New York State Funeral Directors Association

Now Virtual! Facilitator Training Programs Scheduled for Suicide and Substance Use Bereavement Support Groups

As the nationwide suicide and opioid epidemics continue to shatter families in the U.S., the need for support groups to help survivors is growing.

To address this need, the NYS Tribute Foundation is offering a virtual training program for individuals to learn how to establish a support group dedicated to those bereaved by suicide or substance use death.

Registration is open


  • October 20-21, 2021 (See registration details below)

Participants will build awareness of the impact of suicide and overdose death and learn to conduct a support group for those bereaved by the painful loss of a loved one.

Support group facilitation skills, self-awareness and self-care skills will also be studied.

This training is structured for funeral directors, clergy, mental health professionals and non-clinicians with support group experience.

The course is also appropriate for current support group facilitators who seek to strengthen their skills, stay up-to-date on the latest practices and explore issues experienced during support groups.

Those who have endured loss due to suicide or substance use are also welcome to attend this course if it has been at least two years since their loss.

Conducting the training sessions will be Franklin Cook, MA, CPC; Joanne L. Harpel, MPhil, JD; and John (Jack) Jordan, Ph.D.

This training has been approved by the NYS Department of Health, Bureau of Funeral Directing for 6 CEUs.

For questions, contact Kelly Deitz at or 518.452.8230.

Virtual Training Agenda:

  • Wednesday, October 20
    Session 1: 1:00 pm – 3:00pm
    Session 2: 3:30 pm – 5:30 pm

  • Thursday, October 21
    Session 3: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
    Session 4: 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm (optional session)

Registration is open

The NYS Tribute Foundation, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, was established in 2003 out of a desire to unite the knowledge and resources of funeral service professionals throughout New York State. The Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting education, outreach and research programs that advance the public's understanding of end-of-life issues. The Foundation uses its philanthropic resources to stimulate research, improve and support professional education, increase public outreach, and sponsor forums to foster policy dialogue on important end-of-life issues.

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New York State 
Tribute Foundation

1 South Family Drive
Albany, NY 12205
Phone: 518.452.8230
Fax: 518.452.8667