Associations of Suicide Prevention Trainings with Practices and Confidence among Clinicians at Community Mental Health Centers

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Abstract

Objective

This study examined whether (1) behavioral health providers were more likely to implement best practices when they were more confident in their abilities, (2) number of suicide prevention trainings was positively associated with perceived confidence in abilities and implementation of evidence-based practices, and (3) specific trainings were more impactful than others on increasing providers’ level of confidence and/or practices.

Method

Providers (N = 137) at three rural community behavioral health centers who had opportunities to attend multiple suicide prevention trainings completed the Zero Suicide Workforce Survey, a measure to evaluate staff knowledge, practices, and confidence in caring for patients at risk of suicide.

Results

There was a moderate association between provider's practice and confidence. The number of attended trainings had a significant correlation with both practice and confidence. Particular trainings demonstrated differential effects on provider's practice and confidence.

Conclusion

These results suggest that behavioral health providers who are confident in their skills in assessing and treating suicide risk are more likely incorporate best practices into their clinical work. Also, it appears there is a small but significant benefit to multiple trainings for increasing both practice and confidence among providers.

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