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Life After Suicide Loss. Find Support, Connect, and Learn. Date: September 16, 2023. Time: 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM (Doors open at 9:30 AM). Location: Iron Workers Local 720 (10512 122 Street NW). Free to attend in-person and online

Life After Suicide Loss (LASL) 2023

Life After Suicide Loss (LASL) is an annual event that provides a safe space for those who have lost someone to suicide. During this event, individuals join with others in a safe and supportive space to share, learn and further understand how to integrate the suicide loss experience into their lives. This year’s program for the event will include  keynote speaker Carla Howatt, activities to promote participant engagement, music, several peer- facilitated breakout sessions on relevant topics, and a closing session to honour the shared experience.

Click Here To Register

Date: September 16, 2023
Time: 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM (Doors open at 9:30 AM)
Location: Iron Workers Local 720 (10512 122 Street NW Edmonton, AB)
Fee: No cost associated with attending event

Program: Click Here

This event will take place both in-person and virtually online.

Keynote Speaker:

Carla Howatt

If the unthinkable happened, where would you run? When Carla Howatt’s son took his own life, she began posting online about her journey of grief, trying to sort through her raw pain and overwhelming sorrow. For more than a year, she shared her thoughts and emotions, welcoming others into her experience in the hopes they might gain a greater understanding of the impact of suicide. Whether you’re suffering from mental illness, battling thoughts of suicide, grieving the loss of a loved one or working with those who are, Carla provides a unique, in the moment perspective on the life-altering effects of suicide.

Carla Howatt is an Alberta born woman who has raised three children, two husbands and numerous pets. In 2015, she lost her middle child to suicide when he was 27 years old. Since then, she has been on a journey to learn how to grow and have a good life while living with loss. Carla is a communications professional, former politician and business owner, an avid chocolate connoisseur and an author who has written five fiction books and several non-fiction including her first which is called “Bearing Witness: One Mother’s Online Journey After Suicide.”

Breakout Sessions:

There will be four breakout sessions for participants to choose from. Each participant will choose two sessions they are interested in joining.

Morning Sessions:
“Understanding the impact of suicide, how it impacts you and how to move forward” by Dr Wanda Polzin

Dr. Wanda Polzin Holman has over 25 years of counselling and clinical experience working with children, youth, adults, and families across various domains including Mental Health, Child and Family Services, Justice, and Education. She is presently the Clinical Director at the Little Warriors Be Brave Ranch. Dr. Polzin, has a Doctorate of Education (Ed. D) in Counselling Psychology, a Masters Degree (MA) in Counselling Psychology and is a Registered Clinical Social Worker with the Alberta College of Social Workers (ACSW).

Dr. Polzin Holman has a deep passion and energy for working in the area of trauma and trauma-informed care, advocacy and treatment of child sexual abuse, family systems, complex case needs (dual diagnosis), evidence-based practices and promoting wellness for children, families, clinical professionals, and related organizations. The presentation will focus on understanding the impact and trauma of suicide, and ways to move forward and through the loss and grief of a loved one who has passed.

“Coping with grief on holidays, anniversaries and special dates” by Meryl Murray

Navigating holidays or any special dates can be difficult after a loss of suicide.  Questions arise in relation to how best to remember or honor these days or whether they should even be acknowledged.  Meryl will share from her personal journey after losing her 16-year-old daughter Janet to suicide and also facilitate conversations in this space.  Meryl has 23 years of working as a Registered Social Worker in the area of grief and 20 years of facilitating a suicide bereavement support group.  She will bring some learnings from her professional experience to share and learn with others.

Afternoon Sessions:
“Navigating grief. What it is and what it isn’t” by Darcy Kipp and Phil Haug

This session will look at the complexity of the unique and varied nature of grief as a consequence of a Suicide Loss.   The objective of the session is to provide participants  with a deeper understanding of the evolving  aspects of the grief journey through shared experience. Misconceptions and personal insights will be explored.

Darcy is a mental health advocate with a focus on suicide prevention and bereavement support.   He is currently serving as a board member of the CHMA Edmonton Region.   He believes there is a great benefit in sharing lived experience to support others. Phil has been volunteering with CMHA for the past decade in planning and presenting bereavement support events and doing outreach presentations on Suicide Awareness at the post secondary education level.  He believes there is great benefit in sharing lived experience for the purpose of supporting each other.

“What to do with multi-layered grief” by Amanda Aube

Amanda is a mother of two, surviving spouse and speaker aspiring to bring mental health and suicide awareness to the forefront. She speaks from her own life experience through unthinkable tragedy. Amanda is sharing her story of the unexpected loss of her husband Elliott to suicide, Elliott was a 22 year Canadian Forces Veteran. She shares the raw deep emotions of losing her husband and the father, to her two young children. She explains how she has navigated her and her children’s journey through grief. As well as finding ways to support their own mental health in the brink of tragedy, while finding gratitude and light through it all. Amanda has gone on to educate herself, collecting tools to help herself through tough times and to be the beacon of HOPE, to inspire by sharing her story. Amanda believes we all need to be in this conversation together

Thank you to this year’s sponsor

Living Hope                         

The event is finished.


Sep 16 2023


10:00 am - 3:00 pm

More Info

Register Here


Iron Workers Local 720
10512 122 Street NW Edmonton

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