Course Title: Assess and respond to individuals at risk of suicide

Part A: Course Overview

Program: C6124 Advanced Diploma of Justice

Course Title: Assess and respond to individuals at risk of suicide

Portfolio: DSC Portfolio Office

Nominal Hours: 80

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


365T Global, Urban and Social Studies


Term2 2014,
Term2 2015,
Term2 2016

Course Contact: Irene Pagliarella, Program Manager

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4581

Course Contact Email:

Course Description

In this course you will develop the skills and knowledge required to provide sensitive and effective intervention where risk of self-harm or suicide has been identified.
The focus is on identifying and managing immediate suicide risk in the context of a supportive helping relationship that seeks to work collaboratively with the person at risk to achieve safe outcomes.
Safe outcomes in this context include a clear safety plan for addressing any immediate danger to the person at risk or others, mobilising access to emergency medical help when needed and facilitating links with further care. This course relates to managing imminent risk in ways which provide opportunity for more comprehensive assessment and the provision of further help.

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Successful completion of, or demonstrated equivalence to, the following units of competency:

VU20868 Apply foundation legal principles
VU20869 Work within the criminal justice system
VU20870 Apply writing and presentation skills within a justice environment
VU20871 Support the management of adult offenders within the Victorian correctional framework
PSPOHS401B Implement workplace safety procedures and programs
PSPETHC401A Uphold and support the values and principles of public service

And ONE of the following electives:

CHCAOD402B Work effectively in the alcohol and other drugs sector
LGACOM406A Investigate alleged breaches of legislation and prepare documentation

National Competency Codes and Titles

National Element Code & Title:

CHCCS521B Assess and respond to individuals at risk of suicide


1. Identify and assess the person's current suicide risk

2. Work actively with the person to reduce the immediate risk of suicide and increase safety

3. Facilitate and strengthen the individual's links to further care

4. Provide further intervention support to resource the individual beyond immediate crisis

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this course, you will be able to:

- Provide evidence of specified essential knowledge and skills in:
• Identify common indicators or signs of potential suicide risk, including risk of any type of self-harm
• Demonstrate competent skills in communication, counselling and the principles of crisis intervention, including relevant laws, ethical guidelines and policy requirements that support good care and duty of care
• Practice suicide intervention including risk assessment, the development of safety plans and facilitate on-going support via assistance and informed referrals to other agencies
• Facilitate emergency interventions
• Demonstrate awareness of personal values, beliefs and attitudes which may facilitate or impede crisis care and suicide intervention
• Examine common notions about suicide and sound suicide intervention practice in the light of available evidence
• Demonstrate awareness of how other mental health issues may impact upon intervention
• Commit to attend to the pain of the person at risk and work towards safe, life sustaining outcomes
• Practice the principles of self-monitoring, self care and support-seeking relevant to involvement in crisis and suicide intervention work


Overview of Assessment

Assessments may incorporate a variety of methods including role plays, observations, lectures, tutorials, class discussion, reports, group/individual training workshops, and audio-visual presentations.