“Suicide: An Event on the Power of Hope" A special main stage session at the 2019 APA Annual Convention


In this 90-minute session, experts from various disciplines and backgrounds will discuss their experiences addressing the growing issue of suicide. While there is no one cause or cure for suicide, psychologists are working to address the issue through collaboration and creativity.

Kevin Hines attempted to take his own life 19 years ago by jumping off of the Golden Gate Bridge. He will discuss how he uses to his experience to spread a message of hope and healing for those struggling with mental illness.

A nationally recognized authority on suicidal behavior among African Americans, Sean Joe, PhD, Benjamin E. Youngdahl professor of social development at Washington University in St. Louis, will discuss his work on family-based intervention strategies to prevent self-destructive behaviors. He will also talk about how communities can build resiliency and hope in those struggling with mental illness.

Adolescents have particular factors affecting their mental health, and Mitch Prinstein, PhD, the John Van Seters distinguished professor of psychology and neuroscience at the University of North Carolina, will discuss his expertise in addressing adolescent depression and self-injury. Jane Pearson, PhD, chair of the Suicide Research Consortium at the National Institute of Mental Health, will speak on her work across many areas of suicide prevention.

Psychologist Ursula Whiteside, PhD, is a member of the clinical faculty at the University of Washington and CEO of NowMattersNow.org, an online program designed to teach coping skills to give people the help they need. She will discuss her research with high-risk suicidal clients and her experience providing therapy to those struggling with severe mental illness.

Colleen Creighton, MA, is executive director of the American Association of Suicidology and will discuss her association’s research into preventing suicide.


Fourteen out of every 100,000 Americans died by suicide in 2017, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics. That’s a 33% increase since 1999, and the highest age-adjusted suicide rate recorded in the U.S. since 1942. Psychologists from all areas of expertise are working to stem this growing crisis.


Friday, Aug. 9 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., CDT


Skyline Ballroom, Room W375abc, Level Three-West Building, McCormick Place Convention Center, 2301 S. King Drive, Chicago.

The American Psychological Association, in Washington, D.C., is the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States. APA's membership includes nearly 118,400 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students. Through its divisions in 54 subfields of psychology and affiliations with 60 state, territorial and Canadian provincial associations, APA works to advance the creation, communication and application of psychological knowledge to benefit society and improve people's lives.


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