Training mental health professionals to assess and manage suicidal behavior: can provider confidence and practice behaviors be altered?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Remarkably little systematic research has studied the effects of clinical suicidology training on changing practitioner attitudes and behaviors. In the current study we investigated whether training in an empirically-based assessment and treatment approach to suicidal patients administered through a continuing education workshop could meaningfully impact professional practices, clinic policy, clinician confidence, and beliefs posttraining and 6 months later. At the 6 month follow-up we found that 44% of practitioners reported increased confidence in assessing suicide risk, 54% reported increased confidence in managing suicidal patients, 83% reported changing suicide care practices, and 66% reported changing clinic policy. These results suggest that a brief and carefully developed workshop training experience can potentially change provider perceptions and behaviors with a possible impact on clinical care therein.


External organisations
  • U.S. Air Force
Research areas and keywords


  • Attitude of Health Personnel, Education, Continuing, Follow-Up Studies, Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice, Health Personnel, Humans, Mental Health Services, Risk Assessment, Suicide, Surveys and Questionnaires, Journal Article
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-32
Number of pages12
JournalSuicide and Life-Threatening Behavior
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Feb
Publication categoryResearch
Externally publishedYes