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University of Iowa News Release

Nov. 13, 2003

UI Participates In National Conference For Suicide ‘Survivors’

Iowans whose lives have been affected by a loved one's suicide will have the opportunity to hear from local and national experts during the fifth annual National Survivors of Suicide Day of Conferences: Healing in the Heartland. The event, which is sponsored in part by the University of Iowa School of Social Work, will be held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 22 in the Illinois Room of the Iowa Memorial Union.

The Iowa City conference is one of dozens that are scheduled around the country that day, all of which will be linked for a teleconference organized by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention from 11 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.

A suicide occurs every 18 minutes in the U.S. and affects thousands of family members, friends and co-workers -- "survivors" left behind to cope with the loss. The conference offers survivors a chance to hear from professionals as well as from others who have experienced the tragedy of suicide.

Jeremy Brigham, a research associate with Iowans for the Prevention of Gun Violence and coordinator of the Suicide Prevention Strategy Steering Committee for Iowa coordinator, will deliver the plenary address at 9:15 a.m. followed by a panel discussion at 10 a.m. with professionals from the Iowa City Police Department, Iowa City Hospice, Johnson County Crisis Center, Johnson County Medical Examiner's office, Lensing Funeral Home, MECCA and the Iowa City Veterans' Affairs Medical Center.

The national teleconference will feature doctors, scientists and veteran survivors from across the country. The keynote speaker will be Dr. J. Raymond DePaulo Jr., psychiatrist-in-chief at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, and author of "Understanding Depression: What We Know and What You Can Do About It."

Following the teleconference, the Iowa City conference will feature a regional panel of survivors who will share their experiences and then all will meet in facilitated small groups. The program will conclude with a memorial service.

For more information about National Survivors of Suicide Day log on to http://www.afsp.org. For more information about the Iowa City conference contact Brigham at 319-743-7823 or jeremy-brigham@qwest.net.

In addition to the UI School of Social Work, local sponsors include Ray of Hope, Inc., Iowans for the Prevention of Gun Violence, Lensing Funeral Home, Johnson County Crisis Center, Foundation2, Iowa City Hospice, Iowa City Police Department, Johnson County Medical Examiner and MECCA.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACTS: Media: Mary Geraghty Kenyon, 319-384-0011, mary-kenyon@uiowa.edu. Program: Jeremy Brigham, Iowans for the Prevention of Gun Violence, 319-743-7823, jeremy-brigham@qwest.net