Preliminary Effectiveness of an Online-Mediated Competency-Based Suicide Prevention Training Program.
- Resource Type
- ACADEMIC JOURNAL
- Professional Psychology: Research & Practice (PROF PSYCHOL RES PRACT), Dec2019; 50(6): 395-406. (12p)
There has been a proliferation of online suicide prevention training for mental health service providers. The present study evaluated the preliminary effectiveness of a web-mediated suicide prevention training program for an interdisciplinary set of mental health service providers. This pilot training project also advanced the literature by evaluating a suicide-related individual difference: the provider's need for affect (NFA). Participant NFA was evaluated as a moderator of training effectiveness. Predictors of intent to utilize training content were also identified. Mental health professionals (n = 43; 18.0% response rate; majority psychologists) completed the training program. The intervention consisted of a 12-module self-paced didactic and case study-based training. Training demonstrated meaningfully sized gains in suicide prevention knowledge, perceived skills/abilities, accuracy in suicide risk judgments, and reduction in negative feelings toward patients. NFA moderated several training gains. In general, participants willing to engage emotional content benefited more from training than affectively avoidant counterparts. Posttraining self-rated suicide prevention skills and confidence in training predicted intent to use training content. The training program requires further testing, but may offer a comprehensive, user-friendly CE training program for mental health service providers. NFA findings suggest potential to tailor future training, or to identify individual differences that may need to be accounted for in clinical training and supervision. Predictors of intent to use training content are consistent with theories of health promotion. Limitations are discussed. Mental health professionals, the majority of whom were psychologists, benefited from the self-paced online suicide prevention program. Findings are important because they support use of a highly accessible, evidence-informed approach to bolstering mental health professionals' abilities to work with persons experiencing suicidal ideation and behavior.