We’re co-hosting the 30th Annual Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention (CASP) Conference alongside the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Edmonton.

Register for the conference now!

Presenters from across Canada and around the world will be coming to speak about suicide prevention and this year’s theme, Reconciliation: Honouring the Other.  This theme forefronts the need to heal relationships to drive connectedness, a key underpinning of suicide prevention. Whether we are focused on individual relationships, engaging with priority populations or fueling the suicide prevention network across Canada, reconciliation and honouring is needed.

As the conference dates approach, we are pleased to begin announcing our keynote speakers. We have been working hard to bring keynote speakers who are passionate about suicide prevention to share their unique ideas, innovative programs and impactful stories to the conference.

We are pleased to welcome Dr. Mark Kaplan, Professor of Social Welfare at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, as a keynote speaker.

Dr. Kaplan received his doctorate in public health from the University of California, Berkeley and holds master’s degrees in social work and public health with postdoctoral training in preventive medicine at the University of Southern California.  For over two decades his research, funded by the National Institutes of Health and private foundations, has focused on using population-wide data to understand suicide risk factors among veterans, seniors, and other vulnerable populations.

Recently, he was principal investigator on two National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism grants that examined the role of acute alcohol use in suicide. Dr. Kaplan is the recipient of a Distinguished Investigator Award from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). He served on the American Association of Suicidology Council of Delegates and on the VA Blue Ribbon Work Group on Suicide Prevention in the Veteran Population Expert Panel. He currently is a member of the AFSP Scientific Advisory Committee and the CDC National Center for Injury Prevention and Control Board of Scientific Counselors.

Dr. Kaplan’s keynote will address suicide in older age, and why men are more vulnerable to suicide than women.

When we think of suicide prevention, the discussion of priority populations, or, groups of people at greater risk for suicide often comes up. Older adults in our community are one such group.

We know that generally, for every one female suicide, there are four male suicides. Men tend to be less socially connected than women, and tend to reach out for help less. Much of this has to do with the fact that men are socialized to “suck it up” and never show vulnerability or emotion.

Older adults account for a high rate of suicide – difficult life transitions and losses, as well as isolation are a few of the factors for a higher rate of suicide.