1st Edition

Helping People Overcome Suicidal Thoughts, Urges and Behaviour Suicide-focused Intervention Skills for Health and Social Care Professionals

By Lorraine Bell Copyright 2021
    214 Pages 6 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    214 Pages 6 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Helping People Overcome Suicidal Thoughts, Urges and Behaviour draws together practical and effective approaches to help individuals at risk of suicide.

    The book provides a framework and outlines skills for anyone working with adults who present with suicidal thoughts or intent. Part 1 introduces a basic understanding of our knowledge about suicide and UK policy; Part 2 outlines the research into the treatment of suicidality and the general principles for working in the safest possible way. Part 3 outlines ten key psychological skills in the context of evidence-based best practice. The book also discusses the role of health and social care professionals in the prevention of suicide in the context of Covid-19.

    The book will be a valuable addition to the resources of professionals including psychotherapists, nurses, social workers, occupational therapists, prison and probation officers, drug and alcohol workers, general practitioners and support staff in any health or social care context.

    Part 1 Understanding suicide and risk; 1.1 Suicide statistics and UK Policy; 1.2 Definitions; 1.3 Stigma and common myths about suicide; 1.4 From thought to contemplation to preparation to action; 1.5 Help seeking and barriers to help seeking; 1.6 Suicide and mental health; 1.8 Risk and protective factors; 1.9 Models of suicide; 1.10 Intervening to help people at risk of suicide – who, where and when; Part 2 Safety and treatment planning principles; 2.1 Suicide-focussed interventions and protocols from research; 2.2 Providing a suicide focused intervention alongside other levels of intervention for people with different levels of risk; 2.3 Coming alongside: Cultivating a trusting relationship and engaging the client; 2.4 Assessing risk; 2.5 How many sessions?; 2.6 Agreeing a treatment plan or SFI; 2.7 Working with families and partners; 2.8 Identifying direct and indirect drivers; 2.9 Planning and pacing the SFI; 2.10 Building skills and coping strategies and shaping effective help-seeking; 2.11 Ending the intervention; 2.12 Training, support and supervision for staff; Part 3 Key suicide intervention skills; 3.1 Validation; 3.2 Chain or functional analysis of suicidal behaviour; 3.3 Safety planning: Promoting adherence to the plan; 3.4 Reducing access to means and ‘shaping’ skilful behaviour including appropriate help-seeking; 3.5 Exploring ambivalence, reasons for living and reasons for dying; 3.6 Problem solving; 3.7 Building positive experiences and a life worth living: Working with needs, values and goals; 3.8 How to make and use a hope box; 3.9 Building mindfulness and mindfulness-based skills; 3.10 Telephone coaching


    Lorraine Bell is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist with Solent NHS Trust, fellow of the British Psychological Society and leads the Psychological Therapies Service in secondary mental health for Portsmouth. She is also the Suicide Prevention and Dialectical Behavior Therapy lead for the Trust.

    In all my years as a GP, I have not come across a better source of comprehensive, practical evidence-based knowledge about suicide. It should be mandatory reading for medical students and primary care staff and will most certainly form part of our core library.

    Dr Kate Whitfield MRCHP, DRGOG, DPM. Retired GP partner and trainer. Macmillan Palliative Care adviser


    Sometimes the conversations we see as the most challenging are the ones we need to have most. Asking about suicide does not lead a person to start thinking about it. Talking about suicide can help prevent it, and can start a life-saving conversation. This timely book provides the tools to build the confidence of health and social care professionals across sectors to talk about suicide, identify and support those at risk, and tackles the stigma that sadly still surrounds the issue.  

    Paul Farmer CBE, CEO of Mind