combine, and it’s difficult to really know what’s going on with someone,” says Ross Krawczyk, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology at Saint Rose and licensed clinical psychologist, who will moderate the panel of faculty and administrators from psychology, social work, counseling, and school psychology at Saint Rose. The panel also includes Sarah Nolan, assistant director for training and counseling at the University at Albany.

Many myths, such as believing that only depressed people are at risk, or expecting to be institutionalized at the mention of suicide, prevent people from seeking help for themselves or others. Compounding the issue is general stigmatization of mental illness. “There are a lot of unhealthy messages in our culture, such as, ‘just snap out of it,’ or ‘Have you thought about how this will affect your family?’ says Krawczyk, who interned at the Veterans Administration.

Some of the topics to be addressed: What are the warning signs? What are the risk factors, and how are they assessed? What disorders can increase suicide risk? What evidence-based treatments are available? Why are students and military service people and veterans at particular risk? What are colleges and universities doing to prevent suicide among students? How can we all help prevent suicide?

Event details:
What: Healthy Minds Campaign: Suicide Prevention Symposium. Hosted by Saint Rose Department of Psychology and including Departments of Counseling, Social Work, and School Psychology, and Saint Rose Counseling Center and Office of Student Affairs. Coffee, tea, and desserts provided by Huether School of Mathematics and Sciences
Who: Dr. Ross Krawczyk, associate professor of psychology, moderator
Sabrina Balbuena, associate director of counseling and psychological services, Saint Rose
Dr. Steve Hoff, associate professor of school psychology, Saint Rose
Dr. Yi-Ying Lin, assistant professor of counseling, Saint Rose
Dennis McDonald, vice president of student affairs, Saint Rose
Dr. Sarah Nolan, director of training, University at Albany
Dr. Patricia Weldon, assistant professor of social work, Saint Rose
Where: Touhey Forum, Thelma P. Lally School of Education, 1009 Madison Avenue, Albany
When: April 10, 7 p.m.
Ticket information: Free and open to the public. Register at Eventbrite.

If you feel that you or someone you know may be at risk, contact a mental-health professional immediately.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
Albany County Psychiatric Crisis Services: (518) 549-6500
Saint Rose Counseling Center, 441 Western Ave.: Call 518-454-5200 or text “HOME” to 741741