Conference to focus on suicide awareness
By Angel Ellis/Reporter
TULSA, Oklahoma–The 3rdAnnual Hope Conference hosted by MCN Behavioral Health Prevention Program is slated to take place Aug. 20-Aug. 22 at the River Spirit Casino Resort. The conference includes plenary and breakout session for both professionals and community members.
“Suicide is the most preventable,” MCN Prevention Specialist John Co-cke’ said. “If you don’t say something to someone to ask if they are having thoughts of hurting themselves, they may never get out of the dark place they are in. This is why it is so important that we not be afraid to ask the questions of others about suicidal thoughts.”
Session topics will cover building resilience in Native communities, survivors of suicide, substance abuse, veteran’s suicide, self-care, LGBTQ/Two-Spirit.
This year the conference will have several outstanding presenters.
John Co-cke’ will be speaking at the conference. He is a member of the Osage, Peoria tribes and adopted Blackfeet and Muscogee Creek. Co-cke’ is a traditional straight and south cloth dancers and a traditional pipe carrier for the Two Spirit pipe. He is a suicide prevention specialist for the Muscogee (Creek) Nation and a leader in the Okmulgee and Sapulpa Two Spirit groups. He has worked in the HIV-AIDS Prevention and Education department for the past ten years. Co-cke’ has gained notoriety on a national scale as a gifted speaker. He lives by one maxim that he teaches, “No one was discarded or thrown away and all people were valued and brought value to the tribe.”
“Men as a whole are the number one group of people that take their life by suicide,” Co-cke’ said. “Men just have a harder time opening up and have more of a tendency to suppress their feelings. We hope conferences like this will encourage men and women alike to take the first step to contact someone and talk to them. A counselor, a friend, a co-worker, just someone they can talk to who will listen and hear them and can get them the help that they need.”
Presenter Joe Williams is an Australian Native who received Citizen of the Year in 2015 for his work within the community, mental heath and suicide prevention sectors. He is also a published author of “Transformation: Turning Tragedy to Triumph.”
Williams is a proud Wiradjuri, 1stNations Aboriginal man born in Cowra. He played in the National Rugby League for South Sidney Rabbitohs, has been a professional boxer, and a published author.
Presenter Elliott Connie is the founder and director of The Solution Focused University, an on-line learning community that also conducts trainings to help professionals master the Solution Focused Approach in their work.
He is recognized around the world for speaking at conferences and events-he has been to Australia, Russia, South Africa, Poland, Sweden, England, New Zealand, Germany, Switzerland, Denmark, Scotland, Asia, Holland, and Canada. Connie has authored and co-authored 4 books-“The Art of Solution Focused Therapy,” “Solution Building in Couples Therapy,” “The Solution Focused Marriage” and “Solution Focused Brief Therapy with Client Managing Trauma”.
He said he spent most of his life with people not believing in him, and not believing in himself. This became his motivation. He became enthusiastic about Solution Focused Grief Therapy; it is being built on being optimistic about people and their ability to change. He founded the Solution Focused University where he hosts events, travels the world lecturing and often releases free learning materials to others.
Presenter Maureen Underwood is a nationally recognized expert on youth suicide prevention, with focus on schools and best-practice programs that enhance overall student outcomes.
She is the co-developer of LIFELINES: A Suicide Prevention Program, LIFELINES Postvention and LIFELINES Intervention. She has more than 30 years experience in mental health and crisis intervention.
Underwood authored the National Association of Social Work’s policy statement on adolescent suicide.
Since 1987 Underwood has been engaged in addressing cluster suicide among youth populations. In this work she has applied the latest research on youth suicide contagion, along with containment recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to develop practical protocols, policies and programs that are grounded in best practice, yet fully relevant to implementing in school settings.
Underwood has more than 30 years experience in mental health and crisis intervention. She has developed numerous programs and published extensively on these and other related topics. Underwood has initiated collaborative relationships between mental health and education systems during her tenure.
This year the conference will feature a movie night on Aug 21 featuring “The Ripple Effect”
Also exclusive to the conference will be a book signing with Joe Williams.
The highlighted speakers are just a few of the many talented speakers and presenter’s set for the 2019 Hope Conference.
“Mental health can be a stigma and we are trying to show that mental health is as important as physical health,” Co-cke’ said.” We use this conference to show the public that we are here to help. The tribe not only has a great health department, but a great behavioral health department as well.”
To register for this free event, go to http://bit.lyu/mcnhope2019 or contact MCN Behavioral Health Prevention Programs at 918-758-1930.1 comment