Working Well with the Suicidal Patient: Research-Informed Approaches to Ethical Suicide Assessment and Management

Friday, October 27th
8:30am – 5:00pm
Sign in and continental breakfast begins at 8am

Andrew White, PhD

McMenamins Kennedy School
5736 NE 33rd Ave, Portland, Or 97211

This 6 CEU course fulfills ethics requirements for license renewal of Psychologists, LCSWs, and LPCs

Groups of 5 or More

If  you are interested in this training on a date not offered, we can schedule most trainings at our site or yours, to meet your group’s needs.


Suicide remains a significant public health problem. Within the United States alone, over 40,000 people take their life by suicide annually, approximately one person every 13 minutes. Another half a million people are treated in Emergency Departments for suicide attempts in the U.S. on yearly basis. Family members and others also experience a profound suffering and often stigma as they wrestle with the fact that their loved one took their own life.

Despite the prevalence of the problem, many clinicians describe feeling ill-prepared to assess, manage, and treat suicidal patients; many worry about making a wrong decision and corresponding ethical dilemmas when working with a suicidal patient.. Given the scope of the problem and the life or death consequences involved in the decision making process, many states have now mandated training in suicide assessment and management for licensed health professionals.

This one day workshop is designed for mental health providers and other healthcare professionals who provide direct-care services and, as a result, will be required to assess and manage a suicide crisis at some point during their professional career.

Topics covered will include:

  • General guidelines when treating suicidal patients.
  • Ethical principles applied when treating suicidal patients.
  • Special considerations and risk factors of various cultures.
  • Special considerations when working with veteran populations.
  • Short-term and long-term direct and indirect indices of imminent suicide risk.
  • Developing a conceptual framework for suicidal behaviors and treatment planning.
  • Evidence-based procedures for suicide risk assessment and management.
  • Evidence-based procedures for assessing and managing non-suicidal self-injurious behaviors.
  • Imminent risk crisis strategies to reduce suicide risk.
  • When and for whom is hospitalization for suicidal patients helpful?
  • Best-practice documentation strategies to reduce suicide risk and manage liability risk.
  • Mood improvement protocol.
  • Postvention considerations and approaches following a completed suicide.


Following completion of this one-day training, participants will be able to:

  • Summarize general guidelines to keep in mind when treating a suicidal patient.
  • Summarize special considerations and risk factors for various cultures.
  • Describe special considerations when working with veterans.
  • Describe short-term and long-term direct and indirect factors associated with imminent risk of suicide.
  • List protective factors and warning signs associated with suicide risk.
  • Develop a conceptual framework for suicidal behaviors and treatment planning.
  • Describe evidence-based procedures for suicide risk assessment and management.
  • Describe evidence-based procedures for non-suicidal self-injurious behaviors risk assessment and management.
  • Describe imminent risk crisis strategies to reduce suicide risk.
  • Summarize the data to date with respect to benefits, hazards, and alternatives to hospitalization for suicidal patients.
  • Describe best-practice documentation strategies to reduce suicide risk and manage liability risk.
  • Explain how and when to apply mood induction principles with suicidal patients.
  • Explain Postvention considerations and approaches following a completed suicide.


This course is designed for mental health professionals who will be required to assess and manage a suicidal crisis at some point in their career and who are interested in learning strategies to manage risk and provide ethical evidence based care for individuals experiencing suicidal crisis.


There are no perquisites or requirements for this course other than a desire to learn.


Participants who complete the full training day will earn 6 continuing education credits.

Portland DBT Institute is an NBCC-Approved Continuing Education Provider (ACEP) and may offer NBCC-approved clock hours for events that meet NCBB requirements. The ACEP solely is responsible for all aspects of the program


Individual Registration Fee
Group Registration Fee for 5 or more
Student Registration Fee

Early Registration Discount:
For those registering 30 or more days in advance a $25 per person discount will be given.


  • Cancellations and Refunds – A $60.00 handling fee will be deducted upon cancellation. Refund requests by fax or email must be received two weeks before the start date. In addition, the fees are non-transferrable.
  • Course Cancelation – PDBTI reserves the right to cancel any program due to under-enrollment, or any course due to work stoppages, instructor illness or inclement weather. If a course is cancelled, PDBTI is responsible for refunding only the course fee.


The River’s Edge offers the guests of Portland DBT Institute a 10% discount off of the best rate of the day for both the Hillside and Riverside King guestrooms.

When booking reservations, please ask for HEALTH rate plan. This rate is subject to availability at time of booking. Should the Premier Rate Plan not be available, the best available house rate will prevail.

As well as being a short riverside walk from the offices of Portland DBT Institute, travelers staying at the River’s Edge will enjoy the following amenities and services.

  • Well-appointed guest room accommodation in either the Hillside King (343 sq. ft.) or Riverside King Guestrooms (390 sq.) Hillside guestrooms have windows which open,Riverside, a walk out patio facing the river. Both light and airy.
  • Guestrooms with complimentary wireless internet service, a well – lit work area, 50” flat screen television, in-room coffee, safe and large marble surfaced bathroom vanities.
  • 24 hour access to the fitness center, Jacuzzi, sauna and steam room.
  • Complimentary use of the business center.
  • The in-house spa which offers a wide range of treatments. Please visit our website for a complete list of treatments and pricing.
  • The Aquariva restaurant adjacent to the hotel services, breakfast, lunch, happy hour, dinner and brunch.

Information on Trimet bus, lightrail, and street car transportation can be found at