20 Hours | 20 CEs

This self-paced training program on Suicide Assessment, Management, and Prevention is presented by Robert J. Cramer, PhD.

Drawing on competency and skill-based learning modalities, this course targets multidisciplinary health professionals who work in suicide assessment, management, and prevention. The competencies are derived from contemporary theory, research and expert guidelines concerning suicide prevention. The course utilizes a variety of learning strategies including, but not limited to, journal article readings, guided lecture, self-assessment and self-reflection tools, and case examples for the learner to practice many competencies.

Mental health and public health efforts in suicide prevention have moved toward mastery of specific competencies.  A body of medical and psychological literature (e.g., American Association of Suicidology, 2010; Hung, Binder, Fordwood, Hall, Cramer, & McNiel, 2012; Joiner, 2005; Kleespies, Hough, & Romeo, 2009; Liebling-Boccio & Jennings, 2013; Rudd, Cuckrowicz, & Bryan, 2008; Sullivan & Bongar, 2009) has articulated specific suicide-related competencies, streamlined into a framework of the following 10 specific competencies:

Recognizing attitudes and reactions toward suicide when with a client

Developing and maintaining a collaborative, empathic stand toward the client

Eliciting evidence-based risk and protective factors

Focusing on the current plan and intent of suicidal ideation

Determining chronic and imminent risk levels

Collaboratively enacting an evidence-based treatment plan

Involving appropriate social support

Documenting risk, plan and clinical reasoning

Knowing the law concerning suicide

Engaging in debriefing and self-care

Participants discuss suicide prevention knowledge, improved suicide prevention-related attitudes, enhanced self-perceived competency, and improved objectively-rated performance (Cramer, Bryson, Eichorst, Keyes, & Ridge, in press; Cramer, Bryson, Stroud, & Ridge, in press).  This  course also addresses three primary additions in order to enhance the potential impact: (1) evidence-based public health approaches to suicide prevention are covered as an additional general core competency, (2) a sample high-risk setting (i.e., corrections) is addressed in terms of identification of setting-specific competencies that may augment the general core competencies, and (3) a sample high-risk population (i.e., lesbian, gay, and bisexual [LGB] persons) is addressed to provide the learner an example of population-specific tailoring of some general core competencies.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course you will be able to:

  • Describe contemporary suicide-related nomenclature

  • Describe the nature of attitudes toward suicide and self-care needs for the health professional

  • Describe the methods of establishing and maintaining a collaborative rapport

  • Describe the major tenets of contemporary suicide theory

  • Describe risk and protective factors for suicide & estimations of chronic and imminent suicide risk

  • Describe risk assessment decisions to intervention decisions

  • Describe guidelines for appropriate documentation of suicide risk assessment and management

  • Describe an evidence-based plan & ethical and legal considerations for suicide management and prevention

  • Describe and implement evidence-based individual and public health level interventions and prevention progra

  • Describe sample competencies to account for multicultural populations or unique professional settings

Presented By

Robert J. Cramer, PhD

Robert J. Cramer, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Public Health Sciences and Belk Distinguished Scholar in Health Research at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Holding a Ph.D. in clinical psychology, his expertise includes suicide prevention, mental health, hate crimes, violence prevention, sexual and gender minority health, and theories of health and personality. Drawing on his forensic training, Cramer served as a trial consultant for almost a decade, focusing on jury consultation, witness preparation, and case theory in civil and criminal trials. With expertise in quantitative methods, he is active in community-engaged research, having partnered with agencies such as the Matthew Shepard Foundation, Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, Tuscaloosa Veterans Affairs Medical Center, North Carolina Department of Public Safety, and many others. The founder of the Core Competency Model of Suicide Prevention Training, he has provided suicide prevention training and consultation for the United Kingdom National Health Services, Department of Veterans Affairs, various university counseling centers and academic training programs, and other professional audiences. Recognized as an international expert in suicide and violence prevention research and training, Cramer has served as honorary visiting faculty at the University of Strathclyde School of Psychological Sciences and Health, the University of Central Lancashire School of Psychology, and the Griffith University Criminology Institute. He currently serves as on the editorial boards of Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, Journal of Interpersonal Violence, and Aggressive Behavior.
  • Intended Audience

    This self-paced course is intended for mental health and other allied professionals.

  • Experience Level

    This self-paced course is appropriate for beginner, intermediate, and advanced level clinicians.

  • CE / CPD Credit

    APA, ASWB, CPA, NBCC Click here for state and other regional board approvals.


  • 1


    • Review Before Proceeding

  • 2

    Attitudes and Reactions to Suicide

    • Lesson 1 Video

    • Definitions of Suicidal Behavior

    • Stress of Patient Emergencies

    • International Nomenclature and Classification System

    • Rebuilding the Tower of Babel

    • ASHP

    • Video Links Referenced

    • Lesson Quiz

  • 3

    Stance Toward Persons Experiencing Suicidality

    • Lesson 2 Video

    • Confirmatory Factor Analysis

    • Core Principles

    • The CAMS Approach

    • Video Links Referenced

    • Lesson Quiz

  • 4

    Theories of Suicide, Evidence-Based Risk and Protective Factors

    • Lesson 3 Video

    • Advancement in the Assessment of Suicide Risk

    • Borderline Personality Disorder

    • The Interpersonal Theory of Suicide

    • DSHI-s

    • Suicide Behavior Questionnaire

    • Video Links Referenced

    • Lesson Quiz

  • 5

    Suicidal Ideation & Risk Levels

    • Lesson 4 Video

    • Interpersonal– Psychological Theory

    • Therapeutic Risk Management

    • Self-Harm and Suicide

    • Case Study

    • Video Links Referenced

    • Lesson Quiz

  • 6

    Evidence-Based Treatment Plan

    • Lesson 5 Video

    • Case Study

    • Suicide Status Form

    • Crisis Response Plan

    • Behavior Chain Analysis

    • CAMS


    • BCBT

    • Lesson Quiz

  • 7

    CALM or Lethal Means Counseling

    • Lesson 5a Video

    • Means-Restriction Counseling

    • Video Links Referenced

  • 8

    Case Study Overview

    • Lesson 5b Video

    • Case Study

  • 9

    Case Study Discussion

    • Lesson 5c Video

    • Case Feedback

  • 10

    Involving Appropriate Social Support

    • Lesson 6 Video

    • Gun Safety Management

    • Text Messaging

    • Social Ties

    • Video Links Referenced

    • Lesson Quiz

  • 11

    Documenting Risk, Plan and Reasoning

    • Lesson 7 Video

    • Assessment and Treatment

    • Mock Case

    • Lesson Quiz

  • 12

    Legal and Ethical Considerations

    • Lesson 8 Video

    • Physician-Assisted Dying

    • Legal Perspectives

    • Suicidal Clients

    • Implementing Aid in Dying

    • Video Links Referenced

    • Lesson Quiz

  • 13

    Debriefing and Self-Care

    • Lesson 9 Video

    • Clinical Case Conference

    • Effects of Suicidal Behavior

    • Aftermath of Negative Events

    • Psychiatry Residency Training Programs

    • Resident Hand Out

    • Video Links Referenced

    • Lesson Quiz

  • 14

    Public Health Approaches

    • Lesson 10 Video

    • Gatekeeper Training

    • Youth Suicide Prevention Interventions

    • Comparison Table

    • Evaluating Factors

    • Healthy People 2020

    • Video Links Referenced

    • Lesson Quiz

  • 15

    Correctional Institutions

    • Lesson 11 Video

    • Prisoners Who Self Harm

    • Correctional Facilities

    • Self-Injurious Behavior

    • Standards and Recommendations

    • Video Links Referenced

    • Lesson Quiz

  • 16

    Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual

    • Lesson 12 Video

    • Nursing Students’ Attitudes

    • Conceptual Issues

    • Lifetime Prevalence


    • Gay Men Scale

    • ATLG

    • Video Links Referenced

    • Lesson Quiz

  • 17


    • Instructions

    • Evaluation

    • Submission Verification

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