TAPS to Lead Sessions at AAS 51st Annual Conference, Co-Host 30th Annual Healing After Suicide Loss Conference with AAS and AFSP

Red Team Experts to Offer Workshops, Training and Discussions at Annual Event


ARLINGTON, Va. –- The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) will extend its expertise to attendees at this week’s American Association of Suicidology (AAS) 51st Annual Conference in Washington, with multiple opportunities to engage at workshops, training sessions and panel discussions.

Dr. Shauna Springer, Senior Director of TAPS Red Team, will present a workshop entitled Veteran Suicide, Moral Injury, and a Theory-Driven Approach to Effective Treatment on Friday, April 20 at 1 p.m. at the Hyatt Capitol Hill. In her presentation, Dr. Springer will describe a successful group model based on establishing and enhancing mutual peer support to address moral injury, grief, guilt and shame, all of which are meaningful predictors of suicidal ideation.

On Friday at 2:15 p.m., TAPS Vice President of Suicide Postvention and Prevention Kim Ruocco will be joined by Linda Langford to present a training entitled Telling Your Story of Suicide Loss Strategically and Safely, In Public. The session will be aimed at helping suicide loss survivors craft their message with self-care and goals in mind.

On Saturday, TAPS will co-host the co-located 30th Annual Healing After Suicide Loss Conference with AAS and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). After welcoming participants, Ruocco will facilitate a panel discussion at 9:30 a.m. with long-time leaders in the field to discuss the evolution of postvention and survivor voices.

Later that day at 1 p.m., Ruocco will be joined by Red Team member Kim Burditt to offer a session entitled 10 Things We Know To Be True About Suicide Loss, featuring 10 things that helped suicide loss survivors to cope with the loss of their loved one. This information was gathered from thousands of suicide loss survivors who have received support from TAPS.

“Although we have participated in this conference for many years, TAPS is particularly proud to have an opportunity to co-lead the healing portion of this year’s conference,” said Ruocco. “It is an honor to offer our expertise on postvention and prevention within the community of suicide loss survivors at this gathering of internationally known experts in the field.”

TAPS Red Team is a team of dedicated professionals within TAPS that draws from a unique combination of professional expertise and survivors’ “lived experience” to shine new light on the critical questions that have challenged military leaders and veteran organizations for decades. TAPS formed its Red Team in 2017 to share with other professional organizations the expertise it has developed in suicide prevention and postvention over many years. TAPS Red Team helps organizations bridge the gap between the population being served and those who serve them through training and information initiatives, targeted consultation with professional organizations, retreats and seminars, and data collection.

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 75,000 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).


Please contact Rita Barry-Corke, TAPS Vice President of Media Relations at rita@taps.org or via mobile phone at 860-304-1807 to arrange an interview with Kim Ruocco or Dr. Springer.