Enhanced "Train and Hope" for Scalable, Cost-Effective Professional Development in Youth Suicide Prevention

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Abstract

Abstract.Background: The knowledge base surrounding how to most effectively prepare and sustain practitioner knowledge and skills for suicide risk assessment and management is limited. Aims: This study examined the impact of a 6-hr continuing education training, and the effect of a posttraining reminder system, on mental health practitioners' knowledge, attitudes, and behavior surrounding suicide assessment and intervention. Method: Data were obtained prior to the training, immediately after the training, and at the 3-month follow-up. Medical record data were abstracted for a subsample of practitioners. Participants were randomly assigned to an e-mail reminder condition or no reminder condition that provided information related to the training. Results: All practitioners demonstrated increase s in suicide assessment knowledge and attitudes for engaging in suicide risk assessments from pre- to posttest, and gains were maintained at the 3-month follow-up. There was no effect of the e-mail reminder on practitioner knowledge, attitudes, or behaviors compared with the condition without the e-mail reminder. The use of e-mail reminders was not associated with any additional changes. Limitations: Limitations include predominantly self-report and small sample. Conclusion: Strategies to effectively change practitioner knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors toward suicidal clients may include continuing education. Efficient and effective designs of reminder systems for augmenting and supporting suicide assessment management training are needed.

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