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The effectiveness of a standard suicidology curriculum developed by the American Association of Suicidology

25 July 2003


Suicide is the 11th leading cause of death in the United States (MacIntosh, 2002). The literature suggests that almost all psychologists will treat a suicidal client at some point during their clinical careers. Given this, it is extremely important that sufficient training be provided to psychologists during their training careers, specifically in graduate school. Dexter and Freeman (2003) found that only 50% of psychology interns reported that they had received formal training in managing suicidal clients during their preintemship training. The current investigation entailed a preliminary evaluation of a brief training model in suicide risk assessment and intervention developed by the American Association of
Suicidology Education and Training Committee. Participants included 63 first
year graduate students; 36 received the brief training module and 27 received
training as usual (TAU). Results indicated that the Training group showed an increase in both knowledge and clinical skill (e.g., assessment and intervention
skills) over the TAU group. However, there were no significant differences in
suicide response skills as measured by the Suicide Intervention Response
Inventory - 2 (Neimeyer, 1997). These findings support further development of
the training module and use with psychologist trainees.


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