Professional Development & School Based Presentations

Due to COVID-19 and social distancing requirements, we are reviewing requests for professional development and school training on a case by case basis. Feel free to send an email to:

(1) Listening Beyond Words – Learn the Art of Nonjudgmental Listening (Fall/Winter/Spring 2021)

As a long-time trusted charitable organization, we are in a unique position to increase awareness of the importance of nonjudgmental listening at home, at work and in our community. Learn more about this professional development opportunity. Connect here.

(2) For Educators – Fall/Winter Spring 2021)

The RI Dept of Education has provided a small grant so we may offer free suicide prevention training to educators, school staff, school health professionals and agencies serving children, youth and teens.

See this link for training date info. Connect Here

(3) Other Consultant Services for School Based Presentations

Additional training opportunities are available on a fee for service/consulting basis.

Available to school administrators, educators, support staff and agencies serving children, youth and teens, all professional development training takes place at The Samaritans of RI Forget Me Not Gallery and Community Education Center located at 67 Park Place in Pawtucket, Rhode Island.

There are a maximum of 20 seats per class. Upon payment and completion of workshop, a certificate will be provided for your professional development portfolio.

To discuss consulting opportunities, please contact: Denise Panichas, Executive Director at 401.721.5220 or send an email to:

Workshop 1: Introduction to Suicide Prevention (Due to COVID – No in-person trainings at this time.)

Fee: $35 per person

Minimum: 10 participants

Duration: 2 hours

Instructor: Denise Panichas, M.Ed., Executive Director of The Samaritans of RI

Training will include a review of:

  • the role of The Samaritans of RI
  • the role of RI Emergency 911
  • non-judgmental listening and tips for befriending
  • breaking the stigma associated with asking for help
  • risk factors and protective factors
  • abuse, violence and suicidal ideation
  • bullying and teen substance abuse.
  • connections between medical and behavioral  health
  • the role of coordinated care
  • The Samaritans’ Suicide Emergency Checklist
  • the role of school protocols – THRIVE website resources
  • resources by RI city and town
  • The Samaritans website and its online resources
  • website pages For Teens and Young Adults including pages for students; parents and educators
  • The Samaritans’ Teacher Training Manual and Lesson Plans

Workshop II: Creating Positive School Connections to Promote Healthy Student Behaviors & Academic Success

Fee: $50 per person

Minimum: 10 participants

Duration: 2 hours

Instructor: George McDonough, retired, RI Department of Education

In this session, participants will learn:

  • how school personnel can help bridge suicide prevention strategies learned in Workshop I with the strengths and assets of students and their peers and how to use those strengths to improve school climate and student outcomes.
  • that creating positive school/student connections promote healthy student behaviors and academic success.
  • the connection between early aggressive, disruptive and violent behavior in childhood with potential teen suicidal ideation and future violent behavior

School-Based Presentations

The Samaritans of Rhode Island provides in school/classroom youth and teen suicide prevention awareness, an important part of the agency’s work and as established in 1986, by RI General Laws, 16-22-14. After 27 years, our RI Department of Education funding which supported the costs of school-based training has ended. If you would like to schedule an in-school classroom presentation, please contact Denise Panichas at All materials are included in the presentation fee.

Fees for in-class presentations:

  • $125 per hour/ 2 hour minimum.
  • $530 for an all day presentation – 6 classes.