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.
- 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
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:
NORC Articles and Presentations
- Student-Athlete Mental Health, Help-Seeking, and Service Utilization: Implications for a Multi-Tiered, Public Health Approach on College Campuses, Harris & Maher, 2022
- Suicide safer care in behavioral health settings: A comparative analysis of perceptions, training completion, and practice between mental health and substance use disorder treatment providers, Harris et al., 2021
- Suicide as a hidden contributor to the opioid crisis and the role that primary care and emergency medicine play in addressing it, Brett R. Harris, 2021
- Optimizing Efforts to Promote Mental Health on College and University Campuses: Recommendations to Facilitate Usage of Services, Resources, and Supports, Harris et al., 2022
- Harris BR, Maher BM. Opportunities and Challenges for Suicide Prevention Across Diverse Rural Communities: Perspectives of Professional Stakeholders and Community Members. American Association of Suicidology Conference, April 22, 2021.
- Harris BR, Maher BM. Mental Health and Suicide Risk Across Specific College and University Student Populations: Unique Challenges, Help-Seeking Preferences, and Access to and Utilization of Services and Resources. American Association of Suicidology Conference, April 24, 2021.
Meet the Suicide Prevention Team
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