VISTAS Counselor Professional and Career Development

VISTAS Online is an innovative publication produced for ACA by Dr. Garry R. Walz and Dr. Jeanne C. Bleuer of Counseling Outfitters, LLC. Its purpose is to provide a means of capturing the ideas, information and experiences generated by the annual ACA Conference and selected ACA Division Conferences. Papers on a program or practice that has been validated through research or experience may also be submitted. This digital collection of peer-reviewed articles is authored by counselors, for counselors. VISTAS Online contains the full text of over 900 proprietary counseling articles published from 2004 to 2017.

Development of a suicide intervention training workshop: Utilizing counselor focus groups: Part 2

Darren A. Wozny and Kirk Zinck


Suicide is a major social issue that will regularly enter the professional lives of counselors and counselors must be prepared to address the threat of suicide with their clients when it happens. In 2004, suicide was the 11th leading cause of death in the US general population and the 2nd leading cause of death among the young (15 to 24 years of age) (Granello and Granello, 2007). The 2004 mortality rate (most recent available data) for suicide in the United States is 11.1 suicide deaths per 100,000 in the population (Centers for Disease Control, 2004). However, the national suicide mortality rate is underestimated due to the difficult nature of establishing a cause of death as suicide. Similarly, suicide attempts are also hard to measure in the population due to many suicide attempts that occur but are not reported. Therefore, we must rely on estimates of suicide attempts in the population. There are estimated to be 25 suicide attempts for each suicide (25:1 ratio) in US general population but the suicide attempt estimates rise rapidly for the younger population (15 to 24 years of age) where estimates are 100-200 suicide attempts per suicide (Centers for Disease Control). Given the magnitude of suicide, chances are high that most people in their lifetime will encounter suicide directly or indirectly and may need the assistance of a counselor to cope with the issues associated to suicide.

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