The training aims to provide participants with the background knowledge and practical skills that they need to address suicidal risk and behaviors in clients in care for substance use disorder treatment. Participants will have the opportunity to increase their knowledge and apply practical skills in the following areas:
Approaching Your Work: Learn how to manage reactions related to suicide and maintain a collaborative, non-adversarial stance. Acquire the necessary skills to address potential conflicts between a care professional’s goal to prevent suicide and relapse and a client’s goal to eliminate psychological pain via suicidal behavior.
Understanding Suicide: Gain an understanding of the definitions and language used when talking about suicide, as well as the data that are relevant to addressing suicide in substance use disorder treatment including risk and protective factors, warning signs, and the complicating factors of substance misuse, including opioids.
Gathering Information: Identify key points in treatment where a suicide assessment should occur, what questions to ask to learn more about a client’s suicidal thoughts and behaviors past and present, and how to ask them. Participants will practice asking questions in an interactive learning environment designed to help build confidence. The training presents key scenarios, such as when to seek supervision or consultation and what to do when someone discloses suicidal thoughts during a group treatment session.
Formulating Risk: Practice synthesizing assessment information into a risk formulation that will help inform the next steps in treatment. AMSR emphasizes the importance of using a risk formulation not for prediction but as information to make a collaborative decision regarding recovery-oriented treatment planning.
Planning and Responding: Review suggested actions to take based on a risk formulation using resources from SAMHSA’s TIP 50 and evidence-based interventions. Practice having conversations related to safety planning and addressing the potential for relapse through means counseling interventions.