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Good Grief Spring Institute

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

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.


FULL-DAY: $125





9:00 am: Check In

9:30 am: Conference Begins

9:45 am: Breakout Workshops Begin

12:30 pm: Lunch

1:30 pm: Resource Info Session

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

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

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 education, healthcare, faith communities, and public life on leading in the wake of suicide. 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.

Breakout Workshops

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:

 - How to spot your stress and generate more options to handle stress than you may imagine are possible.

 - How to identify your personal stress triggers so you can uncover the sources of your stress.

 - How to support and coach others who are experiencing a high level of stress.

 - How to embrace the present moment and keep your focus on what matters most, rather than ruminating on the past or catastrophizing about the future.

 - How to ask yourself questions to shift from stressful thinking to productive and calmer thinking.

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 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:

 - Examine similarities and differences between grieving a loss from suicide and grieving a loss from other causes.

 - Explain appropriate language to use when talking about suicide with children, teens, and adults.

 - Describe to recognize warning signs for unhealthy responses for those grieving a loss.

 - Define important aspects of supporting children and teens in ways that takes into consideration familial and cultural sensitivity.

 - Explain resources available to professionals, families, and community members offered by Good Grief.

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 clinical psychologist with a private practice in Morristown. Sarah is a certified grief counselor by Center for Complicated Grief, Columbia University and staff psychologist at Seton Hall University. Sarah is also a volunteer group facilitator at Good Grief in Morristown since 2015. Sarah has studied various aspects of grief and loss for more than 15 years, and has conducted original field research and presented findings at UMass, Amherst and Duke University

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.

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.


The content in this course will be at a beginner level. Any complaints or grievances may be submitted in writing Good Grief at: 38 Elm Street, Morristown, NJ 07960. 


Space is limited, and will be confirmed by email. In order to avoid being closed out, register as soon as possible. Deadlines are 1 week prior to workshop date: March 1, 2020.


Refunds and cancellations will be processed for those who make a request prior to the event registration deadline date.  No refunds will be made after the registration deadline.


March 14, 2020.


Course completion requirements: Social workers must attend the entire conference and complete a course evaluation to earn CE credit. Certificates of completion will be emailed within 10 business days of course completion.

“NJ Social Workers: An application has been made for consideration of approval for 5 General credits for this course.” Others should contact their regulatory board to determine course approval. Attendees will be handed a certificate of attendance immediately following completion of entire course, as evidenced by signing in and out, and completion of a course evaluation.


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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