During the seminar, you will have the opportunity to hear from national experts in grief, trauma, health and wellness and more. Below is a list of the speakers and presenters who will be in attendance.
Make sure to also download the TAPS seminar mobile app. Recommended session schedules for different grief programming and speaker information are all built into the easy-to-navigate app.
Sharon Strouse, MA, ATR-BC, LCPAT, is a board-certified art therapist and licensed clinical professional art therapist with 30 years of clinical experience with adults in both group and individual settings. A year after her 17-year-old daughter Kristin ended her own life, Sharon immersed herself in a creative process involving collages, which became the foundation for her book "Artful Grief: A Diary of Healing." Additional published works can be found in Neimeyer’s "Techniques of Grief Therapy: Creative Practices for Counseling the Bereaved" and Thompson and Neimeyer’s "Grief and the Expressive Arts: Practices for Creating Meaning." She is a workshop presenter for TAPS since 2008, the American Association of Suicidology from 2012 to 2014, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention in 2016, the Association for Death Education and Counseling from 2012 to 2015, the Compassionate Friends from 2005 to 2015, the American Art Therapy Association National Conference in 2016 and 2017, and the Expressive Therapies Summit from 2015 to 2017. She is a board member of the Johns Hopkins Medicine Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. Sharon is the co-founder of The Kristin Rita Strouse Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting programs that increase awareness of mental health through education and the arts. In addition to national workshops, she leads weekly art therapy circles and spiritual and intuitive development circles for survivors of loss.
Karen Anderson, MA, ATR-BC, GC-C, is a board-certified art therapist and grief counselor. Since 2010, she has co-facilitated the Artful Grief: Open Art Studio at the TAPS National Military Survivor Seminar and National Military Suicide Survivor Seminar. She has been a flight attendant for American Airlines for nearly three decades, where she provided support to co-workers following 9/11 and flight 587 in 2001. At home in Connecticut, she offers workshops using art and meditation for healing life’s transitions, losses and grief. Karen’s father and two brothers served in the Navy, which cultivated her understanding of military culture. Karen’s personal experience of grief is shaped by the loss of her 48-year-old brother. She has two grown children and two cats that are still growing and continue to inspire her own healing.
Donna Naslund, RN, is a registered nurse with over 15 years experience in ICU and emergency room settings. She has worked in bereavement for the last 10 years. Donna currently volunteers at Gilchrist Hospice in Baltimore, Maryland, where she serves as an end-of-life doula, grief support group facilitator and grief services program developer. Donna earned her 200-hour yoga teacher certification in August 2016 and runs yoga and grief programming for Gilchrist Grief Services. Her personal experiences with grief include being widowed at the age of 26, the stillborn death of a baby girl, the death of her father and the suicide of her 17-year-old niece. This is her sixth year facilitating in the Open Art Studio for TAPS.
Ashlynne Haycock is currently the manager for Education Support Services for TAPS, and she also serves on the VA’s Advisory Committee on Education (VACOE). She is the surviving daughter of Army Sgt. First Class Jeffrey Haycock, who died in the line of duty in 2002, and Air Force veteran Nichole Haycock, who died by suicide in 201. She graduated from American University with a bachelor's degree in political science in 2013. While at American University she was one of the first recipients of the Marine Gunnery Sergeant John Fry Scholarship. Ashlynne has been involved with TAPS as a survivor for over 15 years. She has been on staff for four years and was instrumental in creating the TAPS Education Support Services program and online education portal. She is an experienced professional in all areas of education benefits for surviving children and spouses at the federal, state and private levels. Ashlynne is regularly invited to participate in forums focusing on veteran and survivor education benefits. She has assisted over 1,500 survivors in accessing education benefits worth over $100 million in assistance since 2013. Ashlynne was highly involved in growing the partnership with the Department of Veterans Affairs in 2014 to create a Memorandum of Agreement that was recently expanded in 2017.
Dr. Frank Campbell is the former executive director of the Baton Rouge Crisis Intervention Center and the Crisis Center Foundation. He is certified in thanatology, with a focus on suicidology and postvention services. He is currently the senior consultant for Campbell and Associates Consulting LLC where he consults with communities on forensic suicidology cases and the Active Postvention Model known as Local Outreach to Survivors of Suicide (LOSS). It was due to his more than 20 years of working with those bereaved by suicide that he introduced his Active Postvention Model (APM), most commonly known as the LOSS Team. The APM concept involves a team of first responders who go to the scene of a suicide and provide support and referral for those bereaved by the suicide. The goal has been to shorten the elapsed time between the death and survivors finding the help they need to cope with this devastating loss. The APM has shown to have a positive impact on both the newly bereaved and team members, who are most often bereaved individuals who received help and now provide the installation of hope to other newly bereaved. The model has now been replicated in countries as diverse as Australia, Singapore, Northern Ireland, Canada and America. His work with survivors and victims of trauma has been featured in three Discovery Channel documentaries. A past president of the American Association of Suicidology (AAS), Frank received their Roger J. Tierney Award for Service and, in 2010, the Louis I Dublin Award for his contributions to the field. Frank was also selected in 2009 by the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) to receive the Dr. Norman Farberow Award for his international contributions on behalf of those bereaved by suicide. A past social worker of the year in Louisiana, he was the first John W. Barton Fellow for excellence in nonprofit management in his hometown of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Frank divides his time consulting and training communities in reaching out to survivors and first responders. Frank is compiling research for his book, “The Canyon of Why: Metaphors for Healing from Sudden and Traumatic Loss.” It was his research into this book that uncovered the need for caregivers to practice basic self-care techniques when helping others cope with a sudden and traumatic loss. To find out more about his work in the field of suicidology you can visit www.lossteam.com.
James S. Gordon, MD, a Harvard University-educated psychiatrist, is a world-renowned expert in using mind-body medicine to heal depression, anxiety and psychological trauma. He is the founder and executive director of The Center for Mind-Body Medicine (CMBM), a clinical professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Family Medicine at Georgetown Medical School and served as chairman of the White House Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine Policy. James has created ground-breaking programs of comprehensive mind-body healing for physicians, medical students and other health professionals; for people with cancer, depression and other chronic illnesses; and for traumatized children and families in Bosnia, Kosovo, Israel, Gaza, Haiti and Syrian refugees in Jordan; in post-9/11 New York and post-Katrina southern Louisiana; with Native Americans on Pine Ridge Reservation, and for veterans and active duty military. James's most recent book is "Unstuck: Your Guide to the Seven Stage Journey Out of Depression."
Shauna Springer, Ph.D., is the TAPS Red Team senior director. Known to many veterans as “Doc Springer,” she has helped hundreds of warriors reconnect with their tribe, strengthen their most important relationships and build lives that are driven by their deepest values. Dr. Springer has particular expertise in attachment processes, trauma recovery, innovative suicide prevention approaches, relationship counseling, peer support program development and veterans issues, including post-discharge adjustment and strategies for engaging veterans in behavioral health care.
Rev. Laura Biddle is a spiritual teacher and counselor living in Massachusetts. As the university chaplain at Salem State University, she works with both students and employees. Since graduating from seminary, her experiences have included reintegration assistance with prisoners and their families, counseling with survivors of domestic abuse and healing for people who have lost loved ones to suicide. Additionally, for the past 15 years, she has been working as a grief counselor in a private practice. Seven years ago, Laura joined the leadership team for the TAPS National Military Suicide Survivor Seminar.
Dr. Carla Stumpf-Patton serves as the director of TAPS Suicide Postvention Programs where she oversees the outreach and care for families after the loss of a service member. As a subject matter expert concerning issues surrounding grief, traumatic loss and suicide, she consults with staff, civilian providers and military leaders in providing effective outreach to military personnel, veterans and military families. Her credentials include a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, a Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and a Doctorate of Education in Counseling Psychology. She is a licensed mental health counselor, national certified counselor, qualified supervisor, certified fellow of thanatology, certified clinical trauma professional and a counseling educator in higher academia. Carla is the surviving spouse of Marine Corps Drill Instructor Sgt. Richard Stumpf who by suicide in 1994 several days before the couple’s only child was born.
Linda Langford, Sc.D., has been an evaluation and communications scientist at the Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC) since 2006. In recent years, she has worked on several efforts designed to promote safe and effective messaging in suicide prevention. She supported the development of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention’s Framework for Successful Messaging, which aims to increase the effectiveness of public communications and help shift the focus to include hope, help, resiliency, resources and taking positive action. She provided an April 2009 briefing on safe and effective suicide prevention messaging and stigma reduction to the Department of Defense Task Force on the Prevention of Suicide by Members of the Armed Forces and is the lead author of an American Journal of Public Health article on safe and effective communications about military and veteran suicide. She served as an expert on Make the Connection, an online resource for veterans and their supporters to find information, resources and solutions to issues affecting their lives and her real stories of veterans who have dealt with tough times. She has conducted numerous trainings and workshops on creating effective communications, including co-facilitating dialogue sessions with suicide loss survivors who are interested in working in prevention. From 1998 to 2005, she was an assistant clinical professor at Tufts University School of Medicine, teaching a core course in strategic planning for health behavior change in the Health Communications Program. Linda holds a doctorate in Social and Behavioral Sciences from the Harvard School of Public Health.
Dr. Keita Franklin, a member of Senior Executive Service, is the director of the Defense Suicide Prevention Office. She is responsible for policy and oversight for the department's suicide prevention programs. Keita is a licensed social worker with a specialization in children and families and has a Ph.D. in social work with specialized training and certifications from the Center for the Advancement of Research Methods and Analysis. Keita received a leadership award from Virginia Commonwealth University for leading efforts to help train and advise the social work profession on working with military families.
Dr. Adam Walsh is a licensed clinical social worker. He received his Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Adam received the UNC Graduate School outstanding doctoral research award for his research on homelessness and suicide. Adam completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship at George Mason University in the area of suicide prevention intervention development. He worked for the United States Marine Corps as the section head for suicide prevention and community counseling. Adam currently serves as the director of Research and Program Evaluation and as a subject matter expert for the Department of Defense Suicide Prevention Office (DSPO). He has 15 years of experience in studying and developing suicide prevention interventions. He has published numerous articles on suicide and has conducted many trainings and presentations on suicide prevention. In addition, Adam has 15 years of direct clinical practice working with individuals and families who have been affected by thoughts and behaviors related to suicide.
Franklin Cook, MA, CPC, began his work as a volunteer peer helper in addiction recovery in 1981 and in suicide grief support in 1999. He has been a suicide prevention and postvention professional since 2001 and presently speaks, trains and advocates nationally on behalf of people bereaved by suicide. He is a certified professional coach and founder of Personal Grief Coaching, a telephone support service for people bereaved by traumatic loss. Franklin is a longtime member of the Loss Survivor Division of the American Association of Suicidology and was named AAS Survivor of the Year in 2013. He has been a member of the Consumer-Survivor Committee of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-TALK/8255) since 2005. He maintains the After a Suicide Resource Directory and is the co-lead of the National Action Alliance Survivors of Suicide Loss Task Force, which created guidelines titled Responding to Grief, Trauma, and Distress After a Suicide. He currently serves on the board of directors of the Alliance of Hope for Suicide Loss Survivors, and he manages a statewide men’s suicide prevention project in Massachusetts. He blogs at Grief after Suicide and is a survivor of his father's suicide in 1978.
Jessica Aguilar, POUND Fitness Instructor, is a licensed Pound Pro from Mesa, Arizona. Pound is one of her favorite workouts to participate in and she has the incredible honor of teaching every week at AZ Elite Sports & Gym in Chandler. Jessica has been teaching Pound for two years and has loved every single minute of it. Her goal with every class is to make students feel like rock stars, leave them smiling, sweaty and happy! Playlists usually consist of classic rock, top 40, hip-hop and EDM. Jessica is looking forward to making some noise with you!
Deb Lucey is the deputy director of the TAPS Survivor Care Team. She previously connected with surviving siblings as an advocate on the Survivor Care Team and volunteered as a TAPS Peer Mentor prior to taking a position on the team. She works diligently to ensure all survivors have the support and care they need through TAPS. Deb has been motivated to help others throughout her life and pursued degrees in the human service field. Her passion to help others was reinforced after the suicide of her brother, Marine Corps Reserves Cpl. Jeffrey M. Lucey. Cpl. Lucey died by suicide on June 22, 2004. Deb found healing from professional and peer support through TAPS. She obtained her master's degree in Social Work and has a passion for her continued work with TAPS to support our beloved TAPS families.
Lalaine Estella has been with TAPS for nearly three years. She first came to TAPS as a volunteer at the National Military Survivor Seminar and then came on board to staff the National Military Survivor Helpline before joining the Community Based Care team. She is a surviving daughter of Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Francisco Estella. She walks her dog daily, practices yoga a few times a week and enjoys running with Team TAPS. She is a yoga instructor and has recently completed additional training to lead yoga for trauma survivors.
Don Lipstein works with the TAPS Survivor Care Team as an advocate for surviving fathers who are in need of grief-related care. His four years working with the TAPS Peer Mentor program positioned him well for his current role. He establishes a safe place for men to open up and share their authentic selves as they move through their grief. In addition, he makes sure they are connected to all the resources they may need to support their journey. Don is passionate about his work, and he has found comfort and healing from TAPS after the suicide of his 23-year-old son, Joshua, who proudly served with the U.S. Navy as a petty officer in the Riverine Squadron 1. He joined TAPS in July 2012 after 30-plus years in hospitality management where he focused on training and development. He received his nonprofit management certification from the University of Delaware in May 2012. With the support of TAPS, he has been publicly advocating for change, focused primarily on mental health. Don is devoted to suicide prevention and eliminating the stigma of mental illness.
Stephen Stott is an LGBTQ advocate and works in the TAPS Community Based Care program through assisting survivors in locating local grief counseling resources. He tailors each request around the information provided by the survivor to ensure he connects them to the most appropriate and qualified counselor. He has been attending national conferences with The Compassionate Friends since his older sister, Stacy, died in a car accident at the age of 18 in August 2002. At age 16, Stephen was in the passenger's seat and survived the accident with little to no injuries. He understands the stigma of being a part of the LGBTQ community, through his personal struggles as well as what it is like to be a bereaved sibling, who are often referred to as the forgotten mourners. Stephen's favorite quote comes from Lilo & Stitch