Helping People Living with Suicidal Intensity: Risk Formulation, Support and Healing with Confidence and Compassion

Presented by Sally Spencer-Thomas, Psy.D., MNM

On Demand | Available Now


6 Hours | Pre-approved for CEU’s


This online course is available on demand.

Recorded footage and all course content (certificate, videos, quiz) will be available until November 24, 2023. Extensions cannot be granted under any circumstances. 

Registration will close on November 21, 2023

The public health tragedy of suicide continues to wreak havoc in the lives of millions of Canadians. Given that this daunting challenge leaves many mental health providers feeling confused, overwhelmed, and even scared. Many often feel at a loss on how best to help people experiencing suicidal intensity and suicide grief. This workshop will transform how you view and work with people who are fighting to stay and will give you tools you need to help them help themselves. You will dive deeply into a comprehensive approach to suicide risk assessment and intervention and gain confidence and a heightened sense of compassion that are essential to understanding where clients are on their life journeys. Collaborating with clients, you will find ways to instill hope and a renewed desire to invest in lives that are worth living.

  • Overview and introductions
  • Reducing fear
  • Understanding the person experiencing suicidal intensity
  • Hot topics in Suicidology
  • Comprehensive framework
  • Risk formulation
  • Eliciting information
  • Managing safety and promoting well-being
  • Reducing access to lethal means
  • Treatment
  • Suicide grief & trauma support
  •  Making meaning

Participants will be able to:

  1. Identify key fears, concerns and gaps in training that create barriers in client-therapist rapport.
  2. List several “upstream, midstream, and downstream” approaches to suicide prevention – in and outside of the therapeutic relationship.
  3. Collaborate and connect with individuals at risk of suicide as an ally not an adversary.
  4. Formulate best-practice conceptualization based on understanding the experience of and root causes of suicidal intensity.
  5. Address how to effectively work with specific populations including veterans and people from diverse backgrounds.
  6. Leverage self-empowerment with clients when designing a crisis response and safety plans.
  7. List reasons why “contracting for safety” and “clipboard counseling” are no longer considered a best practices.
  8. Reduce access to lethal means through a negotiated partnership agreement that meets people where they are.
  9. Use universally accessible tools to help clients regulate surges in suicidal intensity and stay out of the hospital.
  10. Describe the complexities in suicide grief and trauma and provide support across the lifespan.

Clinical Professionals: All mental health professionals including, but not limited to Clinical Counsellors, Psychologists, Psychotherapists, Social Workers, Nurses, Occupational Therapists, Hospice and Palliative Care Workers, School Counsellors, Youth Workers, Mental Health Workers, Addiction Specialists, Marital & Family Therapists, Speech Language Pathologists, Vocational Rehabilitation Consultants and all professionals looking to enhance their therapeutic skills.

Sally Spencer-Thomas, Psy.D. Keynote Speaker & Impact Entrepreneur. Co-Founder & President, United Suicide Survivors International.

“Dr. Sally” is a clinical psychologist and award-winning mental health advocate with her own personal experience of losing her beloved brother to suicide. Her mission of giving voice to people who’ve lived through suicide thoughts, attempts, and loss and to help those in despair rekindle a passion for living.

In addition to helping leaders and communities implement innovative approaches to suicide prevention, Sally is the lead author on the National Guidelines for Workplace Suicide Prevention, President of United Suicide Survivors International, and co-founder of “Man Therapy” ( She also co-edits the Guts, Grit & the Grind book series that provides men and the people who love them with tools to help them better understand and cope with life’s challenges.

Sally has a TEDx talk and gave an invited address at the White House in 2016. Her impressive list of partners includes the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, the FBI, Chubb Insurance, and Southwest Airlines. She has also spoken and consulted internationally including Australia, Ireland, Singapore, Taiwan, Denmark and Belgium.

RegistrationEarly bird FeeRegular Fee
Individual Enrollment$249.00N/A
Full-Time Student$199.00N/A

All fees are in Canadian dollars ($CAD).

For group and/or student rates please view our Terms & Conditions and contact for more information and registration. 

  • Canadian Psychological Association
    The Alberta College of Social Workers (ACSW) and the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Social Workers (NLASW) accept CPA-approved continuing education credits