May 10, 2023 | Washington, DCThe American Association of Suicidology (AAS), the world’s largest and nation’s oldest membership-based suicide prevention organization, welcomed 1,479 attendees, both in person and virtual, to the 56th Annual Conference held in Portland, Oregon on April 18-22, 2023. Eighteen countries were represented and 66% of attendees experienced the AAS Conference for the first time.

“AAS23 was an amazing opportunity to connect, learn and empower everyone involved in the suicidology field,” said AAS President & Chief Executive Officer Leeann Sherman, MPS, CAE. “We look forward to seeing everyone again next year in Las Vegas where we will be bigger and better than ever before.”

The American Association of Suicidology’s Annual Conference, held each spring, is the largest gathering of the Suicidology community, including clinicians, researchers, attempt survivors, crisis service professionals, public health and government officials and more. The 57th Annual Conference will be held at the Paris Las Vegas Hotel on May 7-12, 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

AAS23 was held at the Portland Marriott Downtown Waterfront and featured 60 sessions and 172 speakers from seven countries. The event’s emcee was standup comedian and actor, Michael Geeter. Michael also hosted and headlined the sold-out Comedy for a Cause event at the Conference that featured local comedians Imani Denae and Jaron George.  

Attendees also enjoyed the Exhibit Hall that featured more than twenty-five exhibitors as well as 59 poster and paper sessions. AAS23 attendees also had the opportunity to participate in book signings with Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW, Thomas Joiner, PhD and Jie Zhang, PhD. 

The Robert I. Yufit Family Awards Presentations took place on Thursday, April 20, 2023.

“We received more than sixty submissions from across the world for 2023 Annual Awards and we could not be prouder of this year’s winners,” said Leeann Sherman, MPS, CAE. “The Annual Award submissions are evaluated by a panel of judges who score each nominee closely on a 10-point scale. The panel looks for extraordinary individuals who have made an impact on the suicidology community.”

Crisis Services Award: The Crisis Services Award winner is determined based on the demonstrated quality and effectiveness of their service, their ability to infuse core values of suicide prevention and mental wellness into their practices, community impact, and resilience in addressing the most
challenging community behavioral health needs.

  • Winner Jessica Neely: Crisis Center Director, Sandy Hook Promise National Crisis Center

Edwin S. Shneidman Award: The Edwin S. Shneidman Award is given to a person under forty years of age or a person who is not more than ten years past their highest degree earned. The eligible nominee is a person who has made outstanding contributions in research in the field of suicidology.

  • Winner Jessica Ribeiro, PhD: Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, Florida State University

Loss Survivor Award: The Loss Survivor Award has been given since 1995 to acknowledge ways in which survivors of suicide transform the trauma of their loss into suicide prevention efforts and/or survivor support.

  • Winner Gail Urso: Co-Founder, Kevin’s Song

Louis I. Dublin Award: The Louis I. Dublin award is a lifetime achievement award for outstanding services/contributions to the field of suicide prevention as evidenced by leadership, devotion and creativity.

  • Winner Richard McKeon, PhD, MPH: Senior Advisor in the 988 and Behavioral Health Crisis Coordinating Office, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

Roger J. Tierney Award: The Roger J. Tierney Service Award recognizes time and effort given to advance the association’s principles, growth and development, and/or for applied contributions to the fields of suicidology and crisis intervention.

  • Winner Steven Rogers, MD: Pediatric Emergency Medicine Physician, Connecticut Children’s Medical Center and Associate Professor, University of Connecticut

Transforming Lived Experience Award: The Transforming Lived Experience Award acknowledges a person who has survived his or her own suicidal experiences and transformed their pain into suicide prevention and recovery efforts. It is intended to recognize significant accomplishments in suicide prevention, intervention, advocacy, and/or recovery that embodies the mission of AAS.

  • Winner Rep. Michael Schlossberg: Pennsylvania House of Representatives, 132nd District

Chair’s Award:

  • Winner Richard Ramsay, MSW: LivingWorks Board of Directors and President Emeritus

The American Association of Suicidology would like to thank the generous investors who helped bring AAS23 to life:

Premier: LivingWorks

Advocate: American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, LYSSN, Crisis Text Line

Leader: 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline, SDP Inc., Suicide Prevention Resource Center, Everytown for Gun Safety

Supporting: idea Engineering, NAMI | New Hampshire

Psychological Autopsy Certification Training: OSPF

Attendee Conference Bags: OSPF

Crisis Service Track: LYSSN

Healing After Loss Summit: American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

Wellness & Recovery Room: OSPF

Individual Supporter: Molly Klote

Click here to visit the AAS23 photo gallery.

About American Association of Suicidology

The American Association of Suicidology is the world’s largest and nation’s oldest membership-based suicide prevention organization. Founded in 1968 by Edwin S. Shneidman, PhD, AAS promotes the research of suicide and its prevention, public awareness programs, public education and training for professionals and volunteers. The membership of AAS includes mental health and public health professionals, researchers, suicide prevention and crisis intervention centers, school districts, crisis center professionals, survivors of suicide loss, attempt survivors, and a variety of laypersons who have an interest in suicide prevention. Learn more about AAS at

Responsible reporting on suicide, including stories of hope and resilience, can prevent more suicides and open the door for help for those in need. Visit the Media as Partners in Suicide Prevention: Suicide Reporting Recommendations for more details. For additional information, visit and Stanford University’s Media and Mental Health Initiative. For crisis services anywhere in the world, please visit and in the continental United States chat, text or call 988.


Chris Cosentino
American Association of Suicidology