Mental Health Symposium

Ambridge Area High School Auditorium and Penn State Beaver Student Union Building

Often, after a violent event, experts talk about what could have been done to prevent the violent act. The two-day Working Together to Avoid System Failures of Mental Health Symposium at Penn State Beaver will provide professionals a forum to discuss the failures of our existing systems and the opportunities for new systems that could help to prevent violent outcomes.

On Oct. 9, 2017, from 8:30 a.m. to noon, Penn State Beaver will sponsor a symposium at Ambridge Area High School addressing the warning signs of mental illness that may serve as precursors to violence in our public schools, communities and criminal justice system. We invite public school teachers and administrators; mental health professionals; students, faculty and staff of colleges and universities; criminal justice professionals; victims of violence; and families of violent perpetrators to participate. The members of the panel will include:

  • Bob and Arlene Holmes, whose son walked into a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, on the opening night of “The Dark Knight” in 2012 and methodically killed 12 people and injured 70 more.
  • Jerry Grzebielski and his daughter Kasi, whose son and brother’s violent killing spree left three people dead, including his mother.
  • LaVarr McBride, administration of justice faculty member at Penn State Beaver, who has been a leading voice in criminal justice, particularly on the topic of violent offenders.

On Oct. 10, 2017, from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Penn State Beaver will host an opening discussion featuring the families listed above, followed by small group sessions focused on various topics surrounding mental illness, including school violence, media portrayal of mental health, and trauma’s effect on victims.

The registration fee — which will be used to defer the cost of travel and lodging for the presenting families — covers both days and includes a special rate for organizations that want to send multiple employees.

Sending organizations: $300 for up to 20 employees

Individual: $50

To register, fill out the online form.