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Suicide Prevention for Educators

Columbia-Suicide Severity Rating Scale Training

Course Description

The Columbia Protocol is now widely recognized as a gold-standard, innovative suicide risk screening method. It has been implemented as policy in many states and systems across the U.S. and abroad with tremendous benefit– identification of people who would have otherwise been missed while redirecting scarce resources. This workshop will review suicide prevention data, myths, the development of the tools, administration covering items that are predictive of increased risk, and the impact the Columbia Protocol is having across the globe. Participants will learn how to administer the full assessment and screening versions of the tool, how to customize the tools and how to interpret results.

What You’ll Learn

Explain how screening with the C-SSRS can be used to identify at-risk individuals and identify steps taken to implement a comprehensive screening program that includes targeted and public health approaches to prevention.

Describe how utilizing a systemic best practice measurement, the C-SSRS, to identify suicidal ideation and behavior results in improved identification and precision, which ultimately saves lives and redirects scarce resources.
Learn the types of suicidal ideation and the four behaviors that are predictive of imminent risk and how to administer the C-SSRS full assessment and screener scales.


Adam Lesser, LCSW

Deputy Director for Implementation

Adam Lesser is a licensed clinical social worker, Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatric Social Work in the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, Lecturer at the Columbia University School of Social Work and the Deputy Director of the Columbia Lighthouse Project at the New York State Psychiatric Institute where he assists with all suicide prevention activities related to public health including the international dissemination and implementation of the Columbia Suicide Severity Rating Scale (C-SSRS). He has published, presented internationally and consulted to state and local governments on best practices for suicide risk identification and prevention and has trained over 100,000 individuals on these methods. His work has been featured in Social Work Today Magazine and on Atlanta National Public Radio, CNN-espanol, Univision and other local media outlets.

This website was made possible by Grant Number H79SM082149 from the SAMHSA. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the SAMHSA.

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