Risky Business: The Art of Assessing Suicide Risk and Imminent Danger - Ble...

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Scenic Hotel Marlborough

65 Alfred Street

Blenheim, Marlborough 7201

New Zealand

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Sales Have Ended

Registrations are closed
Registration for the workshop has closed. Contact the organiser directly to check if there are still vacancies.
Event description


Recent coroners’ findings highlighted the increasing expectation that workers in the health, social service and counselling / psychotherapy sectors that suicide prevention must be a core part of practitioners continuing education and that the must not only be knowledgeable about the suicide assessment process but also highly competent in its use and analysis. Those working in the non mental health sectors must be also be competent in making an informed referral to crisis services.

This workshop addresses the concerns raised by the coroner

Undertaking a suicide risk assessment is not without its complexities. One size does not fit all. This advanced level workshop provides the opportunity for participants to depth their knowledge and competency in the “art” of assessment and management of suicide through empathetic dialogue rather than a more traditional assessment interview process. Participants will explore how factors such as nuance, context, culture, gender, socio-economic background, the quality and length of the therapeutic relationship impact on the process and the outcomes of an assessment.

This advanced level workshop builds on foundational or gatekeeper suicide prevention training and provides the opportunity for participants to depth their critical analysis of suicide risk factors and reflect on their practice in assessing risk. The content of the workshop investigates in detail the rationale and research that informs risk assessment items. This assists participants to more able to confidently and competently adapt the content and process of the assessment to best meet the context and the needs of the client, particularly in crisis situations. It also facilitates greater depth of enquiry and does not constrain the practitioner to questions on the assessment sheet. It examines the elements essential for a good assessment: rapport; dialogue; confidence and competence

Evaluation of this training indicated that the content of this course is both relevant and applicable to the work of mental health clinicians; primary health clinicians; mental health support workers; counsellors and therapists in private practice; school counsellors; frontline health, social service and community workers.

Topics covered:

  • Overview of the phenomenon of suicide and the 'suicidal moment'

  • What is meant by suicide risk? - Predisposing, Precipitating and Perpetuating Risk Factors

  • The art of suicide risk assessment: The critical role of the human interaction and empathetic listening

  • A holistic approach to assessment - taking into account physical, emotional, cultural, socio-economic, and spiritual factors or influencers,

  • Contextualising the suicidal thought or act

  • Asking the question to get the answer: Integrating assessment questions into a counselling/support context

  • Discussing suicide with a client and making sense of the suicidal narrative

  • Imminent danger? moving beyond assessing risk to assessing protective factors

  • Coping vs Safety Planning

Custodians of Hope: Supporting the suicidal person in non-mental health settings workshop offer.

While not a requirement, after attending the Risky Business workshop many of the participants enrolled in the follow-up course - Custodians of Hope: Supporting the suicidal person workshop. Feedback said the tow workshops provided a well rounded training package. Likewise the majority of those who have attended the Custodians of Hope workshop without having done the Risky Business training have subsequently undertaken that training. Register for both workshops and receive a 20% discount on both registrations

Feedback from other participants

“I have learnt more about risk assessment in this workshop than I have learnt from all the suicide prevention workshops I have attended combined” - Psychotherapist

“Appreciated how you constantly drew upon the participants’ experience. Will leave thinking / reflecting on my current practice” - School Counsellor

“Gave me new insights into something I do everyday” - Mental Health Clinician

“A must attend for counsellors” - Counsellor

"I feel much better equipped to provide support and supervision to my team members" - Mental Health NGO Team Leader

"I feel more reassured that our staff have both the knowledge and the competence to undertake a high quality that is person-centred and appropriate for the numerous cultural communities that we work with." - Manager


Barry has proven leadership over 30 years at local, national and international levels in using community initiatives and strength-based approaches to improve individual and community wellbeing and the prevention of suicide. He has extensive experience in the development, implementation and evaluation of programmes at the local and national level, especially creating collaborative partnerships to prevent or respond to suicide.

A pioneer in suicide risk assessment training in this country, Barry's insights are informed by a comprehensive and critical understanding of the research and latest thinking in both the national and international suicide prevention sector. Drawing also on his 30 years of engaging, assessing and supporting suicidal people from different cultures, age groups and genders he offers practice and time proven approaches to undertaking an effective assessment. As a health sociologist Barry offers an unique insight into the evolving phenomenon of suicide in the New Zealand context and the critical social and cultural determinant that have influenced it, insights that very few others trainers or training programs in this country could provide. The workshop is enriched by the learnings from Barry's own lived experience of suicidality and his pathway to recovery.

In 2016 he was awarded the NSW Mental Health Commissioner Award in recognition of his outstanding contribution to mental wellbeing and suicide prevention.

He recently returned to live in New Zealand passionate about making a contribution to effective and evidence based suicide prevention activity.


Minimum Number of Participants: 15 Maximum Number of Participants: 30
Places in each workshop are limited. If the workshop is full please register your name on the waitlist. TaylorMade Training and Consulting reserve the right to cancel the workshop if there are not the minimum number of registrations. If cancelled a full refund will be given.

This workshop is fully catered. Please indicate in the registration process if you have any particular dietary requirements. If you register after the registration closing date, while every effort will be made, your dietary requirements may not be able to be catered.

There is a limited number of partial and full scholarships for those wishing to attend the workshop. Full scholarships are available for mental health consumers, carers and volunteers. Partial scholarships of either 25%, 50% or 75% are available for tertiary students in health, social service and disability related courses. Further information on scholarships are available on the TaylorMade website

Cancellation and Refund Policy
If you are no longer able to attend the workshop please cancel your registration as soon as possible.

Cancellation up to five working days prior to the commencement of the workshop:
Full Refund less $25 admin fee

Cancellation within five working days prior to the commencement of the workshop:
No refund but registration can be transferred to another person

No show on the day of workshop: No refund
To transfer your registration log on to your registration and update the name and contact details to the new person attending.

Organiser Contact Details

Barry Taylor
Principal Consultant
TaylorMade Training and Consulting

Email: barry@taylormadetrainingconsulting.com
Office: 04 905 6145
Mobile: 022 104 5060
Website: www.taylormadetrainingconsulting.com

Date and Time


Scenic Hotel Marlborough

65 Alfred Street

Blenheim, Marlborough 7201

New Zealand

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