• This course closed on 07/16/2024.

For this webinar series, participants will automatically be enrolled in all 5 sessions.


Larry Berkowitz, Ed.D., Co-Founder and Director, Riverside Trauma Center


Participants will learn best practices for understanding, assessing, responding to, and providing intervention for students at elevated risk for suicide. This webinar series provides a best practices approach to providing postvention (services in the aftermath of a suicide death) in schools, including 12 tasks to guide a postvention response and recommendations on how best to respond to common dilemmas encountered following a suicide death. This interactive webinar is taught by clinicians from Riverside Trauma Center and MindWise Innovations, national leaders in suicide prevention, intervention and postvention.

To receive PDPs and CEUs, participants must attend all 5 sessions and successfully pass a quiz following Session 5. Following the live webinar, registrants will be emailed a link to view the recorded webinar. The recording will be made available for 7 days after each session.

This first session provides current information on demographics, statistics, and theories about what leads to a suicidal crisis. We will address issues related to gender identity, orientation, race and culture and other factors that contribute to risk and will examine a wide range of risk and protective factors related to suicidal thoughts and behaviors.

In this session, we will discuss the wide range of reactions we have as behavioral health providers to working with people having suicidal thoughts and behaviors. We will describe a model of working with people that emphases developing empathy for suicidal wishes and begin describing and practicing ways to effectively have conversations about suicide with students and adults.

In this session, we review screening and assessment tools, learn how to collaboratively create and implement suicide safety plans, and describe evidence informed strategies for treating suicidal thoughts and behaviors. While we describe what strategies are helpful, please note that this course does not focus on teaching attendees how to conduct treatment modalities.

Sadly, given the continual rise in numbers of suicide deaths, having plans for and knowledge of effective postvention strategies is a necessity for schools and communities. This session provides a context for suicide postvention, describing what we know about typical reactions to suicide bereavement, and providing a framework with 12 tasks for effective postvention.

This session provides continuing information on managing sudden loss by suicide in a school community, and highlights strategies for responding to dilemmas typically encountered following a suicide death, including reacting to social media. The series ends with a discussion of self-care for us as professionals, which we describe as an ethical imperative for doing clinical work for people who are experiencing suicidal thoughts and behaviors, and for working with those who have been impacted by suicide.

About the Speaker
Larry Berkowitz

Larry Berkowitz, Ed.D., is Co-Founder and Director of Riverside Trauma Center. He has provided direct therapeutic services for over 30 years and managed mental health services for over 25 years. Clinical areas of expertise include working with children, adolescents, adults, and families who are acute trauma survivors and/or suicide survivors. He coordinates and provides disaster response services and post-suicide intervention for individuals, schools, workplaces, and communities, and conducts trainings on suicide prevention. Dr. Berkowitz holds a doctoral degree in Counseling and Consulting Psychology from Harvard University and is a licensed Psychologist in Massachusetts. He is on the Executive Committee of the Massachusetts Coalition for Suicide Prevention, held an appointment as a Teaching Associate in Psychology, Part Time, at Harvard Medical School’s Department of Psychiatry and is an Adjunct Instructor at William James College in Newton, Massachusetts where he teaches a course on understanding suicide in the graduate clinical psychology program.

Dr. Berkowitz was a member of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention’s task force on the needs of those bereaved by suicide, supporting the 2012 Surgeon General’s National Strategy for Suicide Prevention. He is a co-author of the Task Force’s report, Responding to Grief, Trauma, and Distress After a Suicide: U.S. National Guidelines, report of Survivors of Suicide Loss Task Force, (2015). Related to crisis response, he helped design and lead four FEMA-funded crisis counseling programs for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (post- 9/11; flooding in eastern Massachusetts; tornado recovery in western Massachusetts, Covid-19 pandemic response).

Membership Information

Most MPY webinars are available ONLY to current staff from member districts and organizations. Public school memberships include police and fire personnel. Former and retired employees and members of committees, including but not limited to, PTO/PTA, PAC, School Improvement Councils, Health Councils, Drug/Alcohol Councils, and school volunteers, are not considered MPY members.

PDPs and CEUs

MPY is an approved Professional Development Provider through the Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education (Provider No. F20180079). Professional Development Points (PDPs) are offered for most MPY professional development webinars. PDPs are issued in 10 hour increments, per DESE requirements.

Continuing Education Units (CEUs) are available for clinical staff through the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) and the Massachusetts Mental Health Counselors Association, Inc. (MaMHCA). The NASW and the MaMHCA approve each event individually. CEUs may be given in hourly increments.

To receive PDPs and CEUs, participants must pass the quiz.

Event Cancellation Policy

If you are unable to attend a MPY webinar you must cancel, through Bonnie Mullen at bonnie@mpyinc.org, one business day before the webinar.

For MPY hybrid conferences, the date in-person registration closes will be posted on MPY’s website. Virtual conference registration will close one business day before the hybrid conference. You cannot cancel or switch your registration from in-person to virtual after in-person registration closes. Please email Bonnie Mullen at bonnie@mpyinc.org with any questions regarding registration.

  • Enrollment in this course closed on 03/07/2024.

If you are seeking to receive CEUs and/or PDPs, please click Register Now. Once you complete the webinar series, you will be able to take quizzes for CEUs and/or PDPs. Upon completion of each quiz, you will receive a certificate.

All sessions are 9:30 am – 11:30 am.

  • Session 1: March 7, 2024, Understanding Suicide
  • Session 2: March 14, 2024, Developing Therapeutic Empathy for the Suicidal State of Mind
  • Session 3: March 21, 2024, Understanding Risk, Safety Planning, Treatments and Interventions
  • Session 4: March 28, 2024, Managing Suicide Loss: Postvention, Part 1
  • Session 5: April 4, 2024, Managing Suicide Loss: Postvention, Part 2