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NACA Bringing Suicide Assessment, Prevention Training to Flagstaff

Suicide continues to be a leading cause of death in the United States and in Coconino County. The numbers are staggering and the loss of life has an enormous ripple effect on those who have lost loved ones, as well as on the community at large. The human costs of suicidal behavior to individuals, families, communities and society is all most unmeasurable and unbearable.

The Coconino County Public Health Services District reports that in Coconino County:

  • In 2015, suicide was the sixth leading cause of death and the second leading cause of death among 20- to 44-year-olds; there were five times more suicides than homicides
  • Between 2010 and 2016, an average of 26 county residents committed suicide each year
  • Nearly 1,800 hospital-related visits occurred between 2010 and 2015, with the highest number reported each September

Clinicians from a wide range of professions routinely encounter individuals at risk for suicide. These professions include nurses, social workers, physicians, mental health professionals, teachers and others.

Unfortunately, many of these individuals say that primarily due to a lack of training they do not have a high level of confidence in dealing with suicidal individuals. The responsibility of clinicians and other professionals to identify, assess, intervene and monitor suicide behavior can be a heavy burden if the clinician is not prepared for the situation.

The National Institutes of Health reports that up to 45 percent of individuals who die by suicide visited their primary care physician within a month of their death. Additional research suggests that up to 67 percent of those who attempted suicide received medical attention because of their attempt. Given these statistics, clinicians have an enormous potential to prevent suicides and connect people to needed specialty care.

In 2012, the U.S. Surgeon General and the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention called for new efforts to establish suicide prevention standards, practices and training across healthcare settings. The National Strategy for Suicide Prevention emphasizes that having a competent, confident and trained clinical workforce is critical to reducing the rate of suicide and that zero suicide is a national and local health priority that can be closer to attainable through a prepared clinical workforce.

Native Americans for Community Action’s (NACA, Inc.) Reach UR Life Suicide Prevention Program is dedicated to reducing the number of suicides and suicide attempts by identifying and decreasing the risk factors associated with this vulnerable population.

In addition to ongoing suicide awareness and prevention training such as safeTALK (Suicide Alertness For Everyone TALK) and ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training by Livingworks.com), Reach UR Life is also offering the nationally acclaimed CAMS (Collaborative Assessment & Management of Suicidality) training for clinicians and health professionals for the second time this year in August.

Each time NACA has offered the CAMS training, the classes immediately fill up and many people are put on a waiting list. Offering a second workshop this grant cycle year will allow more people will have the opportunity to attend. NACA and the Reach UR Life program know it is vital to equip clinicians with the necessary knowledge and tools to serve not only its Native American clients but everyone in the communities the agency serves. CAMS is vital for that toolbox.

This is the fourth year NACA and Reach UR Life have offered the free training in Flagstaff.

Developed in 1998, CAMS offers an integrated model of professional training, intervention tools and philosophies. CAMS is designed to assess a patient’s suicidal risk, and plan and manage a suicide-specific, patient-driven treatment plan. The CAMS framework emphasizes the patient’s engagement and cooperation in assessing and managing suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Every session of CAMS intentionally utilizes the patient’s input about what is and is not working.

The CAMS-trained clinician endeavors to understand the patient’s suffering from an empathetic, non-judgmental and intra-subjective perspective, without shame or blame, and strives to understand the struggle through the eyes of the suicidal patient.

Guided by a multi-purpose clinical tool called the Suicide Status Form, CAMS directs the patient’s treatment through a suicide-specific assessment and treatment plan that focuses on patient-defined “drivers” of suicide (i.e., those problems that lead to suicidality); identifying and tracking the on-going risk of suicide; and managing and facilitating clinical outcomes and dispositions

 Register Now for Free CAMS Training

Seating is limited and preregistration is required for this free intensive training that normally costs $575. The comprehensive training includes:

  • Three hours of online video classes to be completed prior to the workshop
  • A one-day in-person workshop and with a certified CAMS care consultant
  • Eight one-hour consultation calls with a certified CAMS care consultant to address ongoing CAMS applications and clinical training

For more information or to register, contact NACA’s Brenda Manthei, MS, MA, LAC, NCC, brief intervention specialist and psychotherapist at NACA, Inc., by calling 928-526-2968 ext. 228 or via email at BManthei@NACAinc.org. FBN

Funding for Collaborative Assessment & Management of Suicidality (CAMS) was made possible in part under a grant (SM062894) from the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The views expressed in written conference materials or publication & by speakers & moderators do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions or policies of CMHS, SAMHSA or HHS; nor does mention of trade names, commercial practices or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. government.

Written by Brenda Manthei

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