2023 Annual Services for Teens at Risk (STAR) Suicide Prevention Conference: Promoting Safe and Supportive Environments for All Youth

May 5, 2023


Important Note: If you don't require CE credits, either ignore the options on the registration page or click "N/A". We are offering no more than two certificates. You can receive one certificate from this site (Attendance, APA, ASWB). You can request one certificate from ECS (NCC, Act 48, General CEU). If you have any questions about this, please contact Nancy Mundy at mundnl@upmc.edu. 


Registration deadline: May 3, 2023

Non-UPMC                                             $40                                   
UPMC/University of Pittsburgh         $20 (with a UPMC or Pitt e-mail address)
Students (no CE credits)                      $20  (Select non-UPMC attribute/Use code STAR2023-Student)

Tuition includes:

* All registration and conference materials
* Continuing education credits with the first two categories.


STAR-Center is a suicide prevention program for teens and young children within the UPMC Western Psychiatric Hospital, Department of Psychiatry. From its inception in 1986, the program has been primarily funded through an appropriation from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to the University of Pittsburgh.

STAR-Center is a program that combines clinical and outreach services designed to combat the problem of child and adolescent suicide. We provide outpatient assessment and treatment for depressed and anxious children and teens. We also offer acute treatment to depressed and suicidal teens via our Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP).

Our annual conferences strive to disseminate what we have learned about best-practice clinical care into practical guidelines for educational and community settings. STAR Center is devoted to providing training opportunities for students and psychiatric residents as well as contributing to the future development of research designed to study the pressing issues related to child and adolescent suicide.


Recovery and Wellness: The Journey Starts Here
A Joint Effort Sponsored by Community Care Behavioral Health Organization and
UPMC Western Psychiatric Hospital

Target Audience

This program is appropriate for clinical and educational personnel.

Learning Objectives

At the completion of this conference, participants should be able to:

       1.  Identify the suicidal risks of sexual and gender diverse youth

2.   Discuss the role of social media on the mental health of sexual and gender diverse youth

3.   Highlight clinical strategies to reduce youth suicidality

4.   Describe specific tasks that school-based staff can undertake to prevent or respond to school                       violence

5.   Meaningfully connect with other mental health professionals to develop prevention practices

6.   Access evidence-based tools to promote mental health and prevent youth suicide

Additional Information

Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 5.25 APA
  • 5.00 ASWB
  • 5.25 Attendance
Course opens: 
Course expires: 
Event starts: 
05/05/2023 - 8:30am EDT
Event ends: 
05/05/2023 - 3:30pm EDT

The conference agenda is in the attached brochure. 

2023 Annual Services for Teens at Risk (STAR) Suicide Prevention Conference
Virtual - Zoom
United States

Course Directors

David A. Brent, MD
Director, STAR-Center
Western Psychiatric Hospital

Paula McCommons, EdD
Director, STAR-Center Outreach

Western Psychiatric Hospital

Keynote Speakers

Shelley L. Craig, PhD, LCSW
Professor and Canada Research Chair of Sexual and Gender Minority Youth
University of Toronto

Mary Margaret Kerr, EdD
Professor of Health and Human Development
University of Pittsburgh


Ligia Antezana, PhD
Postdoctoral Scholar, Department of Psychiatry
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

Anthony (Tony) Babusci, Ed.D.
Principal of Ryan Gloyer Middle School
Seneca Valley School District

Kelsey Bero, LPC, NCC
Behavioral Health Therapist II, STAR-Center
UPMC Western Psychiatric Hospital

Candice Biernesser, PhD, LCSW
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry
Department of Psychiatry
University of Pittsburgh

Salena Binnig, LCSW
Behavioral Health Therapist III, STAR-Center

Caitlin M. Conner, PhD, LCP
Research Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

Cassandra Doggrell, Ed.D.
Director of Special Education
Upper St. Clair School District

Kristen Eckstrand, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry

Medical Director, UPMC LGBTQIA+ Health Quality
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

César G Escobar-Viera, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry
University of Pittsburgh

Layne Filio, MS, LPC
Behavioral Therapist II
UPMC MPH Center for Children and Families

Olivia Leonard, MA, LPC
Behavioral Health Therapist
UPMC MPH Center for Children and Families

Lauren Madia, Ed.D.
Director of Pupil Services
Upper St. Clair School District

Paula S. McCommons, EdD, LPC
UPMC Student Assistance Program (SAP) Liaison
Director, STAR-Center Outreach

Melissa M. Nelson, EdD
Senior Vice President of Educational Services
New Story

Leah Northrop, LPC, RYT
Behavioral Health Therapist
UPMC Western Wellness and Research Coordinator
UPMC Center for Integrative Medicine

Ali Popivchak, E-RYT, C-IAYT
Yoga Therapist
Western Psychiatric Hospital

Perri Rosen, PhD, NCSP
Consulting Psychologist
Pennsylvania Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services

Dara Sakolsky, MD
Associate Professor of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh
Associate Medical Director, STAR-Center






As a Jointly Accredited Organization, University of Pittsburgh is approved to offer psychology continuing education by the American Psychological Association.  University of Pittsburgh maintains responsibility for this course. Psychologists completing this course receive 5.25 continuing education credits.

Education and Consultative Services of UPMC Western Psychiatric Hospital has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 5059. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. UPMC Western Psychiatric Hospital is solely responsible for all aspects of this program. This program is being offered for 5.25 continuing education hours.

Licensed/Clinical Social Workers, Licensed Professional Counselors, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists: LSW/LCSW/LPC/LMFT
As a Jointly Accredited Organization, University of Pittsburgh is approved to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Organizations, not individual courses, are approved under this program. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit. University of Pittsburgh maintains responsibility for this course. Social workers completing this course receive 5.0 continuing education credits.

Other Professionals
Other professionals are awarded .525 Continuing Education Units (CEU's). One CEU is equal to 10 contact hours. Peer Specialists: This program fulfills 5.25 credits for Certified Peer Specialist continuing education.

PA Educators (Act 48):
UPMC Western Psychiatric Hospital is recognized by the Pennsylvania Department of Education to offer Continuing Education Credits under the Act 48 guidelines.  UPMC Western Psychiatric Hospital adheres to the Act 48 Continuing Education Guidelines.  PA educators will receive 5.25 hours of Act 48 credit for completing this program.


  • Upon completion of the questions on the CCEHS registration site, up to two continuing education certificates per attendee will be awarded. You will be able to obtain your APA and LSW/LCSW/LPC/LMFT certificate from online registration site. If you need additional certificates (NCC, General CEU, Act 48), please contact Nancy Mundy at mundnl@upmc.edu. Additional certificates beyond two are $10.
  • Completing the full evaluation is not required.
  • NCC and General CEU certificates will come from Education and Consultative Services.
  • Act 48 continuing education credit hours will be uploaded into the PERMS system via the University of Pittsburgh Department of Education.  Please include your PERMS number in the evaluation where requested. Your credit hours will be available in the PERMS system two weeks after the program.
  • Please retain your certificate in a safe place. The replacement cost for NCC and General CEU certificates is $30.

Available Credit

  • 5.25 APA
  • 5.00 ASWB
  • 5.25 Attendance


Please login or register to take this course.