QPR Suicide Prevention Training Courses

Ethics and Suicide: Do the Right Thing and the Right Time and Avoid Suicide Malpractice Every Time.

Course Overview

Many states require ethics training to maintain a license to practice in the health professions, and as part of license renewal. This unique training program qualifies to meet those requirements.

All practitioners are ethically required to not practice outside of their areas of competence. And yet, without specific, advanced training in suicide risk assessment, treatment, and management, practitioners routinely serve suicidal consumers.

To enhance patient safety and address issues of ethical practice, this video lecture series, case-study, and interactive course teaches behavioral healthcare providers how to identify and correct potential practice errors and how specifically mitigate the risk of a lawsuit even being filed.

This course is recommended to be taken as part of the QPRT Suicide Risk Assessment and Risk Management Training Program - a registered best practice.


As this training program is only a primer in addressing both ethical practice as it relates to suicide, and suicide malpractice, the learner is referred to his or her own attorney for additional consultation and reference for further study. Also, answers to specific questions regarding agency risk management policy and procedures should be directed to in-house legal counsel.

Finally, as part of a special conference on suicide prevention, portions of this training program were delivered as a lecture to the Departments of Psychology and Medicine at Howard University in Washington, D.C., USA.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course you will be able to:

• Describe the foundations of ethical practice as it relates to working with suicidal patients

• Describe the five elements of ethical competence

• Describe the unique challenges of ethical practice in the online counseling environment

• Be familiar with developing practice standards and emerging laws requiring training in suicide prevention knowledge and skill

• Describe the four requirements necessary for a claim of suicide malpractice to go forward

• Name three common practitioner errors that may lead to claims of suicide malpractice

• Describe the worst defense against claims of suicide malpractice

• Describe the best defense against claims of suicide malpractice

• State the likely ‘nature’ of the claim based upon where the suicide occurred

• Name the two most important defenses against claims of suicide malpractice

About the course authors

Paul Quinnett, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist and President and CEO of the QPR Institute, Inc. In addition to being the Chair of the Ethics Committee for the American Association of Suicidology, he has taught portions course in classroom settings for more than 25 years.

Skip Simpson is a practicing attorney and perhaps America's leading suicide malpractice lawyer. He teaches the principles of suicide risk assessment and how professionals can avoid even the accusation of suicide malpractice in some of America's leading universities and medical schools. Mr. Simpson's web site is @ www.skipsimpson.com and contains a great deal of useful, free information. Mr. Simpson contributed overview, comments, and legal insights to this training program.