Assessing and Managing Suicide Risk for Direct Care Staff Working in Outpatient Health and Behavioral Healthcare Settings
Over 47,000 people died by suicide in the U.S. each year. Outpatient mental health professionals play a critical role in the identification, assessment, and long-term management of suicide risk among their clients.
The AMSR for Direct Care Staff Working in Outpatient Settings curriculum develops skills in the recognition, assessment, and management of suicide risk and the delivery of effective suicide-specific interventions.
“Educating the mental health workforce to assess and respond to suicide risk is essential to the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention, and to efforts such as the Zero Suicide initiative for providing ‘suicide safer’ care systems.”
Assessing and Managing Suicide Risk
Assessing and Managing Suicide Risk (AMSR) teaches best practices recommended by the nation's leading experts in the research and delivery of suicide care.
We offer two AMSR workshops and one course based on the AMSR-Direct Care Outpatient curriculum. These trainings are for direct care professionals who work in outpatient treatment settings including mental health technicians, LPNs, teachers, and recreation and expressive therapists. Training in how to deliver AMSR-Direct Care Outpatient training is included in the AMSR-Outpatient Training of Trainers.
Suicide and People Receiving Mental Health Care
Suicidal behavior is a major cause of death and disability in the United States. Each year, over 45,000 people die by suicide  and hundreds of thousands are seen in hospital emergency departments for suicide attempts . A significant proportion of people who died by suicide had recent contact with a mental health professional.  However, many providers—psychologists, social workers, and other mental health counselors—are inadequately trained to assess, treat, and manage suicide risk in their clients. 
Assessing and Managing Suicide Risk (AMSR) fills that training gap by teaching the core competencies that meet suicide care standards established by national organizations including The Joint Commission, the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the Veterans Administration, and others.
Outpatient direct care professionals can help identify and support clients with suicide risk by using the suicide risk identification, assessment, and management competencies taught in the AMSR-Direct Care Outpatient training.
AMSR-Direct Care Outpatient Training
AMSR-Direct Care Outpatient training provides participants with the knowledge and skills they need to address suicide risk and behaviors in outpatient setting clients. Participants will have the opportunity to increase their knowledge and apply practical skills in the five areas of AMSR competency.
AMSR-Direct Care Outpatient training follows national guidelines for caring for people with suicide risk.
- National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention Recommended Standard Care for People with Suicide Risk: Making Healthcare Suicide Safe
- VA/DoD Clinical Practice Guidelines Assessment and Management of Patients at Risk for Suicide
- The Joint Commission recommendations for compliance with NPSG 15.01.01 and Suicide Risk Recommendations from the Suicide Risk Reduction Expert Panel Suicide Prevention Portal
- National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention Suicide Prevention and the Clinical Workforce: Guidelines for Training
 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2019). 2017, United States Suicide Injury Deaths and Rates per 100,000. WISQARS. National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, NCHS Vital Statistics System for numbers of deaths. Bureau of Census for population estimates. https://www.cdc.gov/injury/wisqars/fatal.html
 Rui P, Kang K, Ashman JJ. (2016). National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey: 2016 emergency department summary tables. Table 16. Emergency department visits related to injury, poisoning, and adverse effect, by intent: United States, 2016. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/ahcd/nhamcs_emergency/2016_ed_web_tables.pdf https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhamcs/web_tables/2016_ed_web_tables.pdf
 Ahmedani, B. K., Simon, G. E., Stewart, C., Beck, A., Waitzfelder, B. E., Rossom, R., … Solberg, L. I. (2014). Health care contacts in the year before suicide death. Journal of general internal medicine, 29(6), 870–877. doi:10.1007/s11606-014-2767-3
 Schmitz, W. M., Jr, Allen, M. H., Feldman, B. N., Gutin, N. J., Jahn, D. R., Kleespies, P. M., . . . Simpson, S. (2012). Preventing suicide through improved training in suicide risk assessment and care: An American Association of Suicidology Task Force report addressing serious gaps in U.S. mental health training. Suicide and Life Threatening Behavior, 42(3), 292–304.
AMSR Direct Care Inpatient
This training is complemented by the 3.5-hour version of AMSR for Direct Care Staff in Outpatient Settings, which helps treatment teams of clinicians and direct care staff speak the same risk assessment and management language to provide consistent, effective care organization-wide.