Assessing and working with suicidal individuals is challenging, and when a death by suicide happens the impact is often far-reaching with many complexities. To prevent and respond to the issue of suicide, a broad and diverse approach is needed. This workshop begins with a guide for how to develop a comprehensive suicide prevention plan, with emphasis on addressing the root risk factors that lead to suicide. Participants will then learn the skills needed to identify and assist those at risk of suicide. The final portion of the training provides tools to minimize the impact of a suicide on survivors.

Some of the Topics Reviewed

  • The Language of Suicide Matters
  • Myths and Common Attitudes About Suicide
  • Preparing to Work with Suicidality
  • High Risk Factors
  • Suicide Prevention Planning
  • Warning Signs of Suicide
  • Suicide Intervention Steps
  • Responding to Difficult Questions and Statements
  • Distinguishing Suicide Attempts from Self-Injury
  • Considerations About a Chronically Suicidal Person
  • Postvention – After a Suicide
  • The Complication of Suicide Grief
  • Supporting Healing from Suicide Loss
  • Trigger Events and Anniversaries
  • Suicide Contagion and Clusters
  • Responding to Attempted Suicide

Target Audience

This is an introductory level workshop for social service and health care professionals, social workers, school personnel, support workers, and anyone seeking a better understanding of suicide and how to respond to it.

Method of Delivery

Presentation, video, case study exercises, experiential practice, personal reflection, and small group discussions.

Learning Objectives

At the end of this workshop, participants should be able to:

  • Describe the role of personal beliefs and assumptions
  • Explain high-risk factors and warning signs
  • Define the dynamics of suicide contagion and clusters
  • List steps for a specific approach to suicide intervention
  • Plan practical strategies for helping others