Despite the best efforts of therapists treating high risk teens in intensive, community based treatment programs, too many are still ending their lives through suicide. This means that good treatment alone is insufficient to prevent teen suicide. Also required is a sound knowledge about the nature of suicide, skills in assessing for suicide ideation and acute risk of suicide, and competency in co-developing effective safety plans with teens and their families. This is the focus of this course.
The content of this course is informed by published national core competencies in assessing and managing suicide risk (Suicide Prevention Resource Center, American Association of Suicidology, and SAMSHA). The webinars are comprised of excerpts taken from two different live workshops given to Family Based therapists and supervisors. Dr. Wintersteen’s workshop was sponsored by the Philadelphia Child And Family Therapy Training Center in June, 2016, while Dr. Jones’s workshop was sponsored by the Center for Family Based Training in May, 2016.
This is a Beginning Level course. The target audience is all behavioral health professionals working with children and adolescents.
At the end of this course, participants will be able to:
- Describe the scope of the problem of teen suicide both nationally and among teens served by intensive, in-home community based programs
- Identify eight common myths about teen suicide and describe the corresponding facts for each one
- Identify three barriers to raising questions about suicide with teens and then pushing the conversation extensively enough to determine level of risk
- Describe actions to avoid and actions to take when pursing a conversation with teens about suicide
- Identify strategies for gaining meaningful and valid data about suicide intent
- Identify 12 critical suicide risk assessment questions
- Describe the six steps of safety planning
This course uses an online distance-learning self-paced format. It includes recorded audio, recorded video-based webinars, and selected readings. There are post-tests to ensure comprehension of the material. Participants can communicate with the instructors via the online moodle interface. Real-time communication with the instructor in our online, self-paced distance learning courses is not possible. However, participants can send an email to the instructor via the online moodle interface within the course and expect to receive a response within 48 hours. All course content, including post-tests, should take approximately three hours to complete. This course was completed in Oct, 2016.
- Unit 1: Understanding Teen Suicide (40 minutes)
- Webinar: The Scope of Teen Suicide
- Webinar: Common Myths About Teen Suicide
- Unit 2: Assessing the Risk of Suicide (70 minutes)
- Webinar: Barriers to Conversations about Suicide
- Webinar: Tips for Having Conversations about Suicide
- Webinars: Generating Valid Data
- Webinars: The Questions to Ask in Risk Assessment
- Reading: Uncovering Suicide Intent
- Unit 3: Creating Effective Safety Plans (60 minutes)
- Webinar: An Introduction to Safety Plans
- Webinar: Safety Planning Steps 1-3
- Webinar: Safety Planning Steps 3-6
- Safety Plan template
- Unit 4: Optional Online Resources on Suicide, and Suicide Assessment
About the Presenters
Matthew B. Wintersteen, PhD is a Licensed Psychologist. He received his degree at the University of Tennessee and did his Fellowship at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, in the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. He currently serves as an Associate Professor at Thomas Jefferson University. His areas of specialty are suicide prevention and intervention for youth and young adults. He is leading a project, funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), that focuses on developing and implementing suicide prevention education, policies, and procedures into Pennsylvania’s schools and colleges.
Click here for information on C. Wayne Jones, PhD.
Frequently Asked Questions
Visit our Online Course Policies for additional information regarding the CFBT online learning center, accommodations for disabilities, reporting problems with the course, instructions for viewing webinars, etc.