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Suicide Assessment, Prevention, and Risk Management

12 CE Credit Hours - Online Course - $119.00

Co-Developed by Sage de Beixedon Breslin, Ph.D. and Ofer Zur, Ph.D.

This course fulfills the BOP-CA suicide requirement for psychologists.

Course materials: text/webpage Articles    audio Audios    videoVideos

Transcripts are available for ALL MP3s in pdf format.

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General Course Description

Suicide has become an increasing social challenge in today's stressful world. As clinicians we are faced with the need to balance respect for the choices and desires of our clients, with the need to avoid liability and blame for those choices. While suicide will always remain a personal choice, we can heighten efforts at suicide prevention by arming ourselves with adequate knowledge of risk and protective factors for suicide.

This foundational course is comprised of 13 articles, a brief introductory video, and an audiotaped interview. The first article provides statistical and demographic information about the extent and scope of this problem. The next four articles focus on the identification, assessment, and risk management of suicidality, including inherent risks for the treating clinician. The next section provides insight into suicidality in special populations such as those with depression and other co-occurring mental disorders, those with history of suicidal ideation and/or attempts, the elderly and those serving in the military. Additionally, a phenomenally comprehensive article by Donald Meichenbaum illuminates the topic of suicidality in children and adolescents. Article #12, "Suicide as a Moral Issue" proffers an alternative view of suicide. The audiotaped interview with Meredith Watkins, MFT provides information about revisions in the DSM-5 associated with diagnoses in which suicide is an increased risk. The final article provides a list of resources and links for those who are facing suicide and/or working towards suicide prevention.

Educational Objectives

This course will teach the participant to:

1.    Summarize relevant facts and statistics for suicide.

2.    Assess for suicide risk and lethality.

3.    Utilize appropriate forms for the documentation of clinical information associated with suicide risk.

4.    Design and implement treatment plans for clients who are actively suicidal.

5.    Define risk factors for clinicians when treating suicidal clients.

6.    Suggest strategies for self-care for clinicians treating suicidal patients.

7.    Identify increased risk for suicide in vulnerable populations.

8.    Cite various elements which may inhibit risk of suicidality in some populations.

9.    Review philosophical approaches to suicidality.

10.    Note suicide and suicide risk in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender populations.

11.    Summarize psychiatric diagnoses and risk for suicide in veterans.

12.    Report basic information associated with the End of Life Option Act.

Course Syllabus

  • Introduction
  • Demographics & Statistics
  • Clinical Categories
  • Risk factors, etc
  • Assessment
    • Assessment of dangerousness/lethality
    • Clinical Forms
      • Suicide contract
      • Assessment template
  • Diagnosis
  • Guidelines for clinical management of suicidality
  • Interventions & Treatment
  • Risk Management of the suicidal client
  • Risk Management and Self-care for the clinician
  • Suicide and Special Populations
    • Young people
    • Mood and Co-occurring Mental Disorders
    • Personality Disorders
    • LGBT Population
    • Military Population
  • Changes in the DSM-5 with regards to suicide
  • Alternative perspectives on suicide
    • Suicide as a choice
    • End of Life Option Act
  • References and Resources
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