Keynote: Kim Ruocco

Title: Grief to Growth

Presenter: Kim Ruocco, MSW, Vice President of Suicide Prevention and Postvention with the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS)


Over the past decade, the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) has served over 13,000 suicide loss survivors, and has developed a best-practice postvention model to support suicide loss survivors. In the course of developing our model of care, we have discovered some interesting, and perhaps counter-intuitive, truths. For example, while suicide loss is utterly devastating, it is also true that suicide loss survivors are often uniquely positioned to achieve post-traumatic growth after loss. Survivors in the post-traumatic growth phase of TAPS postvention model often describe positive changes in the way they see and interact with the world. While grief is a lifelong journey, many survivors also report enhanced relationships, a deeper capacity for empathy, and a feeling of new meaning and purpose in their lives. This training develops insight around best-practice grief support for suicide loss survivors, with the ultimate goal of helping survivors find new meaning and purpose as they progress along their healing journey.  


Learning objectives

  1. Identify at least 3 specific practices that may help people to experience healthy grief 

  1. Describe a reason why suicide loss survivors may be uniquely positioned to achieve post-traumatic growth 

  1. List 2 issues, which if not addressed may interfere with a healthy grief journey