Suicide Intervention Certification Course Overview
Based upon relevant research, demonstrating that the most direct causes of suicide are substance abuse and depression with underlying feelings of hopelessness and powerlessness, often resulting from unresolved grief and trauma, in the Suicide Intervention Certification course, participants learn to assess for the underlying causes of substance abuse and depression, and for the symptoms of hopelessness and powerlessness. They gain skills to provide immediate and long-term interventions to alleviate the symptoms of these conditions.
In the Suicide Intervention Certification course, participants acquire counseling strategies, to deescalate the person in immediate risk for suicide.
In the Suicide Intervention Certification course, participants also gain knowledge of the complicated grief that results from a death by suicide, and practice skills to help the bereaved person manage, and heal, the immediate, and long-term emotional, and soul pain.
1. The primary goals of the Suicide Intervention Certification course are that you gain the knowledge and skills to work in a wholistic way to:
- Prevent suicide.
- Offer interventions to individuals who are at risk for suicide.
- Support and counsel those who are bereaved following a death by suicide.
2. As part of being involved in this course you practice techniques and strategies with other participants to enhance your skills with clients. These experiences help advance your personal healing and growth.
Objectives of the Suicide Intervention Certification Course
The teaching and learning experiences provided in this course allow you to:
- Gain knowledge of the major causes of suicide.
- Advance your abilities to offer suicide prevention strategies.
- Acquire knowledge of, and skills at assessing suicide risk.
- Gain skills to effectively intervene during a suicide crisis.
- Offer advanced grief counseling and support to those who are bereaved from a death by suicide.
- Offer client, family, and community education on suicide prevention and intervention.
Sixty hours of education and skill attainment are required for certification. Hours are allowed for completion of the Required Readings and the Take Home Final Exam.
Reasons for Success
On a daily basis, people in numerous parts of the world are touched by the effects of suicide. While a variety of therapeutic approaches aimed at preventing suicide exist, most prove to be only minimally satisfactory. Several reasons exist for this lack of total effectiveness including:
1) Many helping models do not offer strategies appropriate to the social and cultural history of the person at-risk.
2) Most models designed to offer help during times of suicide focus on asking the right questions of the person at risk, and all but fail to address the degree of physical, mental, social, and soul pain being experienced by a person who is seriously considering suicide as an option.
The Suicide Intervention Certification course gives you the suicide-informed knowledge and skills to assess any physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual pain being experienced by a person at risk for suicide. The Suicide Intervention Certification course provides you with practical applications of effective wholistic and culturally-sensitive interventions that promote healing in every aspect of humanness.
1) A comprehensive Take Home examination is used as the measure of success.
“This course helped me focus on the main components of feelings of suicide thoughts. This is so valuable to my work. I gained skills and knowledge that I didn’t realize I had. These are great skills for helping someone at risk. I now see the importance of doing self-work in order to help others.”
“The neuropsychic, anatomy, spiritual and mental were put together in such an understandable and cohesive way. I feel prepared in prevention and crisis.”
“It has brought to light the things I need to work on very much so now I can be my most authentic self.”
“I always thought suicide deaths were very black and white, but I now know that there are many layers to it just like grief stages. I am thankful that I know and understand it more.”
“I have taken some smaller courses that really just focus on asking the client if they were suicidal and then, with them, calling for help. This course really gave a good foundation with good “recipes” for helping.”
Things I like best about this course are: the structure and course work, the cultural/ Indigenous connections of art therapy, unique ability to combine culture, spirituality and science to help mental health, the guided visualizations, the group connection, being able to feel vulnerable but not judged, the safe space that was created, the confidence of Jane and her helper Barb, helping someone ground themselves and to bring them and their spirit back.
April 3-6, 2023 & July 17-20, 2023.
- Simington J (2021). Suicide Intervention Certification Handbook (4th. Ed.). Edmonton, AB. Taking Flight International Corporation.
- Simington, J. (2018). Guided Journey to an Inner Campfire for Relationship Healing. Edmonton, AB. Taking Flight International Corporation.
- Simington, J (2017). Guided Visualization to Heal Ancestral Trauma. Edmonton, AB. Taking Flight International Corporation.
- Simington, J (2019). Cutting Cords with Addictions, Edmonton, AB. Taking Flight International Corporation
- Simington, J. 2013. Through Soul’s Eyes: Reinventing a Life of Joy and Promise. Edmonton, AB. Taking Flight Books.
- Simington, J. (1999). Listening to Soul Pain (audio video). Edmonton, AB. Taking Flight Books.
Course Content Overview
Is This Training For You?
Globally, one million people die by suicide each year.1 Suicide is one of the top ten causes of death across all age groups.2 Suicide happens in every country around the world and respects no boundaries of age, culture, religion, or gender. Individuals in each of the groups listed below have the potential for being at risk for considering suicide as an option.
These and Others May Be At Risk For Suicide
- Residential school survivors
- Survivors of political terror and/or torture
- Active or retired military, firefighters, police officers
- Active or retired health professionals who respond to trauma: nurses, EMTs
- Victims of child abuse
- Adult survivors of child abuse
- Those with depression or other forms of mental illness
- Those whose experiences have caused them to feel hopeless or powerless
- Victims of bullying
- Those abusing alcohol or other drugs
- Those attempting to heal after a traumatic loss
- Those with uncontrollable anger and fears
- Those involved in domestic violence
- Those grieving sudden, tragic or multiple deaths
- Those unemployed following a difficult life event
- Those who have a family member who has attempted suicide or completed suicide
- Those who have a close friend who has attempted or completed suicide
- Those who have bullied someone, who after being bullied, has attempted or completed suicide
If you are a professional or semi-professional working with, or would like to work with, individuals who are at risk for suicide, or with those who are bereaved by a death by suicide, this training is of great value to you.
If you are a professional or semi-professional choosing to be more suicide-informed, this training will most assuredly meet your learning and skill-attainment goals.
1). DeLeo D., Bertolote J., Lester D. (2002). Self-Directed Violence. In: Krug EG, Dahlberg LL, Mercy JA, Zwi AB, (Eds.). World Report on Violence and Health. Geneva, Switzerland, World Health Organization: 185-212.
2). Young IT, Iglewicz A, Glorioso D. (2012). Clinical Research. www.dialogues-cns.org. Retrieved 1, 10, 2016
Conditions for Certification
1. Attendance at all sessions.
2. Full participation in all activities and discussions.
3. Achieving a passing grade (80%) on the Take Home Exam.
4. While it is not a requirement, for emotional safety reasons, participants are encouraged to stay on site during this training.
Childhood Trauma and Suicide
© Jane Simington PhD
Numerous studies demonstrate that a history of physical or sexual abuse in childhood can increase the risk of suicide in adolescence and adulthood (Dinwiddie; 2000; Mironova, 2011; Brauser, 2014). One study showed that non-abused children had a lower prevalence of lifetime suicide attempts (6.0%) than did those that were physically abused (11.7%), and as compared to those that were sexually abused (14.8%), or if they experienced both types of abuse (32.2%). This study indicated that the risk of suicide in later life is related to the frequency of abuse during childhood and the identity of the abuser (Nauert, 2016).
Repeated abuse was generally more strongly associated with suicide attempts than a single occurrence of abuse. Furthermore, sexual abuse by an immediate family member (such as a father, stepfather or brother) carried the greatest risk. Abuse perpetrated by an extended family member (uncle or cousin) carried an intermediate risk, while abuse by an unrelated individual (an acquaintance, romantic partner or stranger) carried a weaker risk (Nauert, 2016).
Trauma reconditions the nervous system and can make the person maladaptive to a life of feeling safe and secure. The person experiencing the effects of trauma often does not have a normal baseline for emotion. This means that anger turns instantly to rage, and fear becomes instant terror. Another major symptom of trauma is the invasion of the past into the present. The traumatized person often relives the events and the associated emotions during waking, as pervasive fears and dread, and as nighttime terrors.
A further symptom becoming more widely recognized is the spiritual emptiness experienced following trauma. There is a growing awareness that following trauma, a part of the self may need to be reclaimed. In many Indigenous cultures, it is believed that when trauma happens, a part of the self can stay trapped in the place of trauma. Those who feel they have left a part of themselves at the trauma scene often voice that their lives feel incomplete and empty and that they are plagued by dreams of searching and longing.
This accumulation of symptoms can make the life of someone who has experienced trauma seem unbearable and not worth living. Many who have been traumatized use drugs and alcohol, to numb the responses; others slash and even burn themselves attempting to release the trapped emotions and get an endorphin release which will ease their suffering for a time.
When these attempts no longer work, suicide can become an option, and for some it can seem like the only way out of the constant misery they can no longer cope with.
1). Brauser, D. (2014). Child Sexual Abuse Linked to Suicidal Behavior. Pediatrics. Published Online April 14, 2014.
2). Dinwiddie S, Heath AC, Dunne MP, Bucholz KK, Madden PA, Slutske WS, Bierut LJ, Statham DB, Martin NG. (2000). Early sexual abuse and lifetime psychopathology: a co-twin-control study. Psychological Medicine, Jan;30(1):41-5
3). Mironova P, Rhodes AE, Bethell JM, Tonmyr L, Boyle MH, Wekerle C, Goodman D, Leslie B. (2011). Child physical abuse and suicide-related behavior: A systematic review. Vulnerable Children & Youth Studies, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp. 1–7.
4). Nauert, N. (2016). Suicide Risk Among Abused children. British Journal of Psychiatry, 9.