Conference Date

Texas: Irving: TX | June 12-13
| East: Philadelphia, PA | July 13-14
West: Long Beach, CA | July 31-Aug 1

My Son's Suicide: Lessons on Life, Legacy, & Livelihood

Friday, July 14, 2017 | 8:30 AM - 9:30 AM

Michael Beckman

Deputy Chief
Long Beach Police Department

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Anguished by his son Stephen’s mental illness and suicide, Deputy Chief Beckman relates a powerful story of Stephen’s life, death, and the profound personal and professional takeaways that resulted from his passing. The lessons learned validate the premise that in today’s complicated and dynamic world, there is a fundamental need for compassionate, empathetic, and communicative law enforcement professionals to best serve their communities, their schools, their colleagues and families, and their organizations. This highly personal presentation has been developed to derive triumphs from tragedy and to enlighten, inspire, and impart practical advice and ideas to today's peace officers, law enforcement executives and supervisors, public safety stakeholders, medical and mental health professionals, and public service providers so that they may better help others in crisis.

Learning Objective 1: Despite counseling, my son battled anger, anxiety, substance abuse, and stigma. He was ultimately diagnosed as bipolar and schizophrenic. In 2011 at age 21, with a baby on the way and with no job, education, skill, car, or house, he attempted suicide and nearly died. He survived, only to take his own life in 2012. No person or family is immune to mental illness and substance abuse. Attendees will distinguish effective/ineffective approaches by law enforcement to mentally ill persons and their families as a result of mental illness, attempted suicide, and completed suicide.

Learning Objective 2: The importance of genuine and compassionate gestures toward the afflicted and all associated persons impacted by the crisis. Attendees will recognize and identify key drivers of stigma surrounding mental health, examine methods to mitigate these impetuses, and personally apply effective strategies for the wellness of those persons affected by mental illness and academic professionals in their service.

Learning Objective 3: In our noble law enforcement profession, which is founded on service to humanity, it is okay to be human. Attendees will examine the effects and criticality of compassionate, sensitive, and empathetic delivery of services by providers and the results of effective and ineffective partnerships between law enforcement, academia, and mental health service workers in the delivery of services.