When you say the curriculum is for Clinical Mental Health Professionals, whom do you mean?

Recognizing and Responding to Suicide Risk was designed to meet the needs of:

  • Professional Counselors
  • Psychologists
  • Psychiatrists
  • Psychiatric Nurses
  • Substance Abuse Counselors
  • Social Workers
  • Marriage & Family Therapists
  • Pastoral Counselors
  • Other Counselors

What are the Core Competencies and why is it important that the training is based on them?

Core Competencies are the knowledge, skills, abilities, and (some would add) attitudes or perceptions required for people to be successful in their work.

In the case of this curriculum, the core competencies cover the assessment, management, and treatment of suicidal clients to protect their lives and promote their well-being. There are 24 specific competencies defined by the American Association of Suicidology’s Core Competencies Curriculum Committee and developed under contract from the Suicide Prevention Resource Center.

Who created the Core Competencies?

The Core Competencies were developed by the American Association of Suicidology on contract to the Suicide Prevention Resource Center in 2004.

The members of the Core Competencies Curriculum Committee are:
Alan Berman, PhD, ABPP
Former Executive Director
American Association of Suicidology
Author: Adolescent Suicide: Assessment and Intervention

Thomas E. Ellis, PsyD
Professor of Psychology
Marshall University
Editor: Cognition and Suicide

David Jobes, PhD
Professor of Psychology
Catholic University of America
Author: Managing Suicide Risk

Nadine Kaslow, PhD, ABPP
Professor of Emergency Medicine and Psychiatry
Emory University
Past President: Society of Clinical Psychology (American Psychological Association Division 12)

Cheryl A. King, PhD
Associate Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry
University of Michigan
Shneidman Award winner for research in Suicidology

Marsha Linehan
Professor of Psychology
University of Washington
Author: Cognitive Behavioral Treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder

M. David Rudd, PhD
Professor of Psychology
Texas Tech University
Author: The Assessment and Management of Suicidality

Shawn Shea, MD
Training Institute for Suicide Assessment and Clinical Interviewing
Author: The Practical Art of Suicidal Assessment

Rheeda L. Walker, PhD
University of South Carolina

What was the process used to decide what would be Core Competency?

The core competencies were derived through a process in which some of the most knowledgeable researchers in suicidology reviewed the academic literature and gained consensus on the essential skills and knowledge required to work with patients potentially at risk for suicide. The steps were:

  1. Literature review;
  2. Interviews with experts in clinical suicidology;
  3. Collection of benchmark core competencies and rubrics for measuring core competencies from related fields;
  4. Collection of existing relevant instructional materials; and
  5. Review of all the data by a Core Competencies Curriculum Committee which gained consensus on the competencies. The resulting competencies were integrated into a curriculum and pilot-tested with clinicians possessing differing levels of experience.

What are the major topics covered in the training?

The 24 core competencies have been grouped into eight overall topics that serve as the structure for the training:

  1. Attitudes and Approaches for Working with Suicidal Clients
  2. Understanding Suicide
  3. Collecting Assessment Information
  4. Formulating Risk
  5. Developing a Treatment and Services Plan
  6. Managing Care
  7. Documenting
  8. Understanding Legal Issues Related to Suicidality

How does the RRSR (Recognizing & Responding to Suicide Risk) differ from the AMSR (Assessing and Managing Suicide Risk)?

The American Association of Suicidology developed the Assessing and Managing Suicide Risk (AMSR) under contract from the Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC).

The AMSR is a one-day, knowledge based training that covers the 24 competencies required for effective clinical assessment and management of individuals at risk for suicide.

The RRSR is a two-day, knowledge-and-skills training, based on the same competencies. The RRSR provides practice in applying this knowledge, used with permission of the SPRS, to clinical cases.

The 24 Core Competencies are based on current empirical evidence and the opinion of a panel of clinical and research experts in assessment and management of suicide. These competencies form the basis of Assessing and Managing Suicide Risk (AMSR), a one-day training developed by the American Association Suicidology for the Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC). AMSR focuses on knowledge and attitudes, using skill demonstrations, discussion, and journaling throughout the course. AMSR is suitable for classes of any size. Using a two-day format with a smaller class size, RRSR augments the core AMSR content with skill rehearsal and case application exercises. Communities or organizations may sponsor the RRSR and AMSR together or separately, depending on their training goals and available time and resources. AMSR is offered through the SPRC Training Institute. To learn more about the AMSR, call 1-877-438-7772 or go to Assessing and Managing Suicide Risk: Core Competencies for Mental Health Professionals (AMSR).

Either or both the AMSR or the RRSR may meet the needs and training objectives of a particular clinician or institution and should be examined from these perspectives.

For more information about the AMSR, contact info@sprc.org.
For more information about the RRSR, contact info@suicidology.org.

What skills can I expect to gain by the end of the training?

After participating in the online modules, the in-person workshop, and the post-event learning activities, clinicians should be able to:

  1. Gather thorough suicide risk assessment information
  2. Formulate suicide risk
  3. Develop an appropriate intervention plan
  4. Provide the unique management necessary for individual clients.

Does the training include a section on medications for at-risk patients?

Yes, the training includes resources on standard of care guidelines for treatment planning and medication, such as close monitoring of side effects, adverse events, compliance, and communication by non-medical caregivers with their medical counterparts.

Can I earn continuing education credits?

The course offers continuing education credits for Physicians/Psychiatrists, Psychologists, Social Workers, and Counselors. Participants who request credits are required to pay a $45 administrative fee. A certificate of completion is available at no extra cost.

How do I sign up for a training?

The best way to make sure there is a training convenient for you is to organize one for your organization or co-sponsor one in your area. For inquiries about scheduled trainings, email info@suicidology.org.

Can I get a trainer to come give a workshop at my organization?

The American Association of Suicidology can make the training available to your organization, and can co-sponsor trainings for communities, groups, workplaces, or healthcare systems.

Can we get someone on our own staff trained to train RRSR?

If you plan to conduct more than two trainings or have more than 80 staff people trained, it may be more cost-effective for you to identify your own candidate with requisite clinical experience and training skills to be trained by the American Association of Suicidology to deliver the trainings.

The qualifications for trainer consideration are as follows:

  1. Terminal degree in clinical field preferred; minimum of at least a masters level degree in a mental health profession.
  2. Currently licensed to practice (provide evidence of current licensure).
  3. Minimum of five years as practicing clinician dealing with clients at-risk for suicide.
  4. Evidence of knowledge of clinical suicidology (assessment; risk formulation; treatment approaches; emergency/crisis intervention; management; risk management), e.g. public presentations, workshop training, publications, supervision and/or training others, etc. on the subject.

Your organization would still pay a fee each time the curriculum is delivered, but having your own trainer eliminates the trainer fee and related travel costs, roughly a 50% reduction in total cost per training.

How much does it cost?

Pricing information can be found on the Training Fees Page.