6th Annual Speak Up, Stand Up, Save a Life Virtual Conference creates a safe haven for students, parents and educators to save lives - AZEdNews
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6th Annual Speak Up, Stand Up, Save a Life Virtual Conference creates a safe haven for students, parents and educators to save lives


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  • Nedda Shafir   |   Pendergast Elementary School District

Dr. Lily Matos DeBlieux And Students And Staff Attending The Stand Up, Speak Out, Save A Life Conference. Photo Courtesy Of Pendergast Elementary School District

This year, on February 1, 2022, thousands will gather virtually for the 6th Annual Speak Up, Stand up, Save a Life Conference to learn about the tools they can use to tackle issues facing youth today including bullying, teen suicide, mental health and substance abuse.

Since one good “connection” can have a life-changing positive impact on a student in crisis, Connections is this year’s conference theme.

6th Annual Speak Up, Stand Up, Save a Life Virtual Conference                                 creates a safe haven for students, parents and educators to save lives Speak-Up-Stand-Up-Save-a-Life-Logo
Speak Up, Stand Up, Save a Life Logo

The global pandemic has been particularly hard on students who previously felt isolated, depressed and disconnected.

Speak Up, Stand up, Save a Life Executive Director Annie Middlemist said, “The COVID-19 pandemic has presented many challenges to students, educators, and parents. With the intervening events that have exacerbated the problems kids are facing, the conference remains a vital approach to empowering students to identify when a peer is in crisis and identify a trusted adult to involve. Students’ abilities to form connections with peers and trusted adults is directly related to their physical health, emotional health and academic success.”

Helping to identify solutions to these pressing issues, students throughout Arizona will join together for this critical virtual conference to Speak Up, Stand Up and Save Lives. Now in its sixth year, the conference will run from 9:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, February 1, 2022 and will inspire attendees to create lasting ways to combat bullying, depression, and suicide at their schools.

The conference is free of charge thanks to partnerships and donations, and is open to all schools, students and parents throughout Arizona. For additional information or to register, visit the website at www.speakstandsave.com/registration.

In January 2021, the Speak Up, Stand Up, Save a Life conference was virtually attended by over 10,000 people including Kindergarten through 12th grade students, teachers, counselors, community leaders and law enforcement officials, all committed to helping students learn the universal warning signs that a classmate may be in crisis and connecting them to needed resources.

The conference agenda will feature dynamic speakers and age appropriate topics with interactive breakout sessions designed to connect students with mental health professionals who will engage, educate, and inspire lasting change. 

Through the theme of Connections, students in grades K-12, teachers, parents, along with law enforcement and government leaders, will be treated to individual breakout sessions for each age group to learn how to become student ambassadors and trusted adults ready to respond to students in crisis.

According to Dr. Lily Matos DeBlieux, and Gina Godbehere, conference co-founders, “We want every student, teacher and parent throughout Arizona to participate in this day and to continue the work through campus clubs, and organizations. Our youth are the future and deserve to live healthy lives. It is imperative that they learn the universal warning signs that a classmate may be in crisis and understand the importance of making ‘connections’ and communicating with trusted adults during these challenging times.”                                                                                   

Speak Up, Stand Up, Save a Life

The organization and annual conference inspires students to Speak Up, Stand Up and Save a Life by emphasizing peer intervention and reporting:  If one student is in trouble another student needs to intervene and tell a trusted adult.  It also seeks to dispel the stigma of being a “snitch” or a “tattletale” by informing students that reporting warning signs can often prevent school tragedies. By changing their mindsets, the conference empowers students to make a difference and take actions that could save another student’s life. 

The Speak Up Stand Up Save a Life movement bridges the gap between our local community, the government, and law enforcement in a positive way. The conference team consists of representatives from four sectors (Government, Education, Business and Non-Profit) along with members of the local police departments, teachers, parents and student facilitators all coming together to tackle real issues facing our schools. 

Everyone can propel this movement forward by using #SpeakStandSave on social media. For additional information or to register for the conference, visit the website at www.speakstandsave.com.

6th Annual Speak Up, Stand Up, Save a Life Virtual Conference                                 creates a safe haven for students, parents and educators to save lives getintheway20170127_0013
Dr. Lily Matos DeBlieux and students and staff attending the Stand Up, Speak Out, Save a Life conference. Photo courtesy of Pendergast Elementary School District