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Suicide Prevention: Motivating to Treatment with Katrina Sanderson image

Suicide Prevention: Motivating to Treatment with Katrina Sanderson


Katrina Sanderson has identified that she is thinking about suicide and completed a risk assessment. However, she has not committed to a treatment plan. As Katrina’s health care provider, use Motivational Interviewing techniques to speak with her about her motivations and barriers toward seeking treatment.

Suicide is a significant public health issue that results in many deaths in the United States. Almost 83% of people who died by suicide also accessed the healthcare system within 12 months of their death. This makes clinicians a critical piece in the suicide prevention process. When a patient presents signs of suicide ideation, a suicide assessment is completed. Following the assessment, the clinician and patient can work together to decide on a course of treatment. Developing an effective and individualized treatment plan can make all the difference in keeping the patient committed and engaged to the treatment process.


Social Work & Students


3 - 4

Average Time
per Session

15 - 25

Teaching Objectives:

  • Covering Motivational Topics
  • Using the Spirit of Motivational Interviewing
  • Developing a Collaborative Relationship

Included in Training:

  • A Training Guide with information on motivating a client to begin a course of treatment for their suicide ideations.
  • A Simulated Conversation with a varied character to prepare learners to manage the different motivations and barriers toward treatment.
  • Comprehensive Feedback during and after each play to help guide skill development.

This training was developed in collaboration with The Institute for Family Health and Education Development Center (EDC) with funding from The National Institutes of Health (Grant Number: #R44 MH114710). To read more about EDC's Zero Suicide Initiative visit: Zero Suicide EDC

This training can be purchased as a part of the Suicide Prevention Training Suite. Please visit Suicide Prevention Suite for more information.


O’Brien, K., Quinlan, K., Humm, L., Cole, A., Hanita, M., Pires, W.J., Jacobs, A., & Goldstein Grumet, J. (in press). Effectiveness of a virtual patient simulation training on improving provider engagement in suicide safer care. Community Mental Health Journal. Read More