Virtual National Military Suicide Survivor Seminar and Family Program

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Registration Open from September 1, 2020 to October 18, 2020
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The grief that follows a suicide loss is often uniquely complicated. In addition to mourning, unanswered questions, and strained relationships, you may find that when you most need the support of others you actually feel most alone.

But you are not alone. At the Virtual National Military Suicide Survivor Seminar and Family Program, you'll be able to look around and feel the hope and healing. You'll meet other people walking the same road — suicide loss survivors from across the country who come to share stories, struggles, moments of reflection and loving support.

TAPS Survivors at the National Military Suicide Survivor Seminar

TAPS Good Grief Camp Girls

We have a variety of dynamic sessions available online at no cost, with all of the resources, care and love we can offer, coming to you in the comfort of your home. Our session presenters are leading experts in the field of grief and suicide loss, and you will have the opportunity to gain tools and resources for your grief journey. 


Session Descriptions and Schedules

Friday, October 16

  • 7:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Eastern

    Welcome & Introductions: We’ve Got You, and We’re Here to Listen, Learn and Love.
    Please join some of your TAPS staff (who are also suicide loss survivors), some of the weekend’s presenters and a few of our TAPS Peer Mentors to learn about our team, our program and what to expect from the seminar’s content. We want to help you make the best of the weekend and all of the resources TAPS has to offer as you navigate grief after suicide loss.

Saturday, October 17

  • 12:00 p.m. - 12:45 p.m. Eastern

    Opening Session  – Bonnie Carroll | Kim Ruocco | Dr. Frank Campbell
    Join TAPS President and Founder Bonnie Carroll, TAPS Vice President Kim Ruocco and Dr. Frank Campbell for our opening messages as we kick off the virtual Seminar and introduce our Listen, Learn, Love theme.

  • 1:00 p.m. – 1:45 p.m. Eastern

    Family Dynamics and Suicide Loss: Listening and Learning – Moderated by: Dr. Frank Campbell
    Family can be challenging after suicide loss, can lead to additional stressors and losses if not stabilized. This session discusses how family can affect our grief after suicide loss and how to navigate these challenges within the family.

  • 2:00 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. Eastern

    Mental Health, Coping Skills and Staying Safe While GrievingDr. Jill Harrington-LaMorie | Dr. Carla Stumpf Patton
    This session discusses practical tips for addressing mental health and suicide risk, overall wellness and coping skills for managing stress, anxiety, depression, etc. while grieving.

  • 3:00 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. Eastern

    What’s Love Got to Do with It?  – Kim Burditt | Don Lipstein | Jennifer Keeling
    Suicide grief can bring with it many complications, opposite emotions and complex unique circumstances, regardless of relationship to the deceased. This is a conversation about love: reconnecting with love for others and for yourself, and learning about forgiveness, trust and grace in moving forward. Join suicide survivors from TAPS staff for a discussion about the process of discovering, or rediscovering, ways to approach our lives with love after experiencing suicide loss.

  • 4:00 p.m. – 4:45 p.m. Eastern

    What is Posttraumatic Growth After Suicide Loss and Where Do I Find It?  – Dr. Melinda Moore | Kim Ruocco
    Dr. Moore and Kim Ruocco, two suicide loss survivors, talk about the possibility of post-traumatic growth. Melinda and Kim use their professional training and personal experience to highlight the concept of posttraumatic growth, how they found it in their own lives, how to set up a roadmap to achieve it, and what research tells us about our own suicide loss and posttraumatic growth (PTG).

  • 4:45 - 5:00 p.m. Eastern

    Closing Session: Love Lives On, Moving Forward with Hope  – Erin Jacobson | Kim Ruocco

  • 8:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. Eastern

    “Fireside Chat” Family Storytime – Kim Ruocco | General (Ret.) Martin Dempsy
    Even if you didn’t experience President Roosevelt’s “fireside chats,” you may be familiar with these talks that, broadcast to radios around the country, brought families together to listen to important news that also brought hope and assurance to trying times. We too will gather around to listen to a hopeful story. Whether you build a pillow fort in your living room (we’ll provide some instructions and ideas!), snuggle up on the couch with ice cream sundaes or warm yourself by the glow of a campfire, this will be a treat to relax, wind down and listen to a story of hope and love as we wrap up our day together.

Sunday, October 18

  • 3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Eastern

    "A Panel of Our Experts: Kids Talk About Grief After Suicide Loss"   – Moderated by: Andy McNiel
    Join a panel of our TAPS kiddos (and some of their parents/guardians) as they share, on the lookback, what was most helpful for them in navigating suicide loss. They’ll talk about what helped when they went back to school, how they interacted with friends and even other adults and what they would most like to tell other kids who are also grieving a suicide death of someone they love. Open to both kids ages 10 to 18 and adults, this panel will be a wonderful opportunity to learn from some of our most treasured and resourceful experts: our TAPS kids!