Experiencing my first Virginia School Counseling Association Conference was an amazing opportunity to network, gain knowledge on different topics, and receive practical resources to use at my internship. My entire cohort attended the conference, where we had the chance to go to different sessions and share the information we learned to one another. The session that stuck out to me the most was called: “Suicide and Non-Suicidal Self-Injury: Prevention, Intervention, and Postvention” presented by Melissa Reeves. One of the greatest takeaways was learning the differences between non-suicidal self injury and suicide and ways in which school counselors can promote suicide prevention. One example could be complete training with administrators and staff on Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST).
One of my favorite parts of the conference was being able to volunteer with my classmate. We were given the role of check-in on the first day of the conference. It was a perfect opportunity to welcome each member to the conference. I also enjoyed introducing myself and hearing stories as a school counselor. I gained a lot of insight on the role of a school counselor, as well as, made connections with counselors in the field. Overall, I had an amazing time at the conference and I look forward to returning next year!