Finding effective and efficient options for training mental health professionals to assess and manage suicide risk is a high priority. A research study published in a recent issue of Crisis: The Journal of Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention examined whether an innovative, brief workshop can improve provider knowledge, confidence, and written risk assessment in a multidisciplinary sample of ambulatory and acute services professionals and trainees. The researchers conducted a pre/post evaluation of a 3 h workshop designed to improve clinical competence in suicide risk assessment by using visual concept mapping, medical records documentation, and site-specific crisis response options. The 338 diverse mental health professionals participating in the study completed pre- and postworkshop questionnaires measuring their knowledge and confidence. Before and after the workshop, participants completed documentation for a clinical vignette. Trained coders rated the quality of risk assessment formulation before and after training. Results showed that participants’ knowledge, confidence, and objectively-rated documentation skills improved significantly (p < .001), with large effect sizes. Participants’ expectation of their ability to transfer workshop content to their clinical practice was high (mean = 4.10 on 1–5 scale). The researchers concluded Commitment to Living is a promising, innovative, and efficient curriculum for educating practicing clinicians to assess and respond to suicide risk. Well-designed, brief, suicide risk management programs can improve clinicians’ knowledge, confidence, and skill.
For the abstract.