Staff Perspective: Suicide Prevention Webinar Series

Staff Perspective: Suicide Prevention Webinar Series

As part of CDP's spotlight on suicide prevention in the month of September, we will be presenting a series of hour-and-a-half long webinars. Each of these free webinars will be led by guest subject matter expert presenters and will focus on an aspect of suicide or suicide prevention. The events will be held on Thursdays, throughout the month, from noon to 1:30 p.m. We invite those interested to register for any or all of the events below by clicking on the titles or by visiting the Suicide Prevention Webinar Series page here.

If you are unable to attend the live presention, we will be recording all of the presentations and will post them along with the associated handouts/slides to our website for on-demand viewing afterwards. These will be posted to the "CDP Presents" section of our website. 1.5 continuing education (CE) credits are available for each of the first two session. Final details on CEs for the remainig session are still being determined. We will update the courses as the information is confirmed.

The topics and dates for the webinars are as follows: 

Suicide Survivorship - Applying TAPS Best-Practice Model to Support Military Families, Veterans, and Clinicians via Zoom 6 September
Suicide loss is associated with increased risk for mood disorders, addiction, and the emergence of suicidal ideation in survivors. This training presents TAPS best-practice model of care for survivors of suicide loss, which has been refined over a decade of work with approximately 10,000 suicide loss survivors. Presenters will highlight the clinical value of the model, describe the three phases of the model, and map existing psychological theories to the model. Presenters will also bring the model to life by tracing the common themes and frequently-observed struggles of three categories of suicide loss survivors: surviving military family members, Veterans who have lost battle buddies, and clinicians who have lost patients to suicide. This training has been specifically designed to offer very practical guidance in the form of questions that can be used by clinicians and peer support specialists who work with suicide loss survivors.

Suicide Prevention for Veterans with Other Than Honorable Discharges Online via Zoom 13 September
The aims of this program are to describe the unique population of Veterans with Other Than Honorable (OTH) discharge, and to identify suicide prevention efforts with this population of Veterans. This will be presented by a multi-disciplinary team that will consist of a psychiatric epidemiologist, a Veteran advocate who has testified on this issue, an attorney who specifically works with this population, and a clinical psychologist who specializes in suicide prevention efforts with Veterans. Presenters will lead participants through the dynamic journey of Veterans with OTH discharges from a data, legal, personal, and clinical perspective to enhance the understanding of the potential struggles with this population who has been found to be at heightened risk for suicide. Clinical strategies on how to work with Veterans with OTH discharges and their families will be explored.

Achieving the Promise of Suicidality Interventions: What Do We Know and How Do We Use It? Online via Zoom 20 September
Description: Suicidal individuals often present the most challenging of clinical situations. Fear of their suicide or of being blamed or of being sued can lead clinicians to take steps that aren't in the best interests of the suicidal individual. This presentation will discuss many of the pitfalls of treatment with suicidal individuals, review evidence-based options, and provide clinical recommendations to maximize the success of both suicidal individuals and their clinicians.

Lethal Means Safety Counseling to Reduce Suicide Risk Online via Zoom 27 September
Description: Reducing access to suicide methods that are highly lethal and commonly used is a proven strategy for decreasing suicide rates. While some suicidal crises last a long time, most last minutes to hours. Limiting access to lethal means during periods of crisis can make it more likley that the person will delay or survive a suicide attempt. This course will explain the importance of safely storing lethal means, how to discuss storage options and safety planning with a Veteran in crisis, and tangible options to facilitate lethal means safety such as firearm locking devices, medication disposal kits, and VA resources for both Veterans and their clinicians.

In addtion to these webinars, we will also be presenting a two-day online EBP training entitled "Addressing Suicidal Behaviorl in the U.S. Military: Strategies for Assessment, Crisis Intervention, and Treatment" via Second Life on 6-7 September .  Keep an eye out for even more resources and learning opportunities during CDP's spotlight on suicide prevention!

The opinions in CDP Staff Perspective blogs are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Science or the Department of Defense.

Chris Adams is a Project Manager for the Center for Deployment Psychology’s Online Support Team at the CDP's headquarters in Bethesda,MD.