Training Tompkins Clinicians in Suicide Prevention

The Sophie Fund is sponsoring scholarships for licensed therapists and social workers in Tompkins County to attend an online training in suicide prevention, “Understanding, Identifying, and Addressing Suicide Risk: A clinical primer for behavioral health providers.”

The Wellness Institute’s training summit will feature national experts in suicide prevention

The training is sponsored by The Wellness Institute and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and will feature presentations by national experts on suicide prevention in clinical practice. It will take place from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, March 9, 2022.

Licensed therapists and social workers working in Tompkins County can receive a registration link for a scholarship by emailing Applicants must provide their name, degree level, and place of employment (or name and address of practice, if self-employed). CE credits are available.

The training is designed to build and strengthen clinicians’ competence and confidence to provide caring evidence-based services to clients with suicide risk and those who have experienced suicide loss.

This event is part of The Sophie Fund’s series of trainings and presentations to support the NY Office of Mental Health’s renewed focus on implementing the Zero Suicide Model across New York State.

On November 16, The Sophie Fund hosted an expert briefing on the Zero Suicide Model for Tompkins County healthcare leaders presented by Jenna Heise, Director of Suicide Prevention Implementation at the NYS Office of Mental Health’s Suicide Prevention Center of New York; and faculty member, Zero Suicide Institute.

On March 24, Tammy Weppelman, Texas State Suicide Prevention Coordinator and team lead for the Suicide Prevention Team at the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, will provide a briefing for Tompkins County frontline healthcare managers on implementing Zero Suicide protocols.

Then on June 16, Virna Little, CEO of Concert Health and a leading expert on integrating primary care and behavioral health, will provide a briefing for primary care physicians and their teams on implementing Zero Suicide protocols in primary care practices

The Sophie Fund believes that preventing suicide is an urgent priority. Over the past five years, Tompkins County has averaged 12 suicide deaths per year. Another 1,600 parents, children, siblings, friends, and spouses may be impacted by the resulting psychological, spiritual, and/or financial loss. An estimated 300 people in our community may attempt suicide every year.

Suicide is the second leading cause of death among Americans aged 10-34. While rates for other causes of death have remained steady or declined, the U.S. suicide rate increased 35.2% from 1999 to 2018. And yet, we know there is help available and treatment works when done effectively.


Understanding, Identifying, and Addressing Suicide Risk: A clinical primer for behavioral health providers, March 9, 2022

“A Model for Understanding Suicidality,” David Klonsky, PhD, University of British Columbia

“Screening and Assessing for Suicide Risk,” Lisa Horowitz, PhD, MPH, National Institutes of Mental Health

“Engagement, Lethal Means Counseling, Treatment Planning and Documentation,” Jill Harkavy-Friedman, PhD, Columbia University, The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

“Safety Planning Intervention: A Brief Intervention for Reducing Suicide Risk,” Barbara Stanley, PhD, Columbia University, Center for Practice Innovation

“Dialectical Behavioral Therapy for Suicide Prevention (DBT-SP),” Kate Comtois, PhD, University of Washington, Center for Suicide Prevention and Recovery

“Attachment-Based Family Therapy for Suicide Prevention (ABFT-SP),” Guy Diamond, PhD, Drexel University, Center for Family Intervention Science

“Cognitive Therapy for Suicide Prevention (CT-SP),” Gregory Brown, PhD, Kelly Green, PhD, University of Pennsylvania, Center for the Prevention of Suicide

“Prolonged Grief Disorder Therapy for Suicide Loss,” Katherine Shear, PhD, Columbia University, Center for Prolonged Grief Disorder

Closing Remarks, Sigrid Pechenik, PsyD, The Wellness Institute, former director, New York State Suicide Prevention Center