Suicidality Assessment and Documentation for Healthcare Providers
Distinguished University Health Professor Emeritus
University of South Florida College of Medicine
Tampa. Florida, USA 33613
Distinguished Life Fellow, American Psychiatric Association
Co-Founder and Co-Director of Harm Research Institute
Co-Founder and Co-Director of Tampa Center for Research on Suicidality, Tampa, Florida, USA
Educational Learning Objectives:
At the conclusion of this session the attendee will be able to:
1. Conduct and properly document a thorough suicidality assessment.
2. Identify the different suicidality disorder phenotypes and identify the treatment most likely to be helpful for each phenotype.
3. Properly monitor suicidality during the course of pharmacological and other treatments for psychiatric disorders and understand the limitations of and problems associated with suicide prediction.
Course Content Summary / Brief Abstract:
Suicide is the 15th leading cause of death worldwide and a leading cause of malpractice actions in psychiatry. Clinicians become alarmed when patients discuss suicidality.
The product information on most psychiatric drugs advises clinicians to assess and monitor their patients for suicidality before starting and throughout the course of treatment. The expectations on how to properly conduct and document suicidality assessments increased significantly following the inclusion of boxed warnings on suicidality for most psychiatric medications. Healthcare providers need guidance on how to do this in a time efficient manner. Skillful assessment protects their patients, and the documentation protects the healthcare provider.
This course operationalizes how to properly assess and document suicidality:
1. Use a suicidality tracking scale to assess suicidality
2. If needed, use a suicide plan tracking scale to document suicidal planning
3. Use the structured diagnostic interview to classify patient’s suicidality symptoms into the 12 suicidality disorder phenotypes
4. Decide a course of treatment based on suicidality disorder phenotype
5. Document and summarize the findings from the above in the medical record for medico-legal protection
6. Use the suicidality tracking scales to monitor response to treatment
The faculty will involve the audience interactively at frequent intervals throughout the course through liberal use of questions and answer discussions, small group discussions, and instructional simulation games. The faculty will provide all course participants with templates and practical assessment tools that are useful in clinical practice settings.
1. Sheehan, DV and Giddens, JM. 2016. Suicidality Assessment and Documentation for Healthcare Providers: A Brief, Practical Guide. Available from: http://www.HarmResearch.org
2. Koslow, S. H., Ruiz, P., & Nemeroff, C. B. (Eds.). (2014). A Concise Guide to Understanding Suicide: Epidemiology, Pathophysiology and Prevention. Cambridge University Press.
3. Shea, S. (1999). The practical art of suicide assessment.
4. Sheehan, DV and Giddens, JM. Suicidality Disorders Criteria. In: Sheehan, DV and Giddens, JM. 2015. Suicidality: A Roadmap for Assessment and Treatment. p. 82-126. Available from: http://www.HarmResearch.org
Teaching Methods Used
1. Audience questions and interaction
2. Use of patient video
3. Small group discussions
4. Instructional games
1. Take home templates and practical assessment tools that are useful in clinical practice settings
2. This course provides practical assessment tools and templates for time-efficient assessment and documentation of suicidality in the form of a recently published eBook on by the course faculty, that will be provided to all course participants.
David V. Sheehan is the author, copyright and patent holder of scales, structured interviews, phenomena definitions, classifications, and books on suicidality; a non-linear model and candidate drug treatments for suicidality; and a hypothesis for the mechanism of action of some anti-suicidality medications. David is co-founder of Harm Research Institute and Harm Research Press. David V. Sheehan does not own stock in any pharmaceutical company or supplier of magnesium.
Jennifer M. Giddens is the author and copyright holder of scales, phenomena definitions, classifications, and books on suicidality; a non-linear model and a candidate drug treatment for suicidality; and a hypothesis for the mechanism of action of some anti-suicidality medications. Jennifer is co-founder of Harm Research Institute and Harm Research Press. Jennifer M. Giddens does not own stock in any pharmaceutical company or supplier of magnesium.
The following is an example agenda from the 4-hour time format:
0:00 – 1:15 – Session 1:
2. Myths & Prediction of Suicide Risk
3. Medico – Legal Considerations
4. Group Exercise – Recognition of Phenotypes
5. Phenotypes of Suicidality Disorders
6. Discussion / Question & Answers
1:15 – 1:30 – Break
1:30 – 3:00 – Session 2:
1. Tips for Interviewing Suicidal Patients
2. Putting Suicidality Assessment into Practice / Operational Implementation
3. Suicidality Assessment Scales
4. In-depth Training on S-STS with Examples, Scoring, and Interpretation
5. When and How to Use Other Scales:
A. Pediatric versions of the S-STS
B. S-STS CMCM
6. Discussion / Question & Answers
3:00 – 3:15 – Break
3:15 – 4:00 – Session 3:
1. Group Exercise – Treatment of Phenotypes
2. Brief Overview of Medications Used for Suicidality
3. Documentation of Suicidality Assessment for the Medical Record
A. Psychiatric History
B. DSM-5 Disorder Assessment and Documentation Using the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI) (Including MINI for Suicidality Disorders Studies)
C. Progress Note
D. Visit Face Sheet
4. Discussion / Question & Answers
This workshop can be customized to fit the following time formats:
The following anonymous feedback were provided from workshop participants:
“Presenters were excellent and the interactions with the audience, using the phenotype “page” was innovative and compelling.“
“David Sheehan was an excellent speaker and knowledgeable and engaging, personable presenter. [… The] exercise of matching the types of suicide to brief clinical vignettes on a plasticized sheet for every three participants was masterful and enhnaced our learning.“
“This was for me a very important course, learned much new stuff, should be attended by every psychiatrist.“
“Enjoyed physician and patient/consumer participation.“
“One of the most stimulating lectures I have [attended].“
This workshop has been presented at:
American Psychiatric Association’s Annual Meeting on May 22nd, 2017 in San Diego, California, USA
Nevada Suicide Prevention Conference on October 12th, 2017 in Reno, Nevada, USA
If you are interested in having us teach this workshop for your group, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org