Following the closing keynote, Dese'rae Stage will facilitate a panel discussion with three individuals in Wisconsin who have experienced suicidal thoughts and/or suicide attempts. Their perspectives provide invaluable expertise to stakeholders engaged in this work across various sectors. By listening to and centering the voices of people who have been there, we seek to reframe the narrative around suicide and suicide prevention in our state.
Dylan Sessler lost his father to suicide at 6 years old, his troubled childhood included things like domestic abuse and bullying which brought him to join the military. Dylan is now a currently serving 12-year veteran in the WI Army National Guard with 2 combat deployments to Afghanistan as a Staff Sergeant. His service in Afghanistan brought him uncomfortably close to the realities of war as well as seeing firsthand the difficulties and effects of PTSD and Trauma.
While earning his bachelors degree in sociology and working multiple part-time jobs, Dylan's lifetime of struggle brought him to nearly end his own life. Following that intense moment, Dylan made the choice to create a better future for himself and others. Through his willingness to open up about his experience, Dylan exposes a unique perspective through his lived experience. Now, he is currently working on writing a book detailing his experiences and working towards showing people a path to internal stability and happiness. He continues to coach people to find their path to overcoming and actively works to change the perception of suicide and how we talk about it through multiple venues.
Jeannine Rivers Colburn is an author, motivator, musician and suicide attempt survivor who enjoys inspiring people with her heartfelt stories, life lessons, and music of hope. As an inspirational speaker and confidence coach, it is Jeannine's goal to instill hope and peace in the heart and minds of individuals who don’t see a way out beyond their hurt and pain. Her workshops and speaking engagements motivate thoughts of power and leave her audience speaking life within their soul.
Shae Garbe. I'm 22, and I grew up in Indiana. Mental health is my passion. I’ve learned a lot in my own journey and I want nothing more than to share that knowledge with others! I co-facilitate NAMI Fox Valley's Young Adult Support Group, and I give speeches through a program from NAMI Fox Valley called Ending the Silence.