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Thursday, December 1, 2016

Episode 25: The Assessment, Management, and Treatment of Suicidal Patients

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States and the most frequent crisis encountered by mental health professionals. This video/podcast reviews basic information about the assessment, management, and treatment of patients at risk to die from suicide. It fulfills Act 74 requirements for Pennsylvania licensed psychologists, social workers, marriage and family therapists, and professional counselors.

Program Learning Objectives:

At the end of this program the participants will learn basic information that will help them to
  1. Assess patients who are at risk to die from a suicide attempt;
  2. Manage the risks of suicide; and
  3. Treat patients who are at risk to die from a suicide attempt.



Bongar, B., & Sullivan, G. (2013). The suicidal patient: Clinical and legal standards of care. (3rd ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Bryan, C. J. (2015). Cognitive behavior strategies for preventing suicidal attempts. NY: Routledge.

Jamison, K. R. (2000). Night Falls Fast: Understanding suicide. New York: Random House.

Jobes, D. (2016). Managing suicide risk (2nd Ed.). NY: Guilford.

Joiner, T. (2005). The myths of suicide. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

McKeon, R. (2009). Suicidal behavior. Cambridge, MA: Hogrefe & Huber.


As an educational program, this podcast/video does not purport to provide clinical or legal advice on any particular patient. Listeners or viewers with concerns about the assessment, management, or treatment of any patient are urged to seek clinical or legal advice. Also, individual psychotherapists need to use their clinical judgment with their patients and incorporate procedures or techniques not covered in this podcast/video, or modify or omit certain recommendations herein because of the unique needs of their patients.

This one-hour video/podcast provides a basic introduction to the assessment, management, and treatment of patients at risk to die from a suicide attempt. This podcast/video may be a useful refresher course for experienced clinicians. However, listeners/viewers should not assume that the completion of this course will, in and of itself, make them qualified to assess or treat individuals who are at risk to die from suicide. For those who do not have formal training in suicide, this podcast/video should be seen as providing an introduction or exposure to the professional literature on this topic.

Proficiency in dealing with suicidal patients, like proficiency in other areas of professional practice, is best achieved through an organized sequence of study including mastery of a basic foundation of knowledge and attitudes, and supervision. It is impossible to give a fixed number of hours of continuing education and supervision that professionals need to have before they can be considered proficient in assessing, managing, and treating suicidal patients. Much depends on their existing knowledge base and overall level of clinical skill. It would be indicated to look at competency standards from noted authorities, such as those developed by the American Association of Suicidology ( http://www.sprc.org/training-events/amsr), by David Rudd and his associates (Rudd et al., 2008), or Cramer et al. (2014).

After you review the material, click here to link to CE credit.

Click here for slides related to the podcast.