For those in the mental health community, suicide is not a rare occurrence but a very real psychological emergency and tragic occupational hazard. Half of people who die by suicide have seen a mental health professional at some point. Most practicing psychotherapists see five suicidal clients a month, while one in four therapists will lose a client to suicide. After experiencing this loss themselves, 25 percent of families will sue a mental health provider.
Most therapists have not received adequate training in dealing with a suicidal client. They have been provided with limited or outdated information that no longer meets the standard of care. In the past 10 years, there has been a wealth of insightful and essential research and data revealing what works and what doesn't when it comes to preventing suicide. With suicide on the rise in the United States, there is no more essential time for all therapists to learn the tools and techniques that can save a life.
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