Identification, Prevention, and Treatment of Suicidal Behavior for Service Members and Veterans

Identification, Prevention, and Treatment of Suicidal Behavior for Service Members and Veterans 

In the United States, someone attempts suicide every 31 seconds and someone dies by suicide every 12.8 minutes. With data to suggest that only a third of military Veterans are enrolled in the VA system, the need for culturally considerate community providers trained in evidence-based practices for the assessment and treatment of suicidal behavior has never been greater. Based on content from the Center for Deployment Psychology, this training will provide you with information regarding the health significance of suicide with a focus on military and Veteran populations. Rates of suicide in military and civilian populations are provided, while military-specific risk and protective factors are discussed. A summary of empirically derived demographic and clinical variables that can be used in making evidence-based determinations about a person’s risk of suicide will be reviewed. In addition, components of empirically-based treatment protocols will specifically address suicidal behaviors. Finally, the challenges behavioral healthcare providers face when working with suicidal clients are reviewed with recommendations for provider-centric interventions to increase positive outcomes and better manage risk in practice. A blend of experiential exercises and case examples will give you the tools you need to more competently assess and address suicidality in military and Veteran populations. This course is intended for any behavioral health provider working with military or Veteran populations.


Hours: 2.25


Certificates provided by accrediting body (0 Match)

Course Details

Hours: 2.25
Type: Online Course
Content Expiration Date: 12/31/2020
Learning Objectives:
Identify risk and protective factors for suicide that are either specific to or more prevalent for the military than in the civilian population.
Discuss how the theories of suicide behavior apply specifically to the military population.
Demonstrate how evidence-based strategies can be used to more effectively assess risk and manage suicidal behavior in a clinical setting.

Section 1: Introduction A. About This Course B. Learning Objectives Section 2: Health Significance of Suicide A. Meet SSgt Banks B. Suicide in the General Population C. Suicide Rates by Ethnicity and Age Group D. Military Health Significance of Suicide E. DoD Suicide Rates by Service and Component F. Military Deployment and Suicidal Behavior G. Veteran Suicide Rates H. Review I. Section Summary Section 3: Suicide Risk & Protective Factors A. Warning Signs and Risk Factors and the General Population B. Risk Factors C. Military Protective Factors D. Characteristics of Military Suicides/Military Risk Factors E. Suicide Method F. Firearm Access and Availability G. Mental Health Diagnosis and Treatment History H. Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) I. Other Risk Factors J. Additional Research Findings on Risk Factors among Service Members and Veterans K. Meet SSgt Casper L. Section Summary Section 4: Psychological Theories of Suicide Risk A. Theories of Suicidal Behavior B. Interpersonal-Psychological Theory (IPT) of Suicidal Behavior C. Acquired Capability D. IPT and Implications for the Military E. Fluid Vulnerability Theory (FVT) F. Chronic Risk G. Acute Risk H. Remember the Protective Factors I. Putting Theory into Action J. Section Summary Section 5: Suicide Risk Assessment A. Classification of Suicidal and Related Behaviors B. Key Classification Points C. Risk Assessment D. Self-Report Measures of Suicide E. Assessing Suicide through Clinical Interviews F. Assessing Baseline and Acute Risk G. Meet SSG Rogers H. Section Summary Section 6: Suicide Interventions A. Therapeutic Relationship B. Crisis Intervention C. Means Restriction D. Psychotherapy E. Empirical Support for Cognitive Therapy (CT) for Suicidal Clients F. Cognitive Conceptualization of Suicide G. Overview of the CT Treatment Protocol: Early Sessions H. CT: Collaboratively Creating and Utilizing a Safety Plan I. Helping Clients Understand the Recent Suicide Crisis J. Overview of the CT Treatment Protocol: Middle Sessions K. Coping Cards L. Overview of the CT Treatment Protocol: Later Sessions M. Dialectical Behavior Therapy N. Goals of DBT O. Specifics of DBT P. Meet Amanda Q. Section Summary Section 7: For the Provider A. Challenges to Working with Suicidal Clients: What Providers Bring to the Equation B. Dysfunctional Therapist Cognitions about Suicidal Clients C. Impact of Dysfunctional Cognitions D. Professional Consultation E. Section Summary Section 8: Conclusion A. Summary B. Congratulations! C. Course Contributors D. Resources E. References

Instructor: Jenna Ermold, Ph.D.
Jenna Ermold, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist working as the Assistant Director of Online Programs for the Center for Deployment Psychology at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland. In this capacity, she oversees the development and dissemination of online training programs for behavioral health clinicians to improve competency in working with military members and their families. Additionally, she develops and presents workshops across the country to military and civilian audiences on topics in deployment behavioral health and evidence-based therapies for PTSD. She is a graduate of the Malcolm Grow (USAF) Medical Center Psychology Residency Program and served on active duty as a psychology in the United States Air Force from 2002 to 2006. Dr. Ermold graduated from Middlebury College with a degree in psychology and English and received her doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Vermont. She specializes in health psychology, behavioral health integration into primary care, women's reproductive behavioral health, post-traumatic stress disorder, and military psychology.  Disclosure: Jenna Ermold, Ph.D. has declared that no conflict of interest, Relevant Financial Relationship or Relevant Non-Financial Relationship exists.
Instructor: Michelle Cornette, Ph.D.
Michelle Cornette, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist working as the Suicide Prevention Subject Matter Expert at the Center for Deployment Psychology (CDP), Department of Medical and Clinical Psychology, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, MD. In this capacity, she is developing a suicide prevention evidence-based psychotherapy workshop for military mental health providers as part of the CDP's Evidence-Based Psychotherapy Program, and she is the Faculty POC for the one-week civilian training course. From 2003 to 2011, Dr. Cornette worked at the Zablocki VA Medical Center, where she was Suicide Prevention Team Leader, Mental Health Division Research Lead, and Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN) 12 Suicide Prevention Director. In the latter capacity, she was responsible for overseeing suicide prevention activities at the seven VA facilities in VISN 12. She also chaired Zablocki's hospital-wide suicide prevention committee. She holds adjunct faculty appointments in the Departments of Psychology and Nursing at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Dr. Cornette earned her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, completed her post-doc in the Department of Clinical and Health Psychology, University of Florida, and completed her internship at the DVA/Medical University of South Carolina Psychology Internship Consortium. Disclosure: Michelle Cornette, Ph.D. has declared that no conflict of interest, Relevant Financial Relationship or Relevant Non-Financial Relationship exists.
Instructor: Regina Shillinglaw, Ph.D.
Regina Shillinglaw, Ph.D. is a Deployment Behavioral Health Psychologist with the Center for Deployment Psychology and works as the Assistant Training Director in the pre-doctoral Clinical Psychology Internship Program at Wright Patterson Air Force Base (WPAFB) in Ohio. Dr. Shillinglaw trains psychology, psychiatry, and social work residents at WPAFB on deployment-related mental health issues. In addition, she treats patients and supervises residents in the mental health clinic. Dr. Shillinglaw is a consultant at WPAFB and in the local area for military mental health issues. She also provides training to other mental health professionals on deployment-related topics such as military culture, families and deployment, and PTSD in various locations as needed for the Center for Deployment Psychology. Dr. Shillinglaw received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of South Carolina in 1998. Between 1997 and 2001, she served on active duty in the United States Air Force. During this time, she completed an internship at Wright Patterson Medical Center from 1997 to 1998 and then was stationed at Robins Air Force Base for three years as the Chief of Psychological Services. Dr. Shillinglaw’s areas of interest include military psychology, PTSD, and the treatment of suicidal behavior. Disclosure: Regina Shillinglaw, Ph.D. has declared that no conflict of interest, Relevant Financial Relationship or Relevant Non-Financial Relationship exists.
Instructor: Marjan G. Holloway, Ph.D.
Dr. Holloway is an Associate Professor of Medical and Clinical Psychology and Psychiatry at Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS) and a faculty member of the Beck Institute for Cognitive Behavior Therapy in Philadelphia. She completed her postdoctoral training at the Center for the Treatment and Prevention of Suicide and the Center for Cognitive Therapy at the University of Pennsylvania under the mentorship of Dr. Aaron T. Beck. Currently, Dr. Holloway is the Chair of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Task Group on military suicide. She has previously served as a member of the Defense Health Board Task Force on the Prevention of Suicide by Members of the Armed Forces and has been a contributor to the Center for Deployment Psychology’s curriculum on military suicide prevention over the past six years. Dr. Holloway’s Laboratory for the Treatment of Suicide-Related Ideation and Behavior at USUHS, with generous funding from various DoD and private sponsors, focuses on military suicide prevention research and development of evidence-based suicide prevention practices. Most recently, Dr. Holloway and her team have developed a revised clinical guide for the United States Air Force on suicide risk assessment, management, and treatment. Disclosure: Marjan G. Holloway, Ph.D. has declared that no conflict of interest, Relevant Financial Relationship or Relevant Non-Financial Relationship exists.
Instructor: Lisa French, Psy.D.
Lisa French, Psy.D., is a clinical psychologist who has been with the CDP since 2011, initially working as a Deployment Behavioral Health Psychologist at Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center and now serving as a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Trainer. Dr. French graduated from Oregon State University where she majored in Psychology and earned her Master’s and Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon. She graduated from the Wright-Patterson (USAF) Medical Center Psychology Residency Program in 2003 and served on Active Duty as a psychologist in the United States Air Force from 2002-2011. Dr. French deployed in 2006 to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. As a military spouse, Dr. French continues to experience military life daily and has firsthand understanding of the demands of military service on the family. Her professional interests include military psychology, the assessment and treatment of PTSD and depression, exercise psychology, and suicide prevention/treatment. Disclosure: Lisa French, Psy.D. has declared that no conflict of interest, Relevant Financial Relationship or Relevant Non-Financial Relationship exists.
Target Audience:
The target audience for this course is: Beginner, Intermediate level Social Workers; Entry, Intermediate level Alcohol and Drug Counselors; Entry, Intermediate level Professional Counselors; Entry, Intermediate level Psychologists; in the following settings: Health and Human Services.
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Asynchronous/Online Distance Learning; please see certificate details for specifics on delivery format.
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