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Good Grief Spring Institute

March 7 @ 9:00 am - 4:30 pm


For more information, please contact Jesse@good-grief.org

BUILDING RESILIENCE AFTER SUICIDE: A community conversation about healing & moving forward after suicide.

Join us for the Good Grief Spring Institute. This annual learning symposium addresses key issues related to grief and loss in order to raise awareness and enhance community resilience.

Conference Objectives:

  1. Identify the unique aspects of grief after suicide.
  2. Describe the impact of suicide on children and families.
  3. Explain best practices to support individuals, groups, and communities
  4. Describe warning signs to look out for in response to loss from suicide.
  5. Examine important factors to consider while leading in the wake of suicide.

FULL-DAY: $125





9:00 am: Check In

9:30 am: Conference Begins

9:45 am: Workshop 1: Grief After Suicide: Best Practices to Support

11:00 am: Break

11:15 am: Workshop 2: Loss, Stress, and Reclaiming Your Calm 

12:30 pm: Lunch

1:30 pm: Good Grief Resource Session, Optional

2:15 pm: Keynote: “The Words to Say It: Supporting Children After Suicide”

3:15 pm: Break

3:30 pm: Panel Discussion: “Leading in the Wake of Suicide”

4:30 pm: Conference Ends, Optional Reception to Follow

Keynote Address

The Words to Say It: Supporting Children After Suicide – Dr. Nancy Rappaport

In this session, participants will learn about the impact of suicide on children and families, as well as central themes of bereavement after suicide. Participants will also be exposed to approaches to talking with children and adolescents about suicide, and learn the value of constructing a healing narrative for survivors.

Learning Goals

  1. Describe the impact of suicide on children and families and central themes of bereavement after suicide
  2. Demonstrate approaches to talking with children and adolescents about suicide loss.
  3. Explain the value for suicide survivors of the construction of a healing narrative.

This session will offer 1 CE credit.

Dr. Nancy Rappaport, MD, is a board-certified child and adolescent psychiatrist, Rappaport is currently a part-time associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. Her research, teaching, and clinical expertise focus on the collaboration between education and psychiatry.

Dr. Rappaport received the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry's Sidney Berman Award for the School-Based Study and Treatment of Learning Disorders and Mental Illness in 2012. She also received Cambridge Health Alliance’s Art of Healing Award in 2013 – an award given to one who “transcends boundaries, joyfully embraces humanity, and profoundly inspires the healing of body and spirit.”

Rappaport is the author of the memoir In Her Wake: A Child Psychiatrist Explores the Mystery of Her Mother's Suicide (Basic Books, September 2009), as well as co-author of The Behavior Code: A Practical Guide to Understanding and Teaching the Most Challenging Students (Harvard Education Press, April 2012).

Dr. Rappaport’s book, In Her Wake: A Child Psychiatrist Explores the Mystery of Her Mother's Suicide will be available for sale at the event, and can also be purchased on amazon.com.

Panel Discussion

Leading in the Wake of Suicide

How do you lead an organization, staff, families, and individuals after a significant loss like suicide? What are best practices to consider? What family and cultural factors should be considered?

In this session, Good Grief’s CEO, Joe Primo will engage with local leaders from various industries such as education, funeral homes, mental health, parents, and public life on leading and responding to suicides. Participants will learn about best practices to lead an organization through suicide loss. Relevant factors to suicide will be considered, as well as the importance of preparation in advance and keeping organizational values at the center of any crisis response. Panelists will include:

  1. David Aderhold, Superintendent at West Windsor-Plainsboro Public Schools
  2. Mayor Sadaf Jaffer, Mayor of Montgomery Township, NJ
  3. Thomas E Day, Funeral Director, Bailey Funeral Homes in Mendham and Peapack, NJ
  4. Stacey Lettie, Parent and Activist
  5. Nancy Rappaport, MD, Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School

Learning Goals:

  1. Examine the unique factors to consider from a leadership perspective in decision-making after a suicide.
  2. Explain best practices in communication to individuals, groups, organizations, and communities.
  3. Describe strategies for being attentive to at-risk members of the community.
  4. Identify why it is so important to keep values such as honesty and empathy at the center of all responses.

This session will offer 1 CE credit.


Loss, Stress, and Reclaiming Your Calm – Jamie Sussel Turner, M.ED, PCC

Loss and stress often go hand in hand. Rather than trying to avoid or suppress it, what if we can find ways to transform it from an enemy to life-giving ally? Drawing from Jamie Sussel Turner’s award-winning book, Less Stress Life, this workshop will explore how to become a stress detective and search for your particular stress triggers – and then learn a 4-step method to create a greater sense of peace in your life.

Learning Goals:

  1. Describe how to spot your stress and generate more options to handle stress than you may imagine are possible.
  2. Explain how to identify your personal stress triggers so you can uncover the sources of your stress.
  3. Demonstrate how to support and coach others who are experiencing a high level of stress.
  4. Describe the importance of embracing the present moment and keep your focus on what matters most, rather than ruminating on the past or catastrophizing about the future.
  5. Identify how ask yourself questions to shift from stressful thinking to productive and calmer thinking.

This session will not offer CE credits.

Speaker Bio:

Jamie Sussel Turner is The Less Stress Coach. She’s on a mission to help people stop complaining about how stressed they are and finally do something about it. Jamie is an ICF certified coach, speaker, and the award-winning author of two books: Less Stress Life and Less Stress Business. She has been featured in The New York Times, received an ATHENA Leadership Award nomination, and served as a speaker curator for TEDx Asbury Park.

Jamie lives with her husband at the Jersey Shore where lessons from three cancer diagnoses led to her more peaceful life. Ever grateful for her magnificent sunset views over the water, she is passionate about her grandchildren, working out, reading, travel, and her daily dose of dark chocolate.

Jamie's book, Less Stress Life, was a 2019 winner of The Book Excellence Awards in the self-help category. This is an international book awards competition that recognizes books for their high-quality design, writing and overall market appeal. Less Stress Life will be available for sale at the event, and can be purchased at amazon.com.


Grief after Suicide: Best Practices to Support – Jesse Bassett, Sarah Dougherty

What is the best way to support someone grieving from a suicide as a counselor, teacher, and clinician? What practical consideration should be considered for how to talk about suicide with children and teenagers? This workshop will teach attendees some practical skills to help them address the range of concerns and reactions that can occur in a school or other community setting in the aftermath of a suicide, based on current recommendations for best practices. This session will also provide information on resources that Good Grief offers to professionals, families, and members of the community related to grief and loss.

Learning Goals:

  1. Examine similarities and differences between grieving a loss from suicide and grieving a loss from other causes.
  2. Explain appropriate language to use when talking about suicide with children, teens, and adults.
  3. Describe to recognize warning signs for unhealthy responses for those grieving a loss.
  4. Define important aspects of supporting children and teens in ways that takes into consideration familial and cultural sensitivity.
  5. Explain resources available to professionals, families, and community members offered by Good Grief.

This session will offer 1.25 CE credits

Speaker Bios:

Jesse Bassett, MDiv. is the Director of Education for Good Grief. Jesse has been working with Good Grief for over 5 years, overseeing programs and education. Jesse received a Master of Divinity from Princeton Seminary, where he focused his studies in philosophy and ethics. As the Director of Education, Jesse provides training, resources, and support on grief, loss, and childhood bereavement to professionals in a number of fields including schools, healthcare, corporations, and religious organizations.

Sarah Dougherty, PsyD, EdM, MS, is a licensed psychologist with a private practice in Morristown, NJ. She specializes in grief and loss, mood disorders, and life transitions such as adjustment to college, career changes, and changes in caregiver roles. She has worked in the counseling centers at Drew University and Seton Hall University, and her writing has appeared in New Jersey Psychologist. Dr. Dougherty earned her BA from Wesleyan University (CT), and a master’s degree in counseling from Harvard University. She also earned master’s and doctoral degrees in clinical psychology from Antioch University (NH). She has trained in Complicated Grief Therapy at Columbia University and is a certified Level 2 CGT therapist. In addition to her clinical work, Dr. Dougherty is a member of the Ethics Committee of the New Jersey Psychological Association, and Treasurer of Morris County Psychological Association.

Good Grief Resource Info Session

Good Grief will share resources and information on current programs that assist children, teens, parents, and professionals in to build resilience through loss and adversity. There will be opportunity for Q&A.

This session is optional and no CE credits are available.

Coffee, Lunch, and Cocktail Reception

Morning coffee and snacks, as well as lunch will be provided. At the conclusion of the event, you are invited to join us for a networking reception with Hors d'Oeuvres and refreshments.

Any complaints or grievances may be submitted in writing Good Grief at: 38 Elm Street, Morristown, NJ 07960.


The content in this course will be at a beginner level.


Social workers, counselors, therapists, school professionals, parents and caregivers, and concerned members of the community.


Space is limited, and will be confirmed by email. In order to avoid being closed out, register as soon as possible. Deadlines are : March 3, 2020.


Refunds and cancellations will be processed for those who request in advance of the date of their workshop, after which refunds will no longer be granted.


March 14, 2020.


Course completion requirements: Social workers must attend their chosen sessions in full (or entire conference in full if that is your requirement), complete a session evaluation for each and an overall conference evaluation. Certificates of completion will be emailed within 10 business days of course completion.

For accommodations with disabilities, please contact Jesse Bassett, Director of Education for Good Grief at 908-522-1999 x8013 or via email at jesse@good-grief.org

These conference sessions, #2861-2863, are approved by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program to be offered by Good Grief, Inc. as individual conference sessions. Individual courses, not providers, are approved at the course level. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit. ACE approval period: 03/04/2020 to 03/04/2022. Social workers completing this conference receive 3.25 general continuing education credits. 


March 7
9:00 am - 4:30 pm


Good Grief
908-522-1999 x8001


The Pingry School
131 Martinsville Road
Basking Ridge, New Jersey 07920 United States
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