TAPS to Lead Sessions at 2017 DoD/VA Suicide Prevention Conference

Kim Ruocco, Dr. Shauna Springer to Brief Attendees on Postvention, Risk Reduction, Healing


ARLINGTON, Va. Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) Chief External Relations Officer for Suicide Prevention and Postvention Kim Ruocco and Senior Advisor for Suicide Prevention Dr. Shauna Springer, will present multiple information sessions to the more than 1000 participants registered to attend the 2017 Department of Defense/Department of Veterans’ Affairs Suicide Prevention Conference, to be held Aug. 1-3 at the Denver Marriott Tech Center in Denver, Colo.

Additionally, TAPS will host an evening reception for conference attendees on Aug. 1 from 5:30-7 p.m. in the Atrium Hallway.

TAPS-led sessions are:

  • Comprehensive Postvention, Reducing Risk, and Promoting Healing by Kim Ruocco (Aug. 1, 11:15 a.m. -12:15 p.m., Evergreen D)
  • Boot Camp Stories: A Novel Peer-to-Peer Intervention by Dr. Shauna Springer (Aug. 1, 11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m., Primrose)
  • It Takes a Tribe: Culturally Informed Approaches to Suicide Prevention and Postvention by Dr. Shauna Springer (Aug. 2, 10-11 a.m., Pikes Peak)
  • Leadership Guide to a Comprehensive Postvention Response by Kim Ruocco (Aug. 2, 11:15 a.m. -12:15 p.m., Evergreen F and Aug. 3, 9:30-10:30 a.m., Evergreen A)

Every two years the DoD and VA collaborate to host the conference, which focuses on suicide prevention efforts across both departments and is the only suicide prevention conference to address suicide among military and veteran populations at a national level. This year’s conference theme, #BeThere – It Takes a Community, is consistent with DoD and VA methodologies, which require a multi-pronged strategy for prevention including: media messaging, non-medical interventions, mental health interventions, training for gatekeepers, peer-to-peer support, troop and family member training, and leadership engagement.

The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) is the national organization providing compassionate care for the families of America’s fallen military heroes and has offered support to more than 70,000 surviving family members of our fallen military and their caregivers since 1994. TAPS provides peer-based emotional support, grief and trauma resources, grief seminars and retreats for adults, Good Grief Camps for children, case work assistance, connections to community-based care, online and in-person support groups and a 24/7 resource and information helpline for all who have been affected by a death in the Armed Forces. Services are provided free of charge. For more information go to www.taps.org or call the toll-free TAPS resource and information helpline at 1.800.959.TAPS (8277).


Email christine.fuentes@taps.org or call 540.905.8448 to arrange an interview with Kim Ruocco or Dr. Shauna Springer.