4th Biennial Suicide Symposium: Addressing the Role of Clinical Intervention and the Experience of Patient Loss to Suicide

April 28, 2021

Research has estimated that approximately 50% of psychiatrists and 25% of psychologists will lose at least one patient to suicide over the duration of their careers; however, losing a patient to suicide is not an experience limited to mental health professionals. A large-scale study revealed that 64% of people who attempt suicide visit a doctor in the month prior to their attempt, with 38% presenting to a physician in the week leading up to their attempt. These visits most commonly occur in primary care and outpatient general medical settings versus mental health clinics. These losses have great emotional impact on the clinician: when clinicians have been surveyed about their experiences with patient suicide, they have reported intense levels of grief, guilt, inadequacy, anxiety, and depression. This distress can then lead to isolation and professional difficulties. Our overall goal in holding this biennial this symposium is to provide a structured, safe environment where practitioners and trainees from all disciplines of medicine obtain collegial support and education to reduce the stigma and fear surrounding patient suicide.

Key words: Motivation, Suicidal Ideation, Suicide, Social Stigma, Risk Assessment, Training Support, Mental Health, Emotions, Surveys and Questionnaires, Confidentiality


As an APA Approved Sponsor for Continuing Education, the Medical College of Wisconsin attests that this program has no:

  • Commercial support for CE program, sponsor, or instructor (or any other relationship that could reasonably be construed as a conflict of interest)
  • Commercial support for the content of instruction (e.g., research grants funding research findings etc.) that could be construed as a conflict of interest
  • Commercial support or benefit for endorsement of products (e.g., books, training, drugs, etc.)

Target Audience

  • Physicians (faculty, fellows, and residents of any specialty)
  • Psychologists
  • Social Workers
  • PA & AANP
  • Medical Students

Learning Objectives

Participants who engage in this education intervention will be able to:

  • Prepare a safety plan with a suicidal patient
  • Identify interventions that could decrease risk of suicide
  • Recognize that suicide is an outcome that may be encountered during a mental health career
  • Demonstrate a nonjudgmental environment of acceptance and support for colleagues who experience loss
Additional information


Kiara Bond
Phone Number: 
+1 (414) 955-7250
Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 3.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™
    AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™
  • 3.00 APA
    APA credit.
  • 3.00 Hours of Participation
    Hours of Participation credit.
Course opens: 
Course expires: 
Event starts: 
04/28/2021 - 8:30am CDT
Event ends: 
04/28/2021 - 12:00pm CDT


8:30 – 9:45
Risk Assessment, Safety Plans & Means Restriction
Gregory Simons, PhD
Small Groups - Dealing with the loss of a patient to suicide
Various Faculty
Large Group - Lived Experiences
Gregory Simons, PhD & Mara Pheister, MD
12:00 - 12:15
Mindfulness Exercise
Virtual Meeting
United States

Dial-in details will be provided to registered attendees.

Gregory Simons, Jr., PhD
Suicide Prevention Specialist 
Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center
Mara Pheister, MD
Associate Professor
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine
Medical College of Wisconsin
Julie Owen, MD
Assistant Professor
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine
Medical College of Wisconsin

In accordance with the ACCME policy on relevant financial disclosure, all planners were asked to reveal any relevant financial relationships. Drs. Pheister, Owen, and Simons have nothing to disclose.

ACCME Accreditation Statement:
The Medical College of Wisconsin is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education to physicians.
AMA Credit Designation Statement:
The Medical College of Wisconsin designates this live activity a maximum of 3.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™.  Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.
Hours of Participation:
The Medical College of Wisconsin designates this activity for up to 3.0 hours of participation for continuing education for allied health professionals.
Psychology CE Credit Statement:
The Medical College of Wisconsin is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Medical College of Wisconsin maintains responsibility for this program and its content.
This activity contains content or processes that may be potentially stressful.

Available Credit

  • 3.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™
    AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™
  • 3.00 APA
    APA credit.
  • 3.00 Hours of Participation
    Hours of Participation credit.


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This activity is complimentary, however, the cost for credit award is $25.00. If you do not wish to be awarded credit please choose the "No, thank you" option above.

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