Non-Suicidal Self-Injury and Suicide: Assessment and Intervention

Non-Suicidal Self-Injury and Suicide: Assessment and Intervention

Suicide is the third leading cause of death among adolescents and young adults and the tenth leading cause of death nationwide when all age groups are considered. In recent years close to fifty thousand people have died by suicide annually in the United States. Worldwide, it is estimated that at least one million people end their lives yearly.

Rates of suicide have significantly increased in recent years in the United States among pre-adolescents (“tweens,”), adolescents, young adults, and middle-aged persons despite the implementation of a wide range of preventative community-based resources and expanded access and options for mental health care.

Non-suicidal self-injury has also seen steep increases in recent years among pre-adolescence ( “Tweens”) adolescents and young adults and has emerged as a significant risk factor for attempted suicide as well as completed suicide.

This workshop will provide an overview of the major patterns and types of non-suicidal self-injury and suicidal behavior across the lifespan.

Biopsychosocial risk factors will be reviewed which increase the probability of non-suicidal self-harm and suicidal actions and protective factors will be outlined which serve to reduce the likelihood of non-suicidal self-harm and suicidal behavior.

DSM- 5- TR neuropsychiatric conditions that are associated with elevated rates of suicidal behavior will be discussed.

Best practices will be addressed for evaluation of suicidal and non-suicidal self-injury: History Taking, Assessment of Mental Status, Interviewing Strategies, Semi-Structured Interviews, and Psychological Screening Tests.

The discussion will also focus on the role of State of New Hampshire Rapid Response services in conjunction with Emergency Services Departments within community mental health centers and other interventions for persons considered to be at elevated risk for self-harm. As well, Level I through IV preventative strategies will be outlined.

If time permits, the discussion will also include circumstances that can trigger ethics complaints to licensing boards and/or malpractice suits against mental health clinicians and community mental health centers in cases of attempted or completed suicide. Also, if time permits, risk management strategies will be reviewed which can reduce the impact of such outcomes.

6.0 Category A Continuing Education hours for licensure have been applied for through NASW-NH.

Instructor Bios


Non-Suicidal Self-Injury and Suicide: Assessment and Intervention

  • Jerrold Pollak

    Jerrold Pollak

    Jerrold Pollak, Ph.D., ABN, ABPP,

    Dr.  Pollak is a clinical psychologist and neuropsychologist  at  Seacoast Mental Health Center/SMHC,  Portsmouth,  New Hampshire where he works in the Emergency Services Department and is also involved in completing psychological/neuropsychological test evaluations of patients referred by SMHC as well as physicians and other health care providers in the community.

    He has been conducting workshops for Professional Development and Training, University of New Hampshire since the early 2000’s.

    Dr. Pollak is a diplomate of the American Board of Professional Neuropsychology/ABN and the American Board of  Professional Psychology/ABPP

    He has published a number of articles including publications pertaining to non-suicidal self-harm and suicide as well as risk management for mental health clinicians.


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