National LOSS (Local Outreach to Suicide Survivors) Conference to be held in Visalia, California

National LOSS (Local Outreach to Suicide Survivors) Conference to be held in Visalia, California

In partnership with the American Association of Suicidology (AAS) and Tulare County Health & Human Services Agency, the Tulare County Suicide Prevention Task Force has opened registration for the National LOSS (Local Outreach to Suicide Survivors) Team Conference, held October 8-9, 2019, in Visalia, California. The conference is for suicide loss survivors, clinicians, first responders, active military and veterans, faith-based and non-governmental organizations, educations, family members, and supporters who seek to learn more about suicide prevention, intervention, postvention, and care and support.

Keynote speakers include Kevin Briggs, retired California Highway Patrol Officer and author of Guardian of the Golden Gate: Protecting the Line Between Hope and Despair; Govan Martin, III, Executive Director of Prevent Suicide PA; Dr. Lanny Berman, retired Executive Director of AAS; Kim Ruocco, Vice President of Suicide Prevention and Postvention for Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS); Tom Downwen, National Chair of Suicide Prevention for AMVETs; and Dr. Frank Campbell, the creator of the LOSS Team model, and past president of AAS.

Other events scheduled to take place during the conference include a screening of the award-winning documentary “The S Word” with live commentary provided by the film’s director, Lisa Klein. Internationally known street painter Lorelle Miller is scheduled to create a 15-foot interactive art installation based on a mandala as a healing area. Additionally, a healing room is being provided for suicide loss survivors and other supporters.

Local resident, national speaker and expert in community-based suicide prevention, postvention, strategic planning, and Director of the Tulare County Suicide Prevention Task Force, Noah Whitaker, says, “Hope is the greatest tool we have toward fixing the challenging problems of despair in our communities. However, hope alone is fruitless without action. This conference will have information for anyone who has been touched by the issue of suicide and has a desire to assist others through their struggles with despair.” Though the national rate for suicide increased by 24% between 1999 and 2014, through suicide prevention efforts, Tulare County suicide rates have remained level and have dropped by 50% in 2019. Suicide is rated as the 10th leading cause of death in the United States.

Registration for the conference, being held at the Visalia Convention Center, is available at Continuing education credits are available with conference attendance. For travel details, please visit To become an event sponsor, visit