Risky Business: The Art of Assessing Suicide Risk & Imminent Danger - Wgtn

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St Andrews on the Terrance Conference Centre

30 The Terrace

Wellington, Wellington 6011

New Zealand

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Sales Have Ended

Registrations are closed
Registration for the workshop has closed. To check if there are still vacancies, please contact the organiser directly.
Event description
A workforce confident and competent in assessing suicide risk and providing ongoing support to the suicidal person

About this Event


To reduce the high rates of suicide in this country a confident and competent workforce in assessing risk and supporting suicidal people is essential.

1.  Risky Business: The art of assessing suicide risk and imminent danger

2.  Custodians of Hope: Supporting the suicidal person

Take the opportunity to attend these advanced level evidence-based and internationally peer reviewed workshops with an award winning and internationally recognised suicide prevention practitioner, Barry Taylor.

Designed specifically for the New Zealand context, this training addresses the concerns made by coroners' findings and is being recommended by counsellors all over the country as a must attend workshop.

Risky Business: The art of assessing suicide risk and imminent danger is the first of a two workshop series which provides a comprehensive suicide prevention training programme. Rather than a siloed approach to assessment and support strategies, this training programmes highlights the interconnection of the two and presents the two as part of the continuum of suicide intervention.  

While participants can chose to attend just this workshop, experience from past workshops shows that after attending the Risky Business workshop most of the participants went on to enrol in the follow-up course - Custodians of Hope: Supporting the suicidal person workshop.  Feedback said the two workshops provided a well rounded training package.  

Due to the cross referencing of content covered in the Risky Business workshop, attendance at this workshop is strongly encouraged for those wishing to enrol in the Custodians of Hope workshop to maximise the learning in that training. 

Register for both workshops and receive a 20% discount on both registrations


Recent coroners’ findings highlighted the need for workers in the health, social services and counselling / psychotherapy sectors to regularly update their knowledge and competency in suicide risk assessment and intervention. This training should be a core part of practitioner's ongoing professional development.  

Advanced practitioners such as counsellors, psychotherapists and clinicians should not only be knowledgeable about suicide risk assessment but also highly competent in undertaking an assessment  and assessing the level of risk. The training attended should match the worker's scope of practice. Those working in the non-mental health sectors must be also be competent in making an informed referral to crisis services.

This advanced workshop addresses the concerns raised by the coroner and is pitched to the scope of practice for counsellors and psychotherapists.

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 assessing suicide risk and imminent danger through empathetic dialogue rather than a more traditional assessment interview process.  

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 workshop investigates in detail the suicidal moment and interrupting the suicide thought with emphasis of moving from reacting to responding to the thought. The rationale and research that informs risk assessment items will be explored. This assists participants to more 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

The Conversation of Enquiry is a series of mini conversations that is client-focused and where the conversation of distress is the primary focus of the enquiry rather than presence of risk factors.  This conversation model has been shown to be an effective process in enhancing engagement and eliciting the information required to make an informed assessment of suicide acuity.  The conversation ends with a summative assessment task that focuses on nuance and subtlety; degree of reflective insight; wairua; despair to hope continuum; alienation to engagement continuum; reactive to responsive.

Evaluation of this training indicated that the content of this course is both relevant and applicable to the work of mental health and primary health clinicians; mental health support workers; counsellors and psychotherapists in private practice; school counsellors; frontline health, social service and community workers. Those without previous suicide prevention training would also benefit from attending this workshop.

Topics covered:

Overview of the phenomenon of suicida and the 'suicidal moment'

What is meant by suicide risk - Predisposing, precipitating and perpetuating risk factors

The context of risk - understanding the suicide narrative and contextualising the suicidal thought or act

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

From Checklist to Conversation of Enquiry - integrating assessment into practic

The Summative Risk


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. A rich experience filled with practical exampes and learning moments”   - 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 assessment 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. 

After a number of years overseas, Barry has returned to New Zealand both passionate and enthused to make a contribution to effective and evidence-based suicide prevention activity.




Minimum Number of Participants:  10       Maximum Number of Participants:  30Places in each workshop are limited. If the workshop is full please register your name on the waitlist. 

Payment:  Payment is by either Visa or Mastercard.  

Organisations can request to pay by invoice. At the payment method part of the registration process click on Change and select Pay By Invoice

Terms for Payment By Invoice

Payment by Invoice is only for NGOs, Government Departments, DHBs, PHOs, Schools and tertiary organisations, businesses.

By selecting Pay By Invoice the organisation agrees to the following conditions:

1.  Your place in the workshop is not confirmed until payment has been received. Payment of the invoice must be made within seven days of registering to avoid having your registration cancelled. Late payment fees apply.

2.  Please IGNORE the invoice from Eventbrite. A NZ tax compliant Tax Invoice from TaylorMade Training and Consulting will be sent to you separately which will contain bank details for payment.  

3.  By registering for the workshop, you agree to the cancellation and policy. (refer below).  Organisations who cancel within seven days of the workshop and have not paid the invoice for the outstanding registration fee are still obligated to pay the outstanding debt.

Catering: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.

Scholarships: 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% or 50%  off the registration fee are available for full time tertiary students in health, social service and disability related courses. Further information and how to apply for a scholarship is available on the TaylorMade website.

Cancellation and Refund Policy

Workshops can fill quickly. If you are no longer able to attend the workshop please cancel your registration as soon as possible. The following refund policy is strictly adhered to.

Cancellation up to seven days prior to the commencement of the workshop:  Full Refund less $30 + GST admin feeCancellation within seven days prior to the commencement of the workshop:No refund but registration can be transferred to another person. To transfer your registration log on to your registration and update the name and contact details to the new person attending.No show on the day of workshop:   No refund 

Cancellation of Workshop by TaylorMade: TaylorMade Training and Consulting (TMTC) reserve the right to cancel the workshop if there are not the minimum number of registrations. If cancelled, participants will be offered a refund either by way of a credit to attend another TMTC workshop (within 12 months of the cancelled workshop) or full refund of their registration fee.  Refunds will made by electronic transfer into a bank account specified by the participant. TMTC accept no responsibility for any other costs incurred by participant as a result of a workshop cancellation. 


The information provided in the workshop handout notes and at the workshops are the views of the trainer, and do not necessarily reflect the views of TaylorMade Training and Consulting. The information and professional advice delivered in the workshop and the associated printed material is provided solely on the basis that before relying on this material, participants should obtain appropriate advice relevant to their particular circumstance to evaluate its accuracy, currency, completeness and relevance for their purposes. TaylorMade Training and Consulting will not be liable for any damages of any kind to any person or entity arising from the use of this information. Your attendance at this workshop reflects your acceptance of this statement.

Organiser Contact Details

Barry Taylor

Principal Consultant TaylorMade Training and Consulting

Office:      04 905 6145 Mobile:    022 104 5060

Email:      registration@tmtc.co.nz Website:  www.tmtc.co.nz

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St Andrews on the Terrance Conference Centre

30 The Terrace

Wellington, Wellington 6011

New Zealand

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