This registered Best Practice interactive course is for professionals responsible for the care and safety of consumers at elevated risk for suicidal behaviors in all settings and across the age span. The following text is from the official description of the QPRT training program from the SPRC/AFSP Best Practice (BPR)Registry for Suicide Prevention available at: http://www2.sprc.org/sites/sprc.org/files/QPRT.pdf
BPR Registry Description
The QPRT Suicide Risk Assessment and Management Training Program is an 8-10 hour course (depending on practice sessions competed) for health professionals that is designed to reduce mental health consumer morbidity and mortality by standardizing the detection, assessment, and management of patients at elevated risk for self-directed violence in all settings and across the age span. Training is conducted online or face-to-face by a qualified QPRT instructor.
The QPRT suicide risk assessment protocols are guided clinical interviews developed through expert opinion and anchored in the scientific literature on suicide risk assessment. Protocol questions produce a standardized suicide risk assessment that includes documentation of risk and protective factors, current suicidal ideation, desire, intent, planning, past attempts and other self-report of suicide capability. Third-party input to the final risk assessment is encouraged, and the pediatric version of the program includes a family-centric interview protocol.A collaborative crisis management, monitoring, and safety plan (based on data gathered from the QPRT protocol by a trained practitioner) is integrated into the medical record and treatment and/or referral plan.
"The QPRT Suicide Risk Assessment and Management Training Program was developed by a multidisciplinary team of psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses, and mental health therapists at Spokane Mental Health, Spokane, Washington, in response to fatality review reports indicating that a lack of standardized suicide risk assessment may have contributed to preventable patient deaths. Beta testing of expert opinion protocol questions were solicited from members of the American Association of Suicidology and vetted by external records review.
Major Learning Objectives
At the end of the training, QPRT participants will have increased:
Competence and confidence in the assessment and management of those at risk for suicide.
Ability to document suicide risk assessment and clinical decisions.
Skills to conduct a suicide risk assessment.
Ability to carry out a standardized suicide risk assessment
Ability to establish a collaborative patient safety and shared risk management plan
Please refer to the official registry for the full PDF
This course includes 1 hour of content focused on preventing veteran suicide.
National surveys have found that very few practicing clinicians use formal suicide-specific assessment methods or psychological tests to assess suicide risk, but do rely on the clinical interview. The QPRT model was developed by clinicians for clinicians to fill this need for a brief, structured risk assessment clinical interview. QPRT has been successfully employed with more than 400,000 patients of all ages in all settings over the past ten years.
Our overarching goal with this training is patient safety.
While expert opinion may differ as to what helper competencies are required to assist suicidal consumers of healthcare services, little controversy exists about the lack of specific training needed to improve on patient safety. The competencies taught in this course directly address how to a) detect suicide risk, b) assess immediate risk for suicidal behaviors and c) provide helpful crisis mitigation services to suicidal consumers of your services. Specific treatments known to be effective in reducing the risk for suicidal behaviors are only mentioned and not specifically taught in this course.
Clear documentation of your suicide risk assessments will greatly reduce your exposure to claims of suicide malpractice. The Institute offers a specific, 3-lecture and text course in this series entitled, "Ethics and Suicide" which qualifies for ethics training where required.
What this training program is not
This training is not a substitute for an advanced degree in the helping professions, nor can it provide the face-to-face supervised experience professionals may need to successfully demonstrate the skills taught in this course.
Participants must be at least 18 years of age
If employed by, or volunteering for, an organization, participants agree to accept all expectations and employment rules of their parent organization. The QPR Institute does not vet or otherwise qualify students for this course.
Due to rapid developments in the delivery of clinical services in non-traditional settings, this course is designed for those who work face-to-face as well as those who may be delivering behavioral health services online, by telephone, or SKYPE. Thus, practice challenges, terminology, and interactive examples cover all channels of communication. Also, given the rapid adoption of electronic medical records, the QPRT interview protocol (for inclusion in medical records) is available in flexible electronic and hard-copy formats.
Competencies taught in this course are based on emerging recommendations and descriptions of the knowledge and skills required for working with suicidal people as described by the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, the American Psychological Association competency movement, and as adapted from the Substance abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Substance Abuse Treatment’s Addiction Counseling Competencies: The Knowledge, Skills, and Attitudes of Professional Practice, Technical Assistance Publication series #21 and #50.
This training program includes knowledge-based competencies (knowledge of) and application-based competencies (able to), following the "cube model" of the professional psychology competency development movement, and in which both "foundational" and "functional" competencies are addressed (Rodolfa, et al., 2005).
Participants earning a certificate should will have knowledge of and be able to:
Explain suicide as a major global public health problem
Describe the US National Strategy for Suicide Prevention and the scope of the problem of suicide in America. (If from another country, describe national and regional suicide prevention efforts)
Describe the relationship of mental illness, by diagnosis, to suicide risk
Critique the current challenges in suicide risk assessment
Recite clinically relevant, evidence-based risk and protective factors for suicidal behavior
Explain the current limitations in suicide risk assessment
Recite three reasons why suicide risk often goes undetected
Describe at least five risk factors for suicide
Describe at least five protective factors for suicide
Demonstrate use the 7 QPRT protocol stem questions and the reasons each
Employ a guided suicide risk assessment interview protocol to elicit risk and protective factor information
Conduct and document a comprehensive suicide risk assessment interview using the QPRT interview protocol
Describe when and why reassessment of suicide risk is indicated
Apply common terms about suicidal behavior and communicate effectively with other clinicians about suicidal patients
Pass a nationally standardized exam on suicide risk assessment and management
Participants earning a certificate should be able to:
Describe/discuss personal comfort with suicide
Establish rapport, engagement strategies, and apply initial probes for suicidality
Demonstrate how to gather data related to suicidal ideation and history from the patient and other available collateral sources, using key stem questions sensitive to age, developmental level, culture, and gender
Assess current and historic suicidal ideations, plans and attempts
Explain how to collect and integrate health, mental health and substance related treatment history, mental status examination, and current social, environmental, and/or economic constraints into a treatment plan for a suicidal consumer
Probe for, discuss, and see to the removal of any means of suicide under consideration by a suicidal patient
Assess the patient’s readiness for acceptance of a safety plan and/or treatment as well as the needs of others involved in the current situation
Demonstrate and document a collaborative patient safety and shared risk management plan in a concise and competent manner
Prepare and formulate a risk stratification decision to guide "next steps" toward enhanced patient safety, crisis mitigation and/or treatment disposition
Describe an appropriate level of monitoring in an inpatient or residential setting, e.g., line of sight vs. routine monitoring
Write a clear, detailed, collaborative, documented safety plan and take specific steps to initiate an appropriate admission or referral and ensure follow-through
Prepare a collaborative plan with the patient and others to gather and interpret information necessary for treatment and evaluating patient progress
Explain how to integrate the suicide risk assessment into a treatment plan, set up reassessment windows, and review schedules and document model risk monitoring and management plan (QPRT only, inpatient/residential option available in training modules and documentation systems)
State that I had the opportunity to practice the QPRT assessment interview during the workshop, or as directed in the online course using the downloadable role-play and instructions
Competencies taught in QPR Institute courses are based upon recommendations from the US Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics and follow recommendations found in "Defining and Assessing Learning: Exploring Competency-Based Initiatives," NCES 2002-159R, prepared by Elizabeth A. Jones and Richard A. Voorhees, with Karen Paulson, for the Council of the National Postsecondary Education Cooperative Working Group on Competency-Based Initiatives. Washington, DC: 2002.
Practice Definition Reference: Quinnett, P. (2010). Suicide risk assessment competency certification examination. Retrieved from: http://www.qprinstitute.com/Joomla Competency Movement: Rodolfa, E., Bent, R., Eisman, E., Nelson, P., Rehm, L. Ritchie, P.(2005). A cube model for competency development: Implications for psychology educators and regulators. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 36, 347‐354.
The following course description may be copied and embedded in digital or print media to market this training program within one’s organization or externally:
"This Registered Best Practice training program teaches the core competencies required of professionals responsible for the care and safety of consumers detected to be at elevated risk for suicidal self-directed violence. Following foundational lectures on epidemiology, clinical risk patterns, and the current status of suicide risk assessment, clinicians learn how to conduct a standardized, evidence-based, seven-step interview designed to elicit perceived burdensomeness, suicidal desire, intent, capability and buffers against suicide. .
Data collected is then contextualized within the consumer’s current personal crisis to better understand, anticipate, and implement risk mitigation strategies, including evidence-based treatments. Based on the quality of the relationship, the difficulty of the interview, and the reliability of the data collected, participants learn to make informed risk stratification decisions to determine level of care recommended or required. Training includes modules on means restriction counseling, collaborative crisis safety planning, managing/monitoring risk over time, documentation, and a skills practice session."
International students please note
Suicide rates for QPR courses are US-specific. To determine suicide rates in your country, please visit the World Health Organization at http://www.who.int/mental_health/prevention/suicide_rates/en/ .
As you will see, many of these reports are quite dated. If your country keeps such data but does not necessarily report to WHO, try Googling federal, state, or province name and "suicide rate." If you are teaching suicide prevention courses you will need this data; the more local the data the better. But remember that suicide rates need 5 to 10 year horizons to be of much value as to interpreting any changes in trend lines.
To the question, "What was most beneficial and unique about this training?" here are comments from some of those who have completed the course:
"Can do it in spare time, in modules to take your time."
"The overall assessment plan and the strong rationale behind it. I particularly liked the short mini lectures."
"I finally learned an evidenced-based suicide risk assessment and how to conduct a safety plan! Amazing... it has only taken 18 years of education to find it."
"I liked that things were reinforced multiple times, that practical assessment and intervention techniques were provided that were backed up by statistics in the foundation segment."
"This training has been extremely helpful. I only wish I could have received the training sooner! I've already recommended it to others!"
"Expertise of presenter."
"Lectures were quite useful."
"Its usefulness, research grounded, reality focus and examples, and it was relevant to my position. The use of real cases examples throughout as well as the video presentation intermittently added much value. Also the videos broke up the required reading."
"The risk factors section and the 7 questions."
"The step-by-step process is easy to remember and follow."
"Practical tools such as specific questions and forms to use in clinical practice."
"General info (stats), the QPRT assessment and the examples of probing, the statistic regarding LGBT youth, self-reflection components."
"Info I can use in my job."
"The sample scripts and the practice activities."
"The QPRT format itself is unique. Providing a more structured guide to interviewing is extremely beneficial."
"Well put together."
"Having more background into the kinds of people who consider suicide and the best way in which to interact with them to be successful in stopping them from completing a suicidal act."
"Have a set approach that is standardized and used by many clinicians when working with suicidal patients."
"Sample interview and safety plan ideas."
"Videos, exercises, & sample materials. Not just listing risk and protective factors, but explaining in more detail, why these are risk factors (e.g., being gay, per se, isn't a risk factor but this population experiences more events that put them at risk)."
"A comprehensive and useful presentation."
The Training Program
Modularized in a rich mix of text, video, voice-over PowerPoint™ lectures, interactive practice sessions, and other state-of-the-art e-learning technologies, this course is self-paced to suit the learner's schedule. The option of expert instructor time for consultation may be purchased at the time of registration. Role-play and practice sessions are downloadable and strongly recommended.
To earn the QPRT Suicide Risk Assessment and Management Certificate of Course Completion, the learner must complete all modules and pass all quizzes.
The final exam is a national 25-item test validated on thousands of licensed mental health professionals. There are 36 items in the exam, with items rotated at random intervals to produce the 25 on which you will be tested.
After taking this course, and if you are interested, the QPR Institute trains and licenses qualified instructors to teach this course in a classroom setting. Time required is roughly 40 hours of advanced self-directed training. Licensed trainers may issue certificates to those they train, earn fees, and may be invited to join our training faculty.
Individual certificate pricing:
Certificate of Course Completion (7 hours)
Large employers may be interested in our Suicide Risk Reduction Program institutional unlimited use package pricing. Please inquire or see our we pages.
Thank you for helping to prevent suicide.
Continuing Education Credit
Our courses should qualify for continuing education for most professions.
Counselors: The QPR Institute is an NBCC-Approved Continuing Education Provider (ACEP) and may offer NBCC-approved clock hours for events that meet NBCC requirements. The ACEP solely is
responsible for all aspects of the program.
Nurses: Varies with state or organizational membership.
Physicians: Application for CME pending.
Note: Since many professions have their own continuing education credentialing and certification processes, please submit the course description and required hours to complete to your own accrediting body for approval. Or, we are happy to provide reviewer access to any of these courses to make their own determinations.
Reviewer Access and for questions about CEs: Please contact Brian Quinnett, National Training Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org for complimentary review access.