Adolescent SBIRT

Helping social workers and nurses prevent adolescent substance use

Suicide Prevention


Expanding the SBIRT Model to Include Suicide Prevention! Why?


Substance use is a risk factor for suicide. The Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment-Suicide Care (SBIRT-SC) model is an integrated, public health approach that simultaneously identifies and provides care to individuals using substances and/or who are at risk of suicide.

The SBIRT-Suicide Care (SC) model includes:

  • Screening – Screening with validated tools to identify substance use and assess risk of suicide, depression, and anxiety among adolescents and adults.

  • Brief Intervention for Substance Use – A conversation using motivational interviewing intended to increase an individual’s awareness of substance use, how it plays a role in their life, and motivate an individual to change their behavior by stopping or reducing their use to promote health, wellness, and safety.

  • Safety Planning Intervention for Suicide Risk A brief intervention to develop a safety plan collaboratively with an individual who is a risk of suicide. The safety plan includes a tailored set of coping strategies and resources to help the patient/client manage suicidal urges and reduce risk.

  • Referral to Treatment and/or Services – Connects those identified as needing more extensive care for substance use, mental health, and/or suicide risk with appropriate services.

  • Structured Follow-Up and Monitoring – Health care professionals reach out by phone or another agreed-upon method following discharge or between appointments to conduct a mood check, make updates to the safety plan, assess barriers to continued care, and schedule/confirm a follow up appointment.

  • Providing person-centered care and tailoring prevention efforts to specific populations using a culturally responsive and equitable approach.

Suicide Prevention Training, Technical Assistance, and Evaluation


Beyond the SBIRT-SC model, we launched a new suicide prevention suite of services to provide training, technical assistance, and evaluation for medical and behavioral health providers, K-12 schools, colleges and universities, employers, community-based organizations, states, and localities. Below is a list of the services we provide.

Please contact us at [email protected] to learn more!



SBIRT-Suicide Care is an integrated SBIRT training that incorporates suicide risk screening, safety planning, and structured follow up and monitoring into the model.

Suicide Risk Screening: This training provides instruction on standardized, validated screening tools that identify suicide risk among both adults and adolescents.

Safety Planning & Follow Up: This training provides instruction on how to create an individualized safety plan for individuals at risk of suicide and how to engage in structured follow up and monitoring.

Postvention: This training provides instruction to communities and health care settings on how to prepare for and respond to a loss by suicide with the ultimate goal of effectively managing grief and preventing future suicides. Separate trainings are available for communities and health care settings.

Using Data to Inform Your Approach to Suicide Prevention: This training highlights several online databases that contain suicide and self-injury data and describes how data can be used to guide and inform suicide prevention efforts.

QPR, or Question, Persuade, and Refer, is a 60–90-minute training on the warning signs of suicide and how to question, persuade, and refer someone for help.

ASIST, or Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training, is a two-day workshop with instruction on how to deliver a skilled intervention and develop a safety plan.

Mental Health First Aid covers a wide variety of behavioral health topics including substance use, depression, anxiety, and steps to take when someone is suicidal. This course was designed to help laypeople recognize signs of mental distress and when and how to refer individuals for help. Adult and teen versions of this training are available.

Sources of Strength trains peer leaders and adult advisors to change the climate of schools and encourage help-seeking and student-adult communication around mental health and suicide.

Suicide Prevention for School Staff:
This training provides suicide prevention strategies for school staff, such as teachers, parents, and administrators, as well as information on how to recognize and respond to warning signs of suicide and resources for supporting students.


Technical Assistance

  • Integrating suicide risk screening and intervention into the SBIRT model
  • Training and implementation of suicide care in clinical settings
  • Needs assessments
  • Comprehensive approach to suicide prevention
  • Upstream and downstream approaches
  • School-based suicide prevention



  • Federal and private foundation grant evaluation
  • Evaluation plan development
  • Review and enhancements of existing evaluation procedures
  • Qualitative and quantitative evaluation 
  • Reporting

On-Demand Webinars

Since 2019, NORC has invested in suicide prevention by hosting and rebroadcasting webinars to address the intersection of substance use and suicide. Interested in watching? Access on-demand here:

Integrating Suicide Prevention into the SBIRT Model, by Adolescent SBIRT by NORC at the University of Chicago


Sign up for our SBIRT Newsletter to stay on the lookout for upcoming announcements, suicide prevention resources, training opportunities, and more!


NORC Articles and Presentations





Meet the Suicide Prevention Team

Please contact us at [email protected] or any of the individuals listed below. We are always happy to hear from you!

Tracy McPherson, PhD
Principal Research Scientist
Public Health
[email protected]

Brett Harris, DrPH
Senior Research Scientist
Public Health
[email protected]

Brianna Maher, MPH
Senior Research Associate II
Health Sciences
[email protected]

Giana Calabrese, MPH
Senior Research Associate I
Public Health

[email protected]

Katie Gallant, MSW
Senior Research Associate I
Public Health

[email protected]


Need help now? If you or someone you know is in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or text HOME to 741741 to contact the Crisis Text Line for 24/7, free counseling support