HPA News

Skills for Safer Living (SfSL) – A suicide intervention group

SfSL is a 1.5hr/week x’s 20-week psychosocial/psychoeducational group intervention originally developed with, and for, people with recurrent suicide attempts (Bergmans, 2016). Several different streams of service provided by SfSL target certain demographics.

The core group is inclusive of all genders with people ages 18+ who have attempted suicide one or more times. Groups are offered separately for adolescent youth and their caregivers, young adults, and those who have suicide ideation only. It provides participants the opportunity to develop specific strategies and skills to identify, interrupt and to change their behaviour about suicide.

An aftercare group, called Peers for Safer Living, is provided for people who have completed the full 20-week program.

Weekly clinical supervision for the team (two full-time and five part-time staff – who identify as peers) serves to ensure fidelity to the intervention, and is focused on clinical and administrative issues. CMHA for Waterloo/Cambridge/Guelph has been sponsoring both facilitator training and regular programs for many years as has CMHA in Hamilton, Simcoe, Barrie.

For your patients:
Researchers at St. Michael’s Hospital are studying the effectiveness of an online program aimed at reducing suicide risk in adults during the Covid pandemic called “Brief Skills for Safer Living.” The research project consists of patients attending five sessions over a three-month period. If you have patients with suicidal thoughts in the past week and have access to the internet and a smart phone/computer and are literate in English the email contact is: therapy@asrlife.ca or leave a message by phone: 416-864-6060 ext. 7844.

Brief Skills for Safer Living Study: A Psychotherapy Intervention for Suicide Risk Study *Currently Recruiting Participants*

Providing virtual suicide prevention groups for people experiencing suicidality: Pivoting service delivery during the COVID-19 pandemic

First Published August 4, 2021 Research Article