Virtual Suicide Risk Assessment: What you need to know

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What happens when the SI Protocol needs to be implemented in a remote/virtual setting? This role-specific series of modules explores lessons learned by Alberta educators and researchers around the world concerning best practice responses. They explore similarities and differences between in-person and virtual assessment, describe obtaining consent in virtual settings, and take learners through various safety considerations.

Each of these four modules has been specifically designed for educators already familiar with the School-Based Suicidal Ideation Response Protocol (SI Protocol) and their role in it. These modules affirm and rely on pre-existing knowledge and skillsets used in implementing the SI Protocol. We encourage all learners to defer to their board’s standards and procedures for final direction.

Learners only need to take the module(s) relevant to their role(s); Modules 1, 2, and 3 contain the same core information tailored specifically for the First Response, Point Person, and Mental Health Professional role. Module 4, however, may be useful for anyone engaging in the SI Protocol as the re-entry process may involve educators in a variety of roles.

Appendices that have been amended for virtual application are attached here in the Resources lesson.

Course content and resources were reviewed by Dr. Deinera Exner-Cortens and Dr. Elizabeth Baker of the University of Calgary, along with Alberta Health Services, on behalf of the School-Based Suicidal Ideation Response Protocol Committee. Thanks to Cristina Fernandez Conde and Marisa Van Bavel for their work in creating the virtual versions of the SI Protocol appendices available in this training.

The content in this module was drawn in part from:
Exner-Cortens, D., Baker, E., Gray, S., Conde, C. F., Rivera, R. R., Van Bavel, M., Vezina, E., Ambrose, A., Pawluk, C., Schwartz, K. D, & Arnold, P. D. (2021). School-based suicide risk assessment using eHealth for youth: Systematic scoping review. JMIR Mental Health, 8(9), e29454.
This scoping review was funded in part by a CIHR Operating Grant: Knowledge Synthesis: COVID-19 in Mental Health & Substance Use.