Professional News

UK Work-Life Office to Host Suicide Prevention and Awareness Conference


LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 4, 2015) — The Office of Work-Life will host a one day conference, "Suicide Prevention: Raising Awareness and Sharing Our Stories," from 8:45 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 1. The event will feature Kentucky native and mental health advocate Carol Graham who will speak on the stigma surrounding mental health and share her powerful personal story. Additionally, she will join with local mental health experts for a panel discussion. Afternoon sessions will include a 'Question, Persuade, Refer' (QPR) training and a journaling workshop. Registration is free and available in the below link. 

Carol Graham – Keynote Speaker

Graham is the wife of retired Major General Mark A. Graham, U.S. Army. After losing two sons, both whom attended the University of Kentucky — Kevin to suicide and Jeffrey in combat — she and her husband channeled their grief into fighting the armed forces’ suicide epidemic as chronicled in the book, "The Invisible Front: Love and Loss in an Era of Endless War."

Together, their mission is to help others survive grief and understand depression as well as to help prevent suicide. She is an advocate for wounded soldiers and their families as she continues to raise awareness to the dangers of untreated depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury. Graham has been nationally recognized for her efforts in suicide prevention and has received numerous awards. She and her husband also started the Jeff and Kevin Graham Memorial Fund at UK to provide education awareness of depression and suicide prevention.

Panel Discussion on Mental Health

Graham will also be part of a panel discussion comprising local mental health experts including: Mary Bolin, director of the UK Counseling Center; Julie Cerel, UK College of Social Work;  Melinda Moore, Eastern Kentucky University Department of Psychology and Kentucky Suicide Prevention Group chair; Rebecca Sanford, UK College of Social Work, SOS group facilitator;  and Todd Cheever, associate director of the Psychiatry Residency Program and assistant dean for student affairs, UK College of Medicine.

QPR Training and Journaling Workshop

The afternoon will offer a choice of two sessions:

·      QPR Training: QPR (Question, Persuade & Refer) contains three simple steps that anyone can learn to help save a life from suicide. People trained in QPR learn how to recognize the warning signs of a suicide crisis and how to get a person at risk the help they need.

·      Journaling Workshop: Research has shown that journaling can have therapeutic effects for individuals of any age — from stress management to increasing physical well-being to helping process grief and trauma. In this workshop, participants will learn about these positive outcomes and how to incorporate journaling into their lives.



The conference is free for UK faculty, staff and students and is also open to the public, but registration is required. Click here for more information and to register.

MEDIA CONTACT: Blair Hoover, (859) 257-6398;