Course Description

Reducing access to lethal means, such as firearms and medication, can determine whether a person at risk for suicide lives or dies.

This course is about how to reduce access to the methods people use to kill themselves. It covers who needs lethal means counseling and how to work with people at risk for suicide—and their families—to reduce access.

This course earned two awards in 2019:

  • Bronze Digital Health Award
  • Bronze Omni Award

After completing this course you will be able to:

  • Explain that reducing access to lethal means is an evidence-based strategy for suicide prevention.
  • Explain how reducing access to lethal means can prevent suicide.
  • Identify clients for whom lethal means counseling is appropriate.
  • Describe strategies for raising the topic of lethal means, and feel more comfortable and competent applying these strategies with clients.
  • Advise clients on specific off-site and in-home secure storage options for firearms and strategies to limit access to dangerous medications.
  • Work with your clients and their families to develop a specific plan to reduce access to lethal means and follow up on the plan over time.

Audience

While this course is primarily designed for mental health professionals, others who work with people at risk for suicide, such as health care providers and social service professionals, may also benefit.

Course Length

This course can be completed in approximately two hours. You do not have to complete the course in one session. You can exit the course at any time and return later to the place where you left off.

Certificate of Completion

To receive a certificate of completion, you must do the following online: complete each lesson, pass the posttest (passing score is 80% or higher), and answer the feedback survey questions.

You can earn a certificate of completion once per year for each course. We do not offer continuing education credits for any of our courses.


Course Description

Emergency departments (EDs) play an important role in suicide prevention. This course teaches healthcare professionals who work in an ED how to conduct screening, assessment, and brief interventions, such as safety planning and lethal means counseling. It also addresses patient-centered care for patients with suicide risk, patient safety during the ED visit, and incorporating suicide prevention into discharge planning.

After completing this course you will be able to:

  • Describe the roles primary and secondary screening play in detection and prevention of suicide risk behaviors among ED patients.
  • List the core components of suicide risk assessment.
  • Identify steps that can be taken to ensure patients at risk for suicide remain safe during their time in the ED.
  • Describe five brief interventions that can be used with low-risk ED patients who are being discharged.
  • Explain how a discharge planning checklist can be used to promote continuity of care.
  • List three examples of patient-centered care techniques that can be used with patients at risk for suicide that can improve the quality of their visits.

Acknowledgement

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health engaged SPRC to develop this course on its behalf in recognition of the need for healthcare professionals who work in an ED to use best practices in addressing this public health issue.

Audience

This course is open to anyone. It is designed especially for healthcare professionals (e.g., physicians, nurses, behavioral health providers) who work in EDs with patients at risk of suicide.

While this course was developed for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and contains some data from Massachusetts, the course material is applicable to professionals anywhere.

Course Length

This course can be completed in approximately two hours. You do not have to complete the course in one session. You can exit the course at any time and return later to the place where you left off.

Certificate of Completion

To receive a certificate of completion, you must do the following online: complete each lesson, pass the posttest (passing score is 80% or higher), and answer the feedback survey questions.

You can earn a certificate of completion once per year for each course. We do not offer continuing education credits for any of our courses.