In this course, Dr. David Jobes, Professor of Psychology and Director of the Suicide Prevention Laboratory at The Catholic University of America, outlines the challenges of dealing with suicide in the United States and globally, discusses current screening and assessment tools for suicidal risk, and shares the latest research findings about the effectiveness of various interventions.
About this course
In this course, Dr. David Jobes, Professor of Psychology and Director of the Suicide Prevention Laboratory at The Catholic University of America, opens with the sobering statistic that, although most of the leading causes of death in the United States have trended downward in the last half-century, death by suicide has risen. Moreover, the majority of people dying by suicide did not seek treatment before their death; these two facts in tandem present a major challenge for dealing with suicidal people. Dr. Jobes discusses current screening and assessment tools for suicidal risk, including machine learning. There is now evidence that stabilisation and safety planning are effective, as are crisis hotlines and lethal means safety. Dr. Jobes outlines the main therapeutic interventions which have demonstrated effectiveness and shares the results of several meta-analyses, including CAMS. He lists new phone apps which allow technology to help reduce death by suicide and briefly goes over suicide-focused policy developments. Given the imminent advent of a new crisis number in the United States and the fact that current crisis numbers are “at capacity”, Dr. Jobes argues for the importance of “thinking outside the box” to come up with multiple solutions. He advocates a stepped care model which makes use of crisis hotline and peer support, brief interventions, and outpatient care before hospitalisation is considered. The best care will be suicide-focused, evidence-based, as least restrictive as possible, and cost-effective if we wish to “move the needle” on suicide at a global population level.