Elective Years 1 and 2: Suicide Prevention Skills Training

Department: Medicine
Title: Suicide Prevention Skills Training
Location: Virtual

12 hours


Year 2 student contact: Heidi Joyce hjoyce@ualberta.ca

Preceptors: Dr Melanie Lewis; Dr Cheryl Goldstein


The elective will feature Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) through the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA). The program consists of a 2–3-hour self-directed module that students complete prior to the weekend (Dec 3,4). The weekend itself is a virtual 8-hour course divided across the 2 days, provided by a certified trainer through the CMHA. Training focuses on detection and management of acute mental health situations, with special emphasis on suicide. Further training is provided regarding self-care given the long-term aspects of a medical career. Training is generally tailored towards early medical students, in both depth and applicability. An additional hour is requested from students for formative feedback to improve and inform the elective going forward - this may take the form of surveys and virtual discussion from students. Due to limited funding in this program, capacity is limited to 15 students per iteration of the course, to be held 1-2 times per academic year.


Completing this elective should: Equip students with the basic skills to recognize the symptoms and signs of mental health crisis, including suicidally. Students will also receive education on an approach to initial management and next steps in such situations. Additional focus will be placed on self-care and support as components of personal mental wellness.

Additional Notes:

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA: Students in the pre-clerkship component of their training are eligible for this program. Availability is provided on a first-come, first-serve basis following announcement of a scheduled training course. Preference will not be given to those who contact elective coordinators prior to such scheduled training.

Last Updated: October 20, 2022