Suicide Prevention Training: Identifying and Responding to Risk

If you are in crisis or know someone who is, please call or share the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741.

Importance of Suicide Prevention Training

As we continue to navigate the coronavirus pandemic, studies are now showing the impact that physical and social isolation, job stress, and the uncertainty of the unknown are having on our mental health. This impact has led to an increase in suicidal ideation and suicide attempts among both healthcare professionals and the general population. With suicide being the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, it’s important for your entire staff to be aware of proper suicide prevention protocols.

No matter your care setting, suicide prevention training should be an integral part of your practice. We hope this page serves as a resource on best practices in identifying, assessing, and responding to suicide risk in persons served.

Using Training to Improve Suicide Prevention Efforts

Simulation and scenario-based training provide staff with a safe space to learn new skills and critically apply them in a relevant situation. When it comes to identifying and preventing suicide, simulation training can help staff bridge the knowing-doing gap by reinforcing learned skills and improving confidence when they need to apply the same skills to a real-life situation.

Relias’ behavioral health training library includes suicide prevention simulation training that enables clinicians to apply their critical thinking, knowledge, and skills. Sample our simulation training courses below to see just how impactful this type of training can be to improve staff skills and confidence when working with clients expressing suicidal thoughts.

Webinars on Suicide Prevention

Upcoming: Introduction to Relias’ Suicide Prevention Simulation Training Courses

In this webinar, learn the benefits of scenario-based learning and simulation training and preview Relias’ suicide prevention simulation courses.

Register for the webinar here

Upcoming: Saving Our Children: Current Considerations for Preventing Suicide in Children and Adolescents

Explore the role of parents, guardians, and other caregivers in supporting suicide prevention in children and adolescents and understand the next steps and tools to effectively screen for suicide in this population.

Register for the webinar here

Preventing Suicide in Public Safety Settings

Front-line correctional staff often carry a heavy burden to identify, monitor, and respond to suicidal behaviors in correctional facilities. Providing staff with knowledge and tools can make identifying suicide risk easier.

Real Stories on Overcoming Suicide

The 2%: The Kevin Hines Story

Listen to Kevin Hines tell his story with mental illness and surviving a jump from the Golden Gate bridge.

“We’re never going to change a generation until the generations that are coming up know what to look for and how to get that person to safety before the suicide attempt occurs, before the mental breakdown happens. And when we get that training in place on a national basis, and its mandatory, you will see someone be able to represent for a loved one and know that they’ve done the right thing no matter the outcome.”
– Kevin Hines


Darkness Under the Lights: The Joe Williams Story

Hear professional athlete Joe Williams share how he overcame his toughest opponents: depression and suicidal thoughts.

“A simple thing like mental health first aid training can stop so many people from going down those tough roads. If we can train up so many people to be equipped to be able to help people when they’re in their struggle, I believe we’ll see a reduction in suicides because we’ll see people getting help.”
– Joe Williams


From Experience to Advocacy: The Matt Runnall Story

Hear Matt Runnall share his experience with bipolar disorder and suicidality, and how he is now fighting the stigma through education and awareness.

“I now live with bipolar disorder. I live with chronic suicide ideations, but I understand it’s a big part of my journey and I’m very grateful for the journey that I am on. I’m out here now showing people that you can live a healthy, happy, fulfilling life even though I have that diagnosis and that diagnosis doesn’t have to become who I am.”
– Matt Runnall

Relias Resources

For free courses on telehealth, self-care, and more, please visit our Coronavirus Toolkit. You can also check out these additional free resources below:

addressing substance use disorders graphicSubstance Use Disorder Training

A key CCBHC requirement is the ability to provide substance use disorder services to anyone in your community. To help your staff treat SUDs, we’ve put together a resource page dedicated to training and resources on peer support, evidence-based treatment practices, and more.
Learn More

Digital Representation of Telemental HealthTelehealth

COVID-19 has forced organizations and people to shift to telehealth. Review these resources to learn the benefits of telehealth and receive unlimited access to telehealth courses for you and your staff.
Learn More

Trauma-Informed Care

The impact of trauma is far reaching and affects every aspect of health. By implementing a trauma-informed care approach, both staff and clients work together in a framework of wellness that produces improved outcomes. Review these resources to help transform your organizational culture and practice.
Learn More

Articles & Blogs

Additional Resources

Ensure Your Organization Is Prepared

Training plays a critical role in suicide prevention and treatment efforts. Relias can help organizations:

  • Build a culture committed to reducing suicide and continuous quality improvement
  • Train a staff capable of identifying risk factors, assessing suicide risk, and providing quality care
  • Promote the delivery of evidence-based care
  • Evaluate and monitor staff performance

Speak to a Relias representative to receive a personalized demonstration on how Relias tools and training can support your efforts to reduce suicide among the individuals you serve.

Request a Demo