KALAMAZOO, Mich. — Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine (WMed) has announced that it will be hosting an event that focuses of suicide prevention and personal well-being. The WMed Suicide Prevention & Well-Being Promotion Symposium will be held on Friday, September 16 at the W.E. Upjohn M.D. Campus in downtown Kalamazoo from 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
The event will feature multiple workshops led by WMed faculty and staff. The topics of the workshops will include burnout prevention, mindfulness, and the intersection of personal organizational well-being. There will also be several information tables that highlight resources available at WMed. Guests who attend the event will also be treated to a continental breakfast and lunch.
Dr. Karen Horneffer-Ginter and WMed Dean Dr. Paula M. Termuhlen will speak at the event. A keynote address on “Suicide Prevention and Recovery: Working Together to Learn, Support, Debunk Myths, and Prevent” will be given by Dr. John F. Greden, chair emeritus for the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Michigan. At the conclusion of the event, M2 Amanda Hunt will speak about a new student interest group for students who have lost friends and family members to suicide.
“The hope is that attendees will come away with information and tools they can apply to support their own well-being,” said Dr. Horneffer-Ginter. “In addition, we want everyone to feel informed and capable of being in community with one another in ways that allow us to truly support our colleagues and peers, as well as the patients we work closely with.”
The symposium is being held in memory of WMed faculty member Dr. Rebekah Sharp, who died on August 29, 2021. Dr. Sharp joined WMed in 2018 as an assistant professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. In 2021, she was named the program director of the school’s OB/GYN residency program.
“It can often feel like there is no ideal time to discuss topics like suicide prevention and burnout prevention because the timing can either feel too soon or like an inconvenience when we’re busy and focused on other things. Then, suddenly, it can feel all too late when a tragedy occurs,” said Dr. Horneffer-Ginter. “So, I think it’s really useful to launch this annual event where we pause and focus on these important areas. I hope it can also serve as a catalyst for bringing about more programming, more support, and more resources.”
The WMed Suicide Prevention & Well-Being Promotion Symposium will be held on September 16 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m.