Behavioral Health Counselors

Behavioral Health Counselors

As service providers, behavioral health counselors often come into contact with persons at-risk of suicide. There are training tools available to help behavioral health providers  feel more confident in their ability to assist a person at-risk. There are also online versions for some of these training tools.

Collaborative Assessment and Management of Suicidality (CAMS)

The CAMS Framework™ is first and foremost a clinical philosophy of care. It is a therapeutic framework for suicide-specific assessment and treatment of a patient’s suicidal risk. It is a flexible approach that can be used across theoretical orientations and disciplines for a wide range of suicidal patients across treatment settings and different treatment modalities.

The clinician and patient engage in a highly interactive assessment process and the patient is actively involved in the development of their own treatment plan. Every session of CAMS intentionally utilizes the patient’s input about what is and is not working. All assessment work in CAMS is collaborative; we seek to have the patient be a “co-author” of their own treatment plan.

In terms of CAMS philosophy, the clinician’s honesty and forthrightness are key elements. For any patient teetering between life and death, there can be no more important component of care than direct and respectful candor when suicidal risk is present. The CAMS clinician endeavors to understand their patient’s suffering from an empathetic, non-judgmental, and intra-subjective perspective. The clinician never shames or blames a suicidal person for being suicidal; we endeavor to understand this struggle through the eyes of the suicidal patient.

Question, Persuade, Refer, Treat (QPRT)

The QPRT Suicide Risk Management Inventory was developed to help professionals who assist, evaluate, manage, counsel or treat persons at-risk of suicide, better assess and monitor those at elevated risk for suicidal behaviors.

The QPRT is a risk detection, risk assessment and risk management tool uniquely designed to gather critical, standardized information about a person’s status in an intake, screening or interview setting, while simultaneously establishing a safety plan for those determined to be at risk.

Assessing and Managing Suicide Risk: Core Competencies for Mental Health Professionals (AMSR)

Outpatient behavioral health providers play a crucial role in preventing suicides. Studies have shown that a substantial proportion of people who died by suicide had either been in treatment or had some recent contact with a mental health professional. Yet many providers report that they feel inadequately trained to assess, treat, and manage suicidal patients or clients.
Assessing & Managing Suicide Risk: Core Competencies for Mental Health Professionals meets providers’ need for research-informed, skills-based training.

AMSR is a one-day training for mental health professionals, including:

  • Social workers
  • Licensed counselor
  • Psychologist
  • Psychiatrists

Recognizing and Responding to Suicide Risk (RRSR) Online Training through American Association of Suicidology

Recognizing and Responding to Suicide Risk: Essential Skills for Clinicians (RRSR) is an advanced, interactive training based on established core competencies that mental health professionals need in order to effectively assess and manage suicide risk.

The program includes:

  • a web-based assessment;
  • a two-day face-to-face workshop;
  • an online post-workshop mentorship;
  • a competency-based curriculum, derived from empirical evidence and best-practices;
  • updated participant manuals with resource materials;
  • continuing education credits;
  • hand-picked